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DeLay and Friends React To Indictment With Spin, Spin, Spin

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House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) had a long day Wednesday.

A Texas grand jury indicted DeLay and two associates on charges of conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme. In response, DeLay, who insists he is innocent, has temporarily stepped down from his post as House majority leader.

The charge makes DeLay the highest-ranking member of Congress ever to face criminal indictment while in office.

***

”This is one of the weakest, most baseless indictments in American history,” DeLay said in a six-minute statement delivered at his office in the Capitol. ”It’s a sham, and ((Travis County District Attorney Ronnie) Earle knows it.”

Defending one’s innocence should be expected — after all, an indictment is a far cry from a conviction. But DeLay and friends know that simply saying DeLay is innocent probably won’t change public perception, let alone rally the troops.

And that’s why DeLay and friends needed to spin.

DeLay’s spokesman, Kevin Madden, took the spin against Earle. Issuing his own statement, Madden said: This is just another example of (Travis County District Attorney) Ronnie Earle misusing his office for partisan vendettas. … However, as with many of Ronnie Earle’s previous partisan investigations, Ronnie Earle refused to let the facts or the law get in the way of his partisan desire to indict a political foe.”

But is Earle actually a partisan? The facts would say otherwise.

In May, the Los Angeles Times reported that “over Earle’s 27-year tenure, his Public Integrity Unit has prosecuted 15 elected officials, including 12 Democrats.” They include include a state legislator from El Paso in 2000, and two from Waco in 1995; a San Antonio voter registrar in 1992; and the state treasurer in 1982. Earle even prosecuted himself in 1983, paying a $212 fine for tardy campaign finance disclosure filings.

Paul Burka, senior executive editor of Texas Monthly magazine and a longtime observer of the state’s politics, told the Post, “I don’t think Ronnie is seen here as a total partisan.” He added that Earle “didn’t look the other way in his own party” when public officials broke or bent laws.

***

DeLay also blamed another favorite conservative target: the media.

DeLay targeted the Austin American-Statesman — not generally considered a “liberal” newspaper, for an editorial that didn’t name DeLay, but said: “time is running out, and on the face of it, the felony indictments returned last week against the Texas Association of Business and the now nonexistent Texans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee are disappointing.”

“It was this renewed political pressure in the waning days of his hollow investigation that led this morning’s action,” DeLay said yesterday.

Arnold Garcia, editorial page editor for the American-Statesman, put the DeLay spin in persepctive.

“We’re commenting on an item of public interest,” Garcia said. “But you should never forget the newspaper didn’t indict Mr. DeLay. A grand jury did.”

***

And of course, it helps that DeLay has friends in the media to help spin the indictment.

Fox News Channel senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano, interviewed several times throughout the day, offered that Earle “is openly and notoriously political. Most DAs, though they run for office, sort of take a step back from the rough and tumble of Republican versus Democrat politics once in office. This DA has not. He stayed very active in the Democratic party and, unusual in Texas, in the liberal wing of the Democratic party.”

And if ignoring Earle’s record weren’t enough, Napolitano also told Fox News viewers that Earle was “a little bit of a nut.”

How “fair and balanced” of Napolitano.

***

This item first appeared at Journalists Against Bush’s B.S.

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About David R. Mark

  • http://cranialcavity.net/wordpress/index.php marc

    OK for the sake of arguement lets us not call Earle a “partisan.”

    Lets call him a politcal hack who in his zeal to bring down Delay disregarded the American Bar Association Canon of Ethics.

    He has openly used this investigation as a Democratic Party fundraising device, charging up Democratic rallies such as one last May that raised over $100,000, featuring Earle on the stump talking about the case and DeLay.

    In the process violated DR7-107(A) as well as (B)(1). He also has clearly violated EC8-8, which states that lawyers who serve as public officers “should not engage in activities in which his personal or professional interests are or foreseeably may be in conflict with his official duties.”

    Is Delay guilty? That remains to be seen. As far as Judge Napolitano calling Earle a “nut” that also could be true. A sitting DA that is making a movie about himself may qualify.

  • MCH

    marc…
    two things:

    1) Was Ron Earle a “nut” when he prosecuted 12 Democrats?

    2) As a veteran, why are you defending a draft dodger like Tom Delay?

  • Earl

    He’s gone, Republicans eat their own young.

  • http://cranialcavity.net/wordpress/index.php marc

    Not gone, just better things to do aty the time.

    MCH I didn’t see a defense of Delay. I see, and wrote, that Earle is a hack, period.

    And unless Delay fled the country or hid in some shack in Shitdip, Texas he didn’t dodge the draft. He used whatever legal means to avoid serving. Something I also would have done if my number wasn’t in the high two hundreds in 1971.

    The “nut” reference is directly related to Earle making a movie at the same time he is in the center of what could be a make or break case for his career (such as it is).

    12 Democrats? SO! With just a little Google action you would learn he did go after Democrats in the past. And it was an effort to split the conservative side of the party from the more liberal side.

    Again, political, not legal basis.

    And Earl Republicans may eat their young I wouldn’t know, but apparently Democrats call everyone who didn’t serve in the military draft dodgers and at the same time bow at the feet of B. Clinton and psuedo-warriors like Kerry.

    Funny that!

  • MCH

    “Apparently Democrats call everyone who didn’t serve in the military draft dodgers, and at the same time bow at the feet of B. Clinton and psuedo-warriors like Kerry.”
    – marc

    marc, first of all, thankyou for your service to our country.

    Actually marc, it’s the right-wingers who espouse national security and pontificate military strategy while waving the flag – but evaded service during time of war – who I call draft dodgers. You know, the Chickenhawks, like Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Bill Bennett, Tom DeLay, Dick Armey, Trent Lott, Rush Limbaugh, etc, etc.

    Now GW Bush, though not a draft dodger, did in fact skip out of the last 2 years of his obligation to the Guards (1972-74), thereby constituting DESERTION.

    And just for the record, I also refer to B. Clinton as a draft dodger.

    Re John Kerry…2 tours in Vietnam, 3 purple hearts, 1 silver star, 1 bronze star.

    – MCH, USN ’70-74

  • WTF

    Ronnie Earle cost taxpayers millions. He’s like a one man 9th circuit court of appeals.

    He’s knows how to generate paperwork, I will give him that, given the track record of actual “victories” I would classify him as an agent of harrassment, to the government process, the taxpaying citizens, and to those individual’s whom are basically slandered by the onslaught of his machine.

    Right or Wrongly, Ronnie Earle is wasting everyone’s time, and my money. I take offense to that alone.

    But corporate lawyers for large government contractors do the same thing. Maybe it should be about accountability. Anyone could generate an indictment, Earle has proven that. But what a time suck!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    The worst thing about Ronnie Earle is that he’s got his staff pleading out murder cases for light sentences so they can save time and concentrate on these political witch hunts.

    Dave

  • http://livefromblogdahd demabloggery

    American Bar Association rules are merely guidelines, not authority. Each state adopts it’s own ethical standards, and since the ABA rules are usually harsher, it’s probably a lame argument. For Republicans to talk about “political witch hunts” when they perfected it with the whitewater/Lewinsky scandal, is more than I can stomach.

  • http://livefromblogdahd demabloggery

    You also need to point out which canons he violated, not link the entire code and expect us to believe you. Your other link to the houston newspaper (certainly a liberal, biased, newspaper) doesn’t work.

  • Geo

    Didn’t Kerry only do 4 months of 1 tour in Vietnam? And in that short amount of time win more decorations than Audie Murphy?

    Amazing. Kerry to personal, meritorious and valor awards recommendations, is like Ronnie Earl to high profile indictments!

    The contrast jumps out like iodine under a flouroscope!

  • http://cranialcavity.net/wordpress/index.php marc

    MCH:

    Now GW Bush, though not a draft dodger, did in fact skip out of the last 2 years of his obligation to the Guards (1972-74), thereby constituting DESERTION.

    Dan Rather thought that also. Hope your proof stands up better than his. In fact I’d love to see it, where is the definitive link?

    As far as psuedo-warrior Kerry goes I’ll offer you this challenge MCH, “Can you identify even one specific and material SwiftVets allegation that you believe to have been fully “debunked” or fully proven to be “unsubstantiated”?

    And while your at it why hasn’t he STILL not signed his SF 180 and released his records for public consumption? Yes I know he signed it, but only gave authority to the Boston Globe and all they have printed is a section that proves who really was the dumb one in college.

    And it wasn’t Bush.

    Wallace Francis:

    You also need to point out which canons he violated, not link the entire code and expect us to believe you. Your other link to the houston newspaper (certainly a liberal, biased, newspaper) doesn’t work.

    Well gee there Wallace, do you still get your strained peas fed to ya? Not only that the pertinate sections he violated were quoted. Need Glasses also?

    And yes the link is now dead. Mores the pity, I have zero control over what the Houston Chronicle posts and how long it is archived. But as you point out, the paper is “certainly a liberal, biased, newspaper” which raises a question. Why would they print something damning to Earle who obviously is of the same bent? Could it be he has done damage to the Left by his grandstanding and EVEN THEY want to take this idiot down a peg?

  • MCH

    marc:

    Texans For Truth offered a $50,000 reward for anyone who witnessed GW Bush serving at Dannelly AFB in 1972. No one collected.

    John McCain, Vietnam POW for seven years, stated that what the Swift Boats vets did to John Kerry was “dishonest and dishonorable.”

  • http://cranialcavity.net/wordpress/index.php marc

    I could care less what John McCain said. And you avoided the challenge, not surprising. What McCain blathers about or some sorry assed “reward” doesn’t prove dog squat.

  • MCH

    “Had he (GW Bush) reported in, I would have some recall, and I do not. If we had a first lieutenant from Texas, I would remember.”
    – General William Turnispeed (Ret), commanding officer at Dannelly AFB in 1972, to whom Bush was ordered to report.

    Somebody’s lying, marc. Either GW Bush is lying, or Gen. Turnispeed is lying. But someone’s not telling the truth. And since ol’ GW also lied about WMDs, I think I’ll believe Gen. Turnispeed.

    By the way marc babe, I find your casting aspersions on John Kerry’s service particularly hypocritical; since you admit that you would’ve “avoided serving” in Vietnam, while he volunteered for combat…

  • MCH

    …but then again, mocking those braver than yourselves seems to be par for the course for you Righties…

  • Cunning linguist

    Yes when Delay is in trouble any defense is spin but when Clinton was in trouble it was a “vast right wing conspiracy.”

    You commies are a fucking joke.

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    Kind of mixing apples and oranges, aren’t you?

  • R or L?

    I think the arguments going on here are what i like to call “Enlightened ignorance”. Do you not see that you are all arguing on things that both sides have commited and yet you still use “you Righties” “you commies”. You all seem inteligent and enlightened on these topics of history and politics, but you are allowing ignorance to take you away from the debate and turn it into a dead end Rep. vs Dem. argument that will never end. Do not deffend Republicans because they are republicans, and do not deffend democrats because they are Democrats… The same goes for not Convicting Republicans because they are republicans and Convicting Democrats because they are democrats. All are Innocent untill proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. While this case has some doubt, i also see some shadows hahah. Lets keep on point.

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