Tom DeLay Adds Another Side to “Exterminator”

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


Tom DeLay, the former House Speaker who began his working life in the Houston suburbs exterminating ants and roaches, made his name in Congress exterminating his opposition, and exterminated himself in a cloud of ethics scandals, has wrapped up his anihilatory political career by exterminating his paper trail. DeLay’s former aides, who recently went to work for his interim Republican replacement, Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, deleted unnamed (and presumably sensitive) office files this week before quitting en-masse on Tuesday. A DeLay spokesman told the Times the trashing of files and scrubbing of hard drives was standard operating procedure for congressional transfers of power. Still, Sekula-Gibbs, who is occupying the seat until Democratic victor Nick Lampson is sworn in this January, has asked Congress to investigate the file deleting. You’ve got to hand it to the Exterminator for his skill creating scandals—even as his political life is upside down and twitching.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest