Monday, May 02, 2005

DeLay: the story of a good person corrupted? | Tainted conservative
... Over the course of DeLay's political career, he and his wife, Christine, have adopted three foster children, raised millions of dollars for child-related charities, and spoken out in Washington on behalf of abused kids. The couple has won awards from various organizations and praise from such unlikely allies as Hillary Clinton and Eleanor Holmes Norton, all while improving the Hammer's otherwise dismally uncharitable image.

For the past 17 years the DeLays have also operated their own charitable outfit, the DeLay Foundation for Kids, which aims to raise $10 million to build the Oaks at River Bend, a special faith-based housing subdivision for a small number of foster families on 50 acres near Richmond, Va. (Interestingly, the homes are to be constructed by Perry Homes, the company whose enormously wealthy founder, Bob Perry Jr., was the largest donor to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.) Evidently this activity allows DeLay to cut food stamps, children's health insurance, federal housing and tax credits for the poor while remaining certain that he is a compassionate conservative, doing God's work. According to DeLay, the intention of his charity's "biblical" project is "to show that you don't need a government program to take care of kids."

What you need instead is a powerful politician with enough influence over government to shake down big donors.

Of all the profound and petty offenses charged against DeLay, his use of a children's charity to aggrandize himself and raise money from lobbyists and corporations may be the most distasteful...
I'm a card carrying Kerry supporter, and a secular humanist besides. So I'm not likely to be sympathetic to Tom DeLay. He's earned his many investigations.

And yet ...

Three foster children adopted. That doesn't make one a saint, but it doesn't exactly fit DeLay's later image. I wonder if his is the story of a flawed man with good aspects later gone bad ... I would like to learn more about that man's life.

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