All We Need to Know We Learned from Tom DeLay

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Lesson for today: It pays to break the rules. In 2002, Tom DeLay conceived of and executed a scheme to raise money for Republican legislative candidates in Texas, who would take over the statehouse, then immediately turn around and redraw the state’s Congressional districts to cement the GOP majority in Washington. It worked: Texas sent 17 Democrats and 15 Republicans to Congress the year before the redistricting; the year after, the delegation had 21 Republicans and 11 Democrats. And now we know that it was legal too: Yes, said Justice Kennedy in his opinion rejecting a challenge to the redistricting, the new Texas districts were drawn “with the sole purpose of achieving a Republican congressional majority”–and that’s just fine. So what if DeLay is still in trouble for the possibly illegal means by which this enterprise was originally financed (for a primer, see Lou Dubose’s DeLay profile)? Win some, lose some; as long as you lose the battle and win the war…

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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