Tom DeLay intervenes in rail dispute
Joe Stinebaker reports that a compromise has been reached that will head off proposed plans to build a new rail line on the east end.
The compromise was brokered by local leaders, with every indication that Representative Tom DeLay (R) was instrumental in getting the deal done:
[Houston Mayor Bill] White and others credited DeLay, the House majority leader, with pushing the two railroads to the negotiating table and imposing a deadline to reach agreement.Julio Del Carpio, an East End businessman and chairman of the Harrisburg Development Corp., said he appreciated efforts by White and other local officials to resolve the issue. But, he said, he doubted local residents could win out over the interests of the railroads until DeLay reversed his earlier position to stay out of the debate.
"It wasn't until Tom DeLay changed his mind that finally they managed to make some changes," Del Carpio said. "But if Tom DeLay had not done anything, it would have been impossible for the city of Houston to try to make such a drastic change."
Del Carpio, who appeared at Monday's news conference to thank White and DeLay for their efforts, said the issue united all residents of the affected areas.
Another Clear Lake opponent, John Cobarruvias, said he is happy with the agreement but that local opponents had proposed the same thing to DeLay three years ago.
"It's great what they did," he said. "They just should have done it three years ago and saved us the money to fight it."
The guess here is that we're going to see Representative DeLay engaged in more such activities in the district. While he was never in any danger of losing his last election (barring an indictment/conviction), his margin of victory ran short of the district's potential. Smart politicians (not to be confused with, say, Talmadge Heflin) understand when it's time to shore up things locally.
Whatever the case, the district benefits from his attention in this matter, and the House Majority Leader benefits from the positive press.