Tom DeLay was successful in getting one of the 3 charges against him dropped yesterday (NYT, WaPo, LAT, USAToday). The charge of conspiracy was dropped because his actions were in 2002 and the law did not take effect until 2003. The more serious counts of money laundering were upheld and the judge will proceed to trial starting early next year.
This is a big disappointment for DeLay who was hoping for a quick resolution to the indictment. DeLay was forced to step down as a party leader due to the indictment and cannot regain his post as long as he remains under the indictment. As with any political group, other Republicans are coveting the open position and are planning on holding elections for a new party leader early next year. This would permanently replace DeLay's position.
But, that may be a moot point. Tom DeLay is suffering big time in his home district of Sugar land Texas. A just release CNN poll puts DeLay behind hypothetical Democratic contenders 36% to 49%, meaning that even if he is not convicted, it may difficult for him to even be re-elected (Link). But, that is not stopping Dick Cheney from coming to DeLay's rescue. Cheney dissed the White House Christmas party to go host a fundraiser for DeLay (birds of feather