Monday, December 05, 2005
Poor DeLay, he's still in huge legal jeopardy, even if the felony conspiracy charge was thrown out by a Texas judge.
News headlines read Tom DeLay's hope to regain his majority leadership post in Congress were dashed when the felony charge of money laundering was upheld by Senior District Judge Pat Priest in an Austin courtroom.
Now it looks like DeLay will have to defend his case before 12 jurors in a Texas courthouse; and with two co-conpirators, Jim Ellis and John Colyandro, Ronnie Earle has the goods to win the case unless the trial is moved to Sugarland or some other right wing wacko bastion, as DeLay's attorneys are calling for.
For DeLay, this holiday season is tempered with the prospect of jail time. I mean, it's three more years before Dubya leaves office; and with Scooter, Rove and who knows who else under the gun from Plamegate, Abramoff and Dukestergate, DeLay will have to stand in line and take a number for a presidential pardon.
To the charge of money laundering, DeLay's attorneys contend in Clintonesque legalese that it depends on what the definition of "money" is before you can baselessly charge that DeLay was guilty of money laundering.
The Associated Press reports that "[i]n trying to have those charges thrown out, the defense argued that the Texas money laundering law does not apply to funds in the form of a check, just coins or paper money."
But...but...your honor -- they were only bank checks -- not real money!
Well, "checks are 'clearly funds and can be the subject of money laundering,'" said the Texas judge who obviously failed to understand the fictional nuanced difference.
Oh to think back to Clinton's impeachment and the sanctimonious dribble we heard from the former Majority Whip about the rule of law and history's indictment.
In February, 1999, the Houston Chronicle reported:
[T]he president's most vocal critic, DeLay has long criticized Clinton for lying to the American people not only about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky but a host of other issues as well. He has at times described Clinton as the most immoral man in America and the worst example of a politician with no integrity."This president just can't tell the truth"
Yes siree, the former bug man is also in hot water with his district voters. Seems they prefer a generic Democrat 49 to 36 percent.
And if voters and Ronnie Earle don't bring DeLay down, well, there is always his former spokesman, Michael Scanlon.
Scanlon recently entered a plea deal and is now talking to prosecutors to avoid a lengthy prison sentence in the Abramoff scandal. And as DeLay's spokesman during the 90s, Scanlon had a bird's eye view of how the man once affectionately called "The Hammer" did business in Washington.
Here's a little gem from a Washington Post article in May, 1999. When Scanlon was questioned on DeLay's tactics in strong-arming lobbyists to pony up to elect Republicans, here's what he said:
DeLay merely "asked several prominent lobbyists...to raise or ante up $ 2,000 for 10 vulnerable GOP House incumbents in the coming months." And when DeLay 'asks' for something . . . well, you get the point. This is an aggressive push to shore up our incumbents this year."
Yes, we get the point; and DeLay will hopefully soon get the point that no matter how high of a political perch you occupy, hubris and lawbreaking will bring down a leader every time.
For progressives, the prospect of DeLay in the leadership chair in Congress during the upcoming election would be a welcoming prospect in a season hope and joy.
DeLay makes a wonderful poster boy for the Republican Party and their culture of corruption in Washington. And irrespective of Ronnie Earle and Texas courts, we need to keep reminding absentminded voters.