Saturday, November 1, 2008

My brush with Dick Armey and Tom Delay

Tonight I was watching the special edition of Hardball with Chris Matthews. Dick Armey was on talking about how he believes John McCain is not like George W. Bush. On this point, I believe Armey believes what he said. Armey can't stand George W. Bush, as I learned first hand. What follows is something I wrote three days ago and am reposting now.

The other night I was watching David Gregory’s Race for the White House and there was Dick Armey. Then, on Hardball with Chris Matthews there was Tom DeLay saying Obama was a Marxist, Socialist and anti-American.

I have a past with these men.

In 1998 I managed a congressional campaign in Texas for Brian Babin in which both of these men played a part. DeLay and the candidate for whom I was working were under investigation by the Justice Department for illegal campaign contributions. And Dick Armey, then the Majority Leader of the US House of Representatives, did a fundraiser for us.

Let’s start with Dick:

Mr. Armey flew in on some corporate jet to some airport in Beaumont, Texas. Babin and I met him on the tarmac and the three of us then drove (actually, I was driving) to the fundraiser. The drive there was uneventful. But the drive back? Let me tell you.

After the fundraiser was over I pulled the car around and Armey got in the front seat. It was just the two of us in the car for a few minutes and I decided to make small talk with the majority leader as he lit a cigarette (in the Suburban without asking).

“You know what’s funny? The first time I ever saw you in person was one day on the floor of the House. I was sitting in the gallery and you walked in and lit a cigarette even though there were ‘no-smoking’ signs all over the capital”

He took a long drag of his cigarette and finally said “Son, I’m the majority leader of the United States House of Representatives. I’ll do what I damn well please!”

We’ll alrighty then!

At that moment Babin and his wife joined us in the car.

Remember that this was 1998. Bush was not president. He was governor. There was a lot of talk that Bush would run and everyone assumed that he would.

Which led Babin to ask Armey “Do you think he’s going to win if he runs?”

“Of course he’ll win. He’s gonna ride in on his daddy’s boots. He’s a God damned idiot. And the only person he cares about is him”


Well, at least he was right about Bush. But moving on to other things. Babin’s wife chimed in.

“That was certainly a great speech you gave. Very moving” she said.

“Glad you liked it. That’s the one I use to make the women to cry. If you can get them to cry you can get them to open their pocketbooks and fork over obscene amounts of money. Works every damn time”.

Babin, his wife and I were stunned. We could all not believe we heard what we heard.

After we dropped off the majority leader at his jet to fly him back the nation’s capital, Babin’s wife unleashed a fury that she had every right to unleash.

“ Brian! You let him smoke in my car! You let him Smoke! In! My! Car!”

“He didn’t ask if he could. He just did” Babin said to his wife

“He didn’t ask? I don’t care if he didn’t ask! You should have told him to throw the cigarette out!”

I will never forget that day as long as I live.

Now on to DeLay. DeLay was implicated in a money funneling scheme where, allegedly, DeLay told a business owner, Peter Cloeren, to give money to his employees that in turn should donate to Babin.

It is one of those things that is highly illegal and will get the FEC on a campaign faster than anything. I had nothing to do with whatever happened since the alleged funneling occurred two years prior during Babin’s first failed congressional campaign.

I should be clear and say that I do not know for sure if the allegations were true or not. But what I can tell you is that, with what I saw during the campaign, DeLay is the slimiest person I have ever encountered.

Seeing both Armey and DeLay on MSNBC today reminded me of my days on the campaign and also reminded me why I will never vote or work for a Republican again. They all lack even a shred of integrity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you know more about DeLay than you are letting on. In fact I'm almost certain of it.
But I love the Armey story.

One other thing -- I'm sure you know this already but I happened to look and and a certain blogger on the rooftop has a Wiki page. Who knew?

Anywho, how was "American Buffalo". I am assuming since we have not seen any follow up post it was not that great. It would be hard to compete with Speed-the-Plow anyway.

Always a step behind and a foot short,
YOur secret admirer.

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