DeLay’s convictions opportunity for Fair Elections

Former House of Representatives majority leader Tom DeLay was found guilty Nov. 24 on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

DeLay has an extensive history of legal troubles associated with a long trail of scandals and corruption. In 2005, he resigned his post when he was indicted on a felony conspiracy charge for illegally funneling corporate contributions and violating state campaign finance laws.

DeLay was well-known for taking luxurious trips paid for by lobbyists, whom he convinced to hire only Republicans in top positions in exchange for special favors from Congress and influence on key legislation.

The corporate white collar crime wave that swept through Washington during the famed Republican Revolution resulted in a disillusioned public mistrustful of its political leaders and consequently factored into the Republican loss of Congress.

Highlighting the importance of government accountability and transparency, this case is a stark reminder of the dangerous influence of big money in our political system and the urgent need for fundamental reform. It is time we had a government working for Americans, not corporations and lobbyists.

Our newly elected Congress and political leaders can choose to seize this opportunity to demonstrate to a wary public a strong commitment to solving our problems and concerns instead of those of special interests who can afford to pay for special treatment. We need to replace corporate-funded elections with a Fair Elections system and put the power back in the hands of ordinary Americans, because politicians should ultimately be working for us âÄî not their corporate sponsors.