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Travesty in Texas (Tom Delay did not commit a crime)
National Review ^ | The Editors

Posted on 01/11/2011 4:09:12 PM PST by roses of sharon

With Texas judge Pat Priest imposing a sentence of three years in prison on former House majority leader Tom DeLay, it is not an exaggeration to say that this is the culmination of an undeserved, unjustified, and unconscionable act of political persecution. It is the result of an abusive prosecution that exemplifies the drive to criminalize politics and to make the ordinary processes of raising and spending funds for political campaigns a crime.

The man who should be on trial in Texas is Ronnie Earle, the unethical Travis County prosecutor who went after DeLay as part of a political vendetta fueled by his bizarre belief that business owners’ political activities are “every bit as insidious as terrorism.” (Tell that to the almost 3,000 Americans who were murdered on 9/11.) How do we know Earle believes that? Because he had a documentary film crew follow him around as he pursued the indictment of DeLay, producing a film called The Big Buy that Earle used to try to win higher office in Texas. He used the same unprofessional and unethical tactics to prosecute Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (her case was thrown out by a judge) and former Texas attorney general Jim Mattox, who was acquitted and won reelection.

This was a phony prosecution from the very beginning. It took Earle three separate attempts before he could get a case that a grand jury or a judge would not throw out. Then he got DeLay indicted for behavior that was perfectly legitimate under campaign-finance laws, identical to the kind of fundraising done by practically every campaign committee and candidate in the country.

DeLay solicited $155,000 in contributions for a political-action committee he headed and contributed $190,000 to the Republican National State Election Committee (RNSEC); the RNSEC then contributed $877,000 to 42 state and local candidates in Texas in the final two months of the 2002 campaign, including seven recommended by DeLay. For this routine act of campaign financing, DeLay was charged with and convicted of criminal money laundering, a crime defined by knowingly using the proceeds of criminal activity. Since these contributions were all legal, the most basic element of this supposed crime could not be met; nonetheless, Earle drove the case forward in one of the most outrageous prosecutorial abuses of criminal law that we have seen in decades. Meanwhile Earle indicted a number of companies, including Sears, that had made perfectly legal contributions to DeLay’s PAC, and then sold those companies dismissals in exchange for donations to one of his favorite charities.

Government prosecutors have a duty and an obligation to enforce the law judiciously and fairly. The power they are given by society is immense, and so is the damage they can do when they abuse that power. Ronnie Earle has showed in case after case that he is a self-serving ideologue, a crass opportunist who uses his power as a prosecutor to pursue his own political and ideological agenda.

Earle’s miscarriage of justice may be even worse than the infamous Mike Nifong’s attempt to railroad innocent Duke University lacrosse players into prison in 2006 to solidify his reelection. At least Nifong was unsuccessful and paid the price for his misconduct. But unless a Texas appeals court throws out this outrageous prosecution, and the unjustified conviction and sentence, Earle will get away with his appalling abuse of power. And Tom DeLay will end up in prison not because he broke the law, but because he was so effective a politician that his opponents were willing to do anything to bring him down.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption
KEYWORDS: delay; patpriest; ronnieearle; tomdelay
When will we say enough?
1 posted on 01/11/2011 4:09:17 PM PST by roses of sharon
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To: roses of sharon

This is a very good article that most normal thinking human beings can wrap their mind around. Unfortunately when the liberals read this, the only thing flying through their brain is blah blah blah blah Delay is guilty blah blah blah Delay is guilty.


2 posted on 01/11/2011 4:13:53 PM PST by oust the louse (When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both.)
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To: roses of sharon

The appeal is still in the works.


3 posted on 01/11/2011 4:16:49 PM PST by Uriah_lost (Is there no balm in Gilead?....)
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To: roses of sharon

Until we get rid of the corrupt liberals there will be no political justice in America.


4 posted on 01/11/2011 4:17:44 PM PST by Logical me
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To: roses of sharon

I was surprised and outraged when I heard this. I hope there is an ability for an appeal.


5 posted on 01/11/2011 4:18:12 PM PST by stevio (God, guns, guts.)
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To: roses of sharon
DeLay will be vindicated on appeal, without a doubt.

But the media, having already gotten the headlines they sought, will scarcely notice.

6 posted on 01/11/2011 4:19:34 PM PST by skeeter
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To: roses of sharon

I hope he is vindicated. He was refused the right to a fair trial.


7 posted on 01/11/2011 4:23:53 PM PST by Venturer
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To: roses of sharon

Meanwhile, back at the sewer on the Hill, Chump Change Charlie Rangel is back at it. What a disgrace this country is. Any American found guilty of tax evasion should demand that their punishment only consist of them being “censured” by the buffoons on the Hill. Anything else would be “cruel and unusual”.


8 posted on 01/11/2011 4:26:21 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (DNC memo - "Don't let this thing go to waste! Exploit! Exploit! Exploit!")
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To: skeeter

I believe he will win on appeal. What bothers me, is this miscarriage of justice cost us years more service from him. And whether I have always agreed with him or not, this is not how you go about removing him from office.

In addition to this, Delay will now be the poster boy lofted to show that ‘both parties’ do it. Someone mentioned Rangle. I’ll mention Frank. Corruption is a way of life for Democrats. It is not a way of life for Republicans. If I thought Delay was guilty, I would lament his actions and accept that he deserved what he got.

In this instance, he did not deserve this. And for that, I will continue to defend him.

We can talk about Ronnie Earl, and we should. What about this judge? This guy should have seen through Earl’s plot, and thrown the book at him.

Now Earle and the judge both deserve to be taken to task.

Delay will be exonerated. And when he is, the judge and Earle should serve about two to three times his sentence.


9 posted on 01/11/2011 4:39:02 PM PST by DoughtyOne (All hail the Kenyan Prince Obama, Lord of the Skid-mark, constantly soiling himself and our nation.)
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To: roses of sharon

That judge’s name struck a nerve somewhere in the recesses of my memory.

Does anyone else know anything about him/her?


10 posted on 01/11/2011 4:45:02 PM PST by yarddog
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To: roses of sharon

This rambles on a great deal about a rogue prosecutor. However, the prosecutor didn’t hand down a conviction, a jury did.


11 posted on 01/11/2011 4:56:35 PM PST by Melas
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To: roses of sharon

Corrupt politicians (and lobbyists) of either Party are fortunate that I’m not calling sentencing them.

We may have a policy of three strikes you are out for average citizens smoking dope, etc; but for those who have taken an oath to uphold our laws (such as legislators, sheriffs, judges, DAs, cops, bureaucrats, etc) they would be held to account and if they get one strike they would be sentenced as 3 strikes.

There would be no mercy, and there would be complete loss of pensions. There would be no tolerance for any crooked “public servant” if I was calling the shots. We really need to get the corruption under control and the only way to do it is to make examples.

We need to be intolerant of those who make or enforce law and hold them on a very short leash, and when they break the law, they need to pay a big price.


12 posted on 01/11/2011 5:02:43 PM PST by apoliticalone
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To: FlingWingFlyer
Meanwhile, back at the sewer on the Hill, Chump Change Charlie Rangel is back at it. What a disgrace this country is. Any American found guilty of tax evasion should demand that their punishment only consist of them being “censured” by the buffoons on the Hill. Anything else would be “cruel and unusual”.

You are so right. Oooooh, this whole charade makes my blood boil.

13 posted on 01/11/2011 5:22:41 PM PST by workerbee (We're not scared, Maobama -- we're pissed off!)
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To: roses of sharon
I pray that this travesty is overturned on appeal.

And I hope Texas never allows another Democrat government again.

14 posted on 01/12/2011 3:29:49 AM PST by fortheDeclaration (When the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn (Pr.29:2))
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To: fortheDeclaration
And I hope Texas never allows another Democrat government again.

It's going to be a long time, that's for sure.

But Tom DeLay's trial and conviction actually resulted from an oddity of the Texas Constitution.

Under the Constitution, the District Attorney of Travis County (Austin, the state's capitol) is granted prosecutorial oversight over all of the state's elected officials. Not the State Attorney General, not the Legislature, not the Governor. A County Attorney.

Travis County, containing both the capitol and the state university, is, of course, teeming with liberals -- who elect liberals. Liberals like Ronnie Earle, the long-time DA of Travis County who regularly conducted vendettas against statewide Republican elected officials.

And, eventually, he caught one: DeLay.

Earle abused his office for partisan purposes, to be sure. But that's just what Democrats do.

15 posted on 01/12/2011 3:44:01 AM PST by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance on Parade)
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To: Melas
However, the prosecutor didn’t hand down a conviction, a jury did.

Quite right. But, being a Republican on trial in Travis County is not unlike being a Republican on trial in Washington D.C....a la Scooter Libby.

At the very least, Delay should've been awarded a change of venue.

16 posted on 01/12/2011 3:51:19 AM PST by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance on Parade)
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To: yarddog
That judge’s name struck a nerve somewhere in the recesses of my memory.

Pat Priest (undoubtedly NOT this judge) was the actress who played the normal-looking niece Marilyn on The Addams Family.

17 posted on 01/12/2011 9:13:21 AM PST by nina0113
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To: DoughtyOne
Its another example of increasingly frequent criminalizations of political differences and is about as un-American as anything can be - a clear & present danger to the republic.

IMO Earl deserves MORE than 9 years.

18 posted on 01/12/2011 9:23:56 AM PST by skeeter
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To: skeeter

You’ll get no argument out of me. I agree with your assessment.


19 posted on 01/12/2011 9:44:01 AM PST by DoughtyOne (All hail the Kenyan Prince Obama, Lord of the Skid-mark, constantly soiling himself and our nation.)
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To: nina0113

Thanks, sure enough that is what was in my memory. She really was pretty tho she looked a little too old for the part.


20 posted on 01/12/2011 10:38:58 AM PST by yarddog
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To: Melas

After watching Court TV for about a month and also the OJ trial, I have lost all faith in the American Jury.

It worked for a couple of hundred years but right now if I were a guilty person, there is nothing I would like more than a jury trial. If I were innocent, it would scare me to death.


21 posted on 01/12/2011 10:42:52 AM PST by yarddog
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