Bringing down the House

Two PACs are running ads attacking Tom DeLay for his actions in the Terri Schiavo case and alleged ethics violations.

By Julia Scott
Published March 31, 2005 10:04PM (EST)

Liberal groups are finally beginning to make hay of Tom DeLay's actions in the Terri Schiavo controversy amid the ethical questions dogging him. Two political action committees, The Campaign for America's Future and the Public Campaign Action Fund, are running four television ads, in DeLay's Texas congressional district and in Washington, D.C., that criticize DeLay and solicit donations on their Web sites.

The Campaign for America's Future ad mentions that DeLay has been accused of "accepting a gift worth thousands from a foreign agent" and that "two of his close associates have been indicted for money laundering." "Tom DeLay can't wash his hands of corruption by involving Congress in one family's personal tragedy," it intones. "But Congress can certainly wash its hands of Tom DeLay." DeLay denies all charges levied against him. His spokesman called the ads "an orchestrated attack ... to try to bring down the House."

That may be overstating it a bit. But the DeLay ethics controversy, and his tirades on "activist judges" and Terri Schiavo's fate, may be just what the Democratic opposition needs to revive itself. "It unites and emboldens the progressive forces," Democratic Party spokesman Josh Earnest told USA Today. "This bottled-up opposition smells blood."

Julia Scott

San Francisco-based freelance journalist Julia Scott writes about water and energy issues for various publications. She also covers the environment for Bay Area News Group, a chain of newspapers in Northern California.

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