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Former Rep. DeLay, indicted on state campaign finance charges, begins new 'career' as blogger

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Ron Brynaert
Published: Sunday December 10, 2006

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(Update: DeLay shuts down comments, removes blog posts Sunday, then 'relaunches' on Monday)

Former Texas Congressman Tom DeLay, who resigned as Republican Majority Leader after being indicted on state campaign finance charges, formally launched a new "career" as a blogger on Sunday.

And like many writers on the Internet who toil without an editor's aid, the "Hammer-turned-blogger" proves susceptible to occasional misspellings and awkward use of grammar.

News about DeLay's latest move was first reported in a gossip post at U.S. News & World Report's Website.

"Friends tell us that the powerful former House majority leader, dubbed the 'Hammer' for his tough persuasion tactics, this week unveils TomDeLay.com, where he'll blog—DeLay's Daily—on newsy issues and build a coalition he's calling Grassroots, Action, and Information Network," Paul Bedard wrote in Friday's Washington Whispers column. "Sources said the right-leaning Texan will give gain members insider information on the conservative movement and urge them to step in on key issues."

Bedard warns Democrats not to "apply," since DeLay's site will be designed to filter all undesirables out.

DeLay's site isn't, technically, a new one, as the same address previously served as the home for the Tom DeLay for Congress campaign.

So far, DeLay's blogroll links almost entirely to further-to-the-right-leaning bloggers such as Powerline, Michelle Malkin, little green footballs, and Right Wing News. But the "Hammer" blog also sports a link to an old post written by Mickey Kaus for the more left-leaning Slate.com. Although Kaus has called himself a "neoliberal" in the past, political commentators such as Brad DeLong peg him more as a "neoconservative" these days.

In his first post, DeLay blogged that "[o]ver the course of my political life I have learned many things, one of which is that not all good ideas come from Washington, D.C."

After a guest-blogging stint at the Red State last month, DeLay realized that he "needed to become involved in the blogosphere."

"TomDelay.com is the culmination of my new found understanding," DeLay writes.

Sunday's first political post at TomDeLay.com slams Jimmy Carter -- "perhaps our nation's worst President" -- for blaming "the problems in the Middle East not on Islamic extremism, but on Israel" in his new book Palestinian Peace, not Apartheid, which the budding blogger misspells as "Aparthied."

DeLay was indicted by a Texas grand jury in 2005 on criminal charges of conspiracy to violate election laws three years earlier. DeLay was charged with alleged money laundering and conspiracy to engage in laundering; however, a third charge of conspiracy to violate election laws was dismissed by the trial judge.

Prosecutors filed a motion to have the conspiracy charge reinstated, as DeLay and his supporters continue to counter that the charges are solely the result of a political "witch hunt."

Comments Disabled

At the time of this article's publication, there was an open comment thread at DeLay's blog, but sometime early Sunday evening the commenting function was disabled. In addition, DeLay's three initial posts at the blog were removed, with no explanations given for the removals.

However, in the way things usually happen on the Internet, someone managed to save a copy of DeLay's first post, which was then published on a new blog, where it still retains a number of objectionable comments which may have shut down the once-open threads.

Some commenters had either mockingly or fervently expressed hope that the former Republican Congressman would be convicted and then raped by other inmates in prison, while others liberally threw around the f-word.

"Prank or retreat?" wonders a skeptical blogger about the DeLay blog which appears to have been "taken down after all of 75 minutes on the internet."

Monday 'relaunch'

On Monday morning, the blog for a Capital Hill newspaper reported "DeLay launches new conservative force."

"Former Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) announced the launch of an Internet-based grassroots organization aimed at raising money and uniting Republican activists to take back and hold the GOP majority in Congress, according to a release today," Jackie Kucinich wrote for The Hill.

Perhaps Sunday's "launching" was only a test-run, because the DeLay blog has restored its comment section, and added some new posts, although the post on Carter, reported earlier, is still A.W.O.L. (the site also links to Kausfiles properly, now).

According to The Hill, DeLay's "site was developed and set to launch before the Nov. 7 elections, but the Republicans’ heavy midterm losses prompted DeLay to alter the concept to 'reflect the need for Republicans to change course.'"

Would-be commenters at DeLay's blog are now subjected to pre-screenings, CNN reported on Monday, because the site had been "flooded" with obscene comments on Sunday.

"Comments posted by non-registered members will be subject to editor approval before appearing," DeLay's site states. "Your comment will not appear until it has been cleared by a website editor."