Thursday, December 30, 2004

Republican lawbreaking: Texas prosecutor Ronnie Earle still hard at work 

Working his way up to the higherups, of course:

Prosecutors [i.e., Ronnie Earle's office] agreed to drop an illegal campaign contribution charge against Sears, Roebuck and Co. in exchange for its cooperation in an investigation of contributions to a political action committee associated with House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

Sears was accused of donating $25,000 to Texans for a Republican Majority during the 2002 legislative campaign. The use of corporate money for political purposes is illegal in Texas.

Under the agreement, Sears will cooperate with Texas officials in their prosecution and investigation of other people for any offense related to the corporate contribution that Sears made. O'Leary said Sears also will give $100,000 to the University of Texas for a campaign finance law awareness program.
(via AP)

Of course, when the Republicans don't like the way the law works out, they just change it:

In Texas, state Republican lawmakers are considering some maneuvers of their own in light of the investigation.

One proposal would take authority for prosecuting the campaign finance case away from Democratic district attorney Ronnie Earle in Austin, who has already indicted three DeLay associates, and give it to state Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican.

Another move would legalize corporate campaign contributions such as the ones that figure into the state case, potentially undermining the prosecution.
(via Houston Chronicle)

Beautiful, isn't it? Remember all that crap about "the rule of law" when the Republicans were staging their coup against Clinton? Turns out they meant "the rule of laws that we like." Oh well!

Here are some choice quotes from Ronnie Earle, though (who has, BTW, prosecuted more Democrats than Republicans during his tenure:

Ronnie Earle I. After House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, blasted Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle in February for investigating him in a vindictive manner, Earle replied, "Being called vindictive and partisan by Tom DeLay is like being called ugly by a frog."

Earle II. Earle, a 1960 graduate of Birdville High School, said in November of the DeLay probe, "This investigation is a little like clowns coming out of a Volkswagen in the circus. There's always another clown coming out."
(via Fort Worth Star Relegram)

Let's hope there are plenty more clowns to come...

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