'The Hammer' to the slammer
January 10th, 2011
03:35 PM ET
3 years ago

'The Hammer' to the slammer

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) - A Texas judge is sending "The Hammer" to prison. Former Republican leader Tom DeLay was sentenced to three years in prison Monday after a jury found him guilty of money laundering and conspiracy.

DeLay emotionally asked the judge for leniency. "I've lost my right to vote. Just because someone disagrees with you, it's not enough, they have to bury you, throw you in jail." DeLay arrived at the Austin courthouse in good spirits earlier today jokingly telling reporters he "had a date with the judge today." During his days in Congress, he earned the nickname "The Hammer."


DeLay was found guilty in November of a campaign-finance scheme that funneled $190,000 in corporate donations through his Texas-based PAC to the Republican National Committee, and then into the campaign coffers of seven Republicans running for the Texas Legislature. By Texas law, corporate money is illegal.

"Mr. DeLay has suffered enough. He lost it all already." said DeLay's attorney, Dick DeGuerin. "He did not rob, he did not line his own pockets. He did what he did because he believes in conservative values."

The judge will allow DeLay to post a $10,000 bond while his case is being appealed. DeGuerin says DeLay is posting bond and will be released soon.


Filed under: Tom DeLay
soundoff (295 Responses)
  1. Jewgirl

    He should go to jail and lose his right to vote. He is not above the law. Repblican or Democrat. If Martha Stewart can go so can he. He needs to quit crying and serve his time. What example does this set if he just gets a slap on the hand. Hammer the door shut for three years!

    January 10, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  2. whatever dude

    wow, still blatantly spitting in the face of the law even as he "emotionally asked the judge for leniency." pathetic criminal.

    January 10, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. MikeMazzla

    Thats a shame

    January 10, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. NoDoubt

    "Conservative values" huh.

    January 10, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. Big John

    Don't forget your toothpaste and underwear.

    January 10, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Drew

    So if you break the law in support of your conservative values that makes it alright. The Richard Nixon school of law.
    I am so tired of these hypocrites! The law is the law for all of us equally. When will the American people wake up? Have we really gotten so dumb that we can't connect the dots anymore?
    Cry, the beloved country.

    January 10, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. ohgetoverit

    Guys like DeLay are glaring examples of why people need understand more about subconcious group behaviour, ideology and beliefs in general.

    DeLay is a wealthy man. This wasn't theft, or just plain crookedness. This was ideologically driven crookedness.

    That's worth considering, not in any mitigating sense at sentencing, but in terms of how we avoid electing these kind of people.

    You want change you can believe in? Change the system. Move it away from the cult of personality and "feelgood" groupthink - endemic to the most politically active on either side of the political spectrum, and on either extreme of any two diametrically opposed social concepts - and back towards individual reliance on common sense, fairness and respect.

    All DeLay could see was winning, and he knew that took money. When the people who represent us are merely our most avaricious, and when when flock to them not for sensible reasons but the sheer gratification of group protection, this is what happens. And it doesn't have to be a Republican. Democrats are capable of allow ideology to dominate their behaviour.

    There are logical reasons why MORE of the crooks are on the Republican side - it's the side that supports concepts of inidividual enrichment. That they do it for morally suasive reasons doesn't matter to the person who does it for entirely selfish reasons. But that's common sense. It's why Utah and Alberta have the highest fraud rates in North America - more faith = more taking things on faith = more wolves among the sheep.

    Anyway, I digress somewhat. The point? Think for yourseld. Don't vote for one party or the other because it feels good to be on a team. Do it because their ideas, their track records and their ethics matter to you.

    Maybe fewer of them will end up in jail, and fewer of us will end up on here, whining about it.

    January 10, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. Ramiro Nunez

    Enough is enough for these political puppets and time for us Americans to take back our money. If your from chicago prepare for another tax increase in state taxes.

    January 10, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. Paul B

    He did what he did because he is, like every other Republican member of Congress, their army of lobbyists, and their Wall Street backers, an unscrupulous, arrogant criminal who believes he is above the law, better than the 98% of people he walked over to get where he is, and entitled to more than everyone else merely by virtue of his own belligerence and arrogance. Three years is kind.

    January 10, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. jim

    Hmmm, I wonder if the prison lads will wipe that smug smile off his face.

    January 10, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. Cordel Jeffery

    He's rich, and hes white. He will be out in 6 months.

    January 10, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. Mike

    Dick DeGuerin says, "He did not rob, he did not line his own pockets. He did what he did because he believes in conservative values."

    Define value. If we define value in terms of respect then how does one excuse buying it? For example, I value my integrity, and there is no monetary value I’d place on that. Are conservative values something that one buys or displays?
    Have fun in prison.

    January 10, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  13. NewRome

    In other news, Cheney is playing golf in an undisclosed location.

    January 10, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. J

    So stealing is part of your "conservative values?"
    I guess as long as what you believe in, its ok to get there via illegal acts. Both sides of congress need to pull their heads out of their...

    January 10, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. cwags

    Well, as long as he did it because he believes in conservative values, I guess it's alright.

    Ironically, he's going from being "The Hammer" in Congress to probably being "The Nail" in prison.

    January 10, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. Don

    Is one of his conservative values "dishonesty"? I thought only libs were dishonest!!

    January 10, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. Rick CT

    Meanwhile, Charlie Rangel, who (despite his claims to the contrary) did try to line his own pockets by cheating the government out of money with his filing of false tax reports, continues to serve in Congress with only a slap on the wrist by the House (what good is a Censure anyway).

    January 10, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. BL

    His lawyer says "he did what he did because he believes in conservative values." I guess it is nice that conservatives finally confess that lieing and stealling is part of their value system.

    January 10, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. Mike Sterling

    Queue the crazy left comments.

    January 10, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. notafool

    Evidently "conservative values" that the lawyer spoke of means you should be able to break the law and get by with it. I'm sick of "conservative values" and the people who think that because they are "conservative" they can get by with whatever they want. Poor Mr. DeLay has lost everything according to the article, but I doubt he knows what it really is to lose everything.

    January 10, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. Texas Pete

    If only all the politicians who got caught cheating on their taxes, or running election campaign fraud got caught and imprisoned.

    January 10, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. Jeff Clemetson of San Diego

    "He did what he did because he believes in conservative values" and part of those values are that corporations should take over our political system at any cost, including breaking the law.

    January 10, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  23. realtx

    "He did what he did because he believes in conservative values."

    Soooo... conservative values includes breaking the law ?

    January 10, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  24. Bobby

    This is why Politicians are held in such distrust!

    January 10, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  25. duffey

    I don't believe being dishonest is a Conservative value.

    January 10, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
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