Tom DeLay breaks ground for a home for foster children in an elaborate ceremony of self-promotion. Eight months later, the ground is still broken, and there's still no foster home. Lots of weeds, though. "The weedy grasses have grown waist-high. The barbed wire that lines the property is rusty and mashed down in places. Someone has fired six BB-sized holes into the back of the sign; an empty Busch tall boy patrols the perimeter," writes a reporter for the Houston Press, who visited the desolate construction-free zone. A DeLay spokeswoman states the obvious: "We're running behind."
The Houston Press says the "fallow field" is quite symbolic. "Things have gotten complicated for Tom DeLay in the last seven months, things that go far beyond construction schedules or drainage. Long praised for his philanthropic pursuits, DeLay suddenly has been hit by an avalanche of opposition. Critics have charged that the House majority leader has used his nonprofit work for political gain. His newest charity, they argue, is no more than a clever attempt to avoid campaign finance reform."
Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.