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Tom DeLay, the winds of change, and our state Legislature

When Republicans won the House in 2004, one of the first acts of the presumptive new speaker, Glenn Richardson, was to import a set of tutors to give GOP lawmakers some closed-door lessons in the art of government.

Their guides were associates of Tom “The Hammer” DeLay, then the no-holds-barred majority leader of the U.S. House.

We know this because a fresh-faced staffer hit the wrong switch and allowed one of the sessions to be broadcast across the state Capitol.

DeLay was gone by the next election cycle, doomed by his association with Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who is now doing time for his bribery of public officials.

Richardson is now gone, too, done in by an ex-wife who, on the six o’clock news, declared herself tired of keeping his secrets. As a matter of fact, she declared, the speaker did have a full-blown affair with an Atlanta Gas Light lobbyist while legislation was in play.

The House crown was to have devolved upon the head of Speaker Pro Tem Mark …

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