DeLay Gets Three Years for Money Laundering Corporate Donations in 2002 Elections

Count me as surprised that DeLay was sentenced to jail time:

Former House majority leader Tom DeLay was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in a money-laundering case stemming from the 2002 elections.

DeLay, once one of the most powerful Republicans in Congress, was convicted in November for illegally funneling $190,000 in corporate money through the Republican National Committee to help elect Republicans to the Texas Legislature during the 2002 elections.

Texas judge Pat Priest sentenced DeLay to three years on a conspiracy charge and also sentenced him to five years in prison for money laundering. Priest, however, allowed DeLay to accept 10 years probation on the money laundering charge, assuming he meets certain conditions set by the court.

DeLay could have received up to life in prison on the money laundering and conspiracy charges.

The former Houston area congressman, known as “The Hammer,” was unrepentant today in court. “I fought the fight. I ran the race. I kept the faith,” he said, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

It will be a bigger surprise if he serves more than three months.

GOP Ex-Leader Tom DeLay Declares Support for Killing Medicare

Republican leaders are sending signals that their real target in killing health-insurance reform is privatizing Medicare, and thus killing it, too.

Just this week, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) described Medicare on “Meet the Press” as “tyranny.” Tonight, on MSBNC’s “Hardball,” another former House Majority Leader, Tom DeLay, R-Texas, agreed with Armey, saying Medicare must go:

TOM DELAY: I want Medicare to be privatized. It shouldn’t be a government program. It’s the thing that is driving up costs. Not [the need] to have a public option. It’s Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP — the government-run programs — that are running up costs. That’s where the reform ought to be.

There are 44 million million seniors on Medicare right now. Killing the program by privatizing it would bankrupt tens of millions of them and cause self-imposed rationing by millions more who would find themselves choosing between food and medicine or paying the rent and seeking treatment.

That is the Republicans’ Dickensian vision for health-insurance “reform.”