August 26, 2004
Tomstown update

The AusChron brings us some news in the TAB/TRM investigation/lawsuit front (which The Stakeholder has already commented on). The bottom line here is that all of these cases are stuck in molasses - the original lawsuit against TAB was filed three weeks after the 2002 election, for Pete's sake - and I for one have no idea how much longer things will take.

To [Fred Lewis of Campaigns for People], the prolongation of the civil cases against TRMPAC and TAB, like the institutional feebleness of the Ethics Commission, has increasingly become a mockery of the law. "We're entering another election cycle," he points out, "and I hope the lesson is not: We might as well continue doing it [raising corporate cash] because we're going to get away with it."

Lewis is not the only one beginning to wonder whether and when the ongoing investigations of possible criminal violations by TRMPAC, TAB, Speaker Tom Craddick, the state GOP, and the various players leading back to DeLay are going to bear fruit. Travis Co. Attorney David Escamilla just announced an indefinite delay in the misdemeanor investigation, apparently punting to the Lege itself (good luck). District Attorney Ronnie Earle who some weeks ago declared the case to be about "corporate greed" has shifted to more gnomic utterances: "We are searching for the truth, and the truth has no deadline."

Reassuring, isn't it? Read it and weep. If you've forgotten the details since the last update, you can read the original "Tomstown" story, this "Tomstown Suit Goes Forward" piece, and this piece about why the criminal investigation has dragged out. This Texas Observer story was the original catalyst for the criminal investigation.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 26, 2004 to Scandalized! | TrackBack