While this blog (or at least its author) hates to get into politics online, today I feel inspired, or at least a little angry.
As many of you have heard, Texas representative Tom DeLay has announced his resignation from the House of Representatives. While DeLay dives many reasons for his resignation, I think there is little doubt that the true reason is the ongoing investigation of corruption allegations made against the representative.
Representative DeLay has been a fierce fighter for funding for America's space program. While some of this hopefully comes from personal interest in seeing progress in humankind's exploration of space, much of it certainly comes from the fact that Johnson Space Center and its many employees (and related contracting companies) are located within DeLay's district.
A story from Space.com contains quotes from many people in the space agency mourning the loss of Tom DeLay's voice and his fight for space funding, especially at a time when budget pressures are very tight.
I refuse to join this chorus. I feel that our space program is not served well by politicians associated with corruption, especially when the politician's support of the program is likely driven more by a concern for votes and re-election than true concern for space exploration and the people involved. Yes, I am being cynical here, and I am positive that Representative DeLay would argue with my characterization. But I am also 100% certain that the next representative from Texas's 22nd District, no matter which party he or she is aligned with, will become an equally vocal supporter of space exploration and NASA's budget. Yes, it will take years for this person to reach the seniority that DeLay had. But given the choice between a new (and hopefully more ethical) voice for space exploration and Representative DeLay's voice, I'll go with the new congressperson.