March 20, 2006

Del watch

Samantha Levine leads her Sunday "Delegation Watch" in the Houston Chronicle with a bit on DeLay:

Just moseying off the House floor to grab a cigar and have a smoke on an outdoor balcony is a fairly new thing for former House majority leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land.

During his days in the No. 2 slot, which he held for two years before his indictment in Travis County last fall forced to him to step down, the congressman refrained from milling around with lawmakers off the floor, where reporters wait to pepper members with questions.


But for the man once called The Hammer, times have changed.

"I feel free," he said.

As majority leader, "you always have to worry about being the spokesman for the party," DeLay added. "Now, I'm more blunt. I don't have to worry about the day-to-day operations here."

DeLay, who defeated three GOP primary opponents this month, said he has more time now to focus on issues that matter to him, such as achieving fundamental tax reform and stopping what he calls judicial activism.

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