Getting the old gang back together, cont’d

GETTING THE OLD GANG BACK TOGETHER, CONT’D…. Disgraced former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) was sentenced this week to three years behind bars for his conviction on money-laundering charges. With that in mind, it’s a shame that the corrupt Republican’s former staff is still running the House.

I reported last week that three top officials in DeLay’s former House operation now have key roles in the new Republican majority. Danielle Maurer will be Speaker John Boehner’s director of member services; Anne Thorsen will be Boehner’s director of floor operations; and Tim Berry will serve as chief of staff to the House Majority Whip.

John Bresnahan picks up on the story today, and notes that the list is even longer than I’d realized.

These DeLay alums are populating the upper reaches of Republican leadership jobs in the House and enjoying lucrative jobs lobbying and consulting. Their enduring influence shows that while the GOP establishment may have moved on from DeLay, the staffers who ran his House shop at its peak of power still have cachet. […]

[A] look at the top jobs in the new GOP majority reads like a “Who’s Who” of DeLay’s staff list from four years ago.

In addition to the aides I mentioned, this report notes that Boehner’s policy director also worked for DeLay. The disgraced Texan’s former aides are also serving as the communications director for the House Republican Conference, the policy director for a House committee, a top official in the NRSC, and in a variety of lobbying positions on K Street.

Bresnahan noted that “for some time after” DeLay’s resignation in 2006, “having the name ‘Tom DeLay’ on one’s resume was a major drawback…. But after the Election Day romp by Republicans on Nov. 2 last year, DeLay’s staffers started trickling back onto the scene.”

If anything, that’s understating the case.

To reiterate the case from last week, it’s worth emphasizing that DeLay’s former team hasn’t been convicted of anything, and it’s a stretch to suggest they should never be allowed to work in politics again.

The point, though, is that the new Republican House operation is starting to look an awful lot like the old Republican House operation — up to and including the identical staffers who helped a corrupt politician run the chamber.

DeLay’s aides will help run the show; corporate lobbyists have been brought on to shape policy; and the K Street project that Boehner swore to leave in the past is looking reconstituted.

Given the spectacular failures of the last Republican majority, getting the old gang back together isn’t exactly encouraging.