Tom DeLay is unusual among politicians with legal trouble because he wasn't going after money—just power. Texas Tribune managing editor Ross Ramsey lays it out an analysis for the New York Times: In step one, DeLay's creative campaign donations helped elect Republican legislators to the Texas House, giving the GOP a rare majority there.
"The Republican Party, in turn, elected a speaker, redrew a Congressional redistricting map that had been drawn by a panel of judges, upended the political careers of a handful of Texas Democrats and helped give the national Republican Party a majority in the United States House." And then, ta da, "DeLay was elected majority leader." He's political history now, but those GOP-tilted congressional maps in Texas remain very much in place. (Read more Tom DeLay conviction stories.)