The Stakeholder has a nice piece about the recent $100K donation from a private prison company to his favored charity. In case you're not sure why that's a bad thing, this WaPo story will help you sort it out.
The vote on the DeLay rule has settled a little-noticed debate, which predated the November election, over the nature of the GOP's corruption: Was it procedural or substantive? Liberals tended to argue the former, as James Traub did in an essay for the New York Times Magazine in October. By ignoring procedural and democratic niceties, Traub argued, the Republican leadership "has been able to convert smaller minorities into more effective control—and more extreme policies." Conservatives, with some exceptions, worried more about ideological corruption, about the betrayal of the ideals that catapulted Republicans to power. What's the use of a Republican Congress, some wondered, if it spends like a Democratic one?
Conveniently, the DeLay vote has enabled liberals and conservatives to agree: Are congressional Republicans out-of-touch plutocrats, concerned only with using the power of incumbency to perpetuate their rule? Or are they ideological traitors who have forsaken the principles that got them elected in the first place? The answer is yes.
Justice of the Peace Guy Herman was sitting in his office one day when a prosecutor walked in to file charges for improper campaign-finance reporting. Against himself.
The man was Ronnie Earle, the Travis County district attorney, bringing a self-incriminating complaint for tardy reporting in 1981 and 1982.
"He had missed the deadline by a day," says Mr. Herman, now a Travis County probate judge. "He could have filed that report late and nobody would have paid any attention. But instead he came in and said, 'I violated the law and should be fined.' So I fined him."
$212 to be exact.