For three days in October of 2003, Tom DeLay left his duties as majority leader of the House of Representatives and worked out of the Texas state capitol, in Austin. During the previous year, DeLay had led his Republican colleagues there in an effort to redraw the boundaries of the state's congressional districts. For more than a century, congressional redistricting had taken place once every decade, after the national census, but the Texas Republicans were trying to redraw lines that had been approved just two years earlier. Several times during the long days of negotiating sessions, DeLay personally shuttled proposed maps among House and Senate offices in Austin. Once, when reporters glimpsed DeLay striding through the corridors of the state capitol, they asked him about his role in the negotiations. "I'm a Texan trying to get things done," he said.