Tales from the Trail

With prison looming, DeLay looks to Citizens United and the Supremes

USA-POLITICS/DELAYTom DeLay stands eyeball-to-eyeball with the prospect of years in prison. But he figures he still has friends in high places. Like the U.S. Supreme Court, maybe.

That would be the majority of justices who authored the 2010 campaign finance ruling known as Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which has been decried by Democrats and reformers as a danger to U.S. electoral integrity.

DeLay, whose hard-driving style as a congressional powerbroker earned him the nickname “The Hammer,” was sentenced this week to three years in prison on money laundering and conspiracy charges. A Texas jury said he helped funnel money illegally to Republican candidates in the state in 2002.

But DeLay’s lawyer Dick DeGuerin believes the Supreme Court altered the landscape a year ago when it ruled in a 5-4 decision that corporations can spend unlimited sums of money on political campaigns that advocate or oppose candidates for office.

“The underlying crime was that corporate money was spent on political races in Texas and that’s not true,” DeGuerin explains to NBCUSA-COURT/KAGAN

4 years later, ex-House aide faces sentencing in Abramoff scandal

More than four years after agreeing to plead guilty in the Abramoff political lobbying scandal that rocked Washington, D.C., the press secretary for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay will learn late this summer how much time in prison he will face.

CRIME ABRAMOFF

Michael Scanlon, who left DeLay to work with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, pleaded guilty in November 2005 to one count of conspiracy in defrauding Indian tribes of millions of dollars and lavishing gifts upon a member of the U.S. Congress.

He could be required to pay as much as $19.7 million in restitution to the tribes, a $250,000 fine and could face up to five years in prison.

DeLay’s Last Dance

Former Congressman Tom DeLay, aka “The Hammer,” hung up his dancing shoes on Tuesday, but we may not have seen the last of his smooth moves.

CONGRESS DELAYThe Texas Republican scored low in the polling, but still got enough votes to remain in the running in ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars.”

DeLay lived up to his nickname during his years as the tough Republican majority leader in the House of Representatives. But he could not hang tough with two sore feet, so he bowed out of the dance competition.

DeLay injures foot while dancing for TV show

Remember Tom DeLay? Well, “The Hammer” has pounded too hard this time.

The former House Majority leader, who earned his nickname for keeping lawmakers in line on CONGRESS DELAYCapitol Hill, injured his foot while practicing for his “Dancing With the Stars” debut.

DeLay, a Republican who resigned from Congress in 2006 after he was charged in Texas with trying to violate campaign finance laws, announced his injury via Twitter.

Dancing DeLay: the fun and crazy conservative

“Conservatives can have fun too.”

That about sums up former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s decision to go on the television contest show “Dancing With The Stars.”

“Conservatives can let their hair down and open their collar and put on some dancing shoes and get out there on the floor, just like the rest of them. And hopefully people will see that,” DeLay said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” COLOMBIA/

Well we know that DeLay knows something about the Twist — it’s no accident he was nicknamed ”The Hammer” in Congress for all the arm-twisting to get his way.