Here's a new line of deflection that Tom DeLay is trotting out.
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said Friday a documentary film crew's behind-the-scenes access to the Travis County prosecutors who indicted him proves Ronnie Earle is little more than a publicity seeker.
"He's got a film crew that has been following him around for two years to document how he's going to get Tom DeLay," DeLay said on a Houston radio talk show.
Independent filmmakers Mark Birnbaum and Jim Schermbeck began making their documentary, The Big Buy, in February 2003. Schermbeck said the movie follows Earle's investigation to show how corporate money was used to fuel Republican efforts to win the 2002 Texas House elections.
Earle and his staff members sat for interviews, as they have with the news media, the filmmakers told the Houston Chronicle.
They said the only special inside access they received was being allowed into Earle's office in the minutes before he came out to announce indictments last October against DeLay associates John Colyandro, Jim Ellis and Warren RoBold.
Schermbeck said they never saw any legal documents or evidence before they became public. "Ronnie is too ethical a person to allow that to happen."
Most of what I got out of this film that was new to me had to do with the civil lawsuit against TAB and TRMPAC. There was some footage from depositions given by Colyandro (who is one tightly-wound dude, though I can't say I'd be any different if it were my ass that was being sued and indicted) and TRMPAC treasurer Bill Ceverha. There was an interview with former State Rep. David Langefeld, who is one of the plaintiffs in that civil suit and who provided a wealth of campaign mailers that attacked him and promoted his opponent (Sid Miller), all paid for by TAB. And I don't think I'd heard much from Joe Turner, Colyandro's attorney, before this. He looks like he'd be pretty impressive in a courtroom - he's younger and more dynamic than either Pauerstein or Minton. He also didn't mumble like Pauerstein did.
As I understand it, filmmakers are still in the process of financing this movie for distribution, so I'd say that DeLay's little tirade is the best thing that could have happened to them publicity-wise. I'm sure if he asked nicely, Messrs. Birnbaum and Schermbeck would be happy to send him a review copy as well, so he could see for himself that he's just being paranoid here. If you get a chance to screen The Big Buy yourself (and I hope you do, it's worth seeing), you'll know what I mean.
On a side note, I thought the report from the DeLay lovefest was pretty funny.
In his first appearance in the area since he was indicted and lost his House leadership post, DeLay, R-Sugar Land, shared hugs, handshakes and, of course, speeches with about 200 people who packed a Galleria-area rally to see him.
The people who squeezed themselves into the San Jacinto Room of the Houston Engineering & Scientific Society building on Westheimer were clearly ready for battle.
They pasted themselves with "Tom DeLay for U.S. Congress" stickers and waved fans printed with "I'm a Tom DeLay fan."
They attacked the indictment and the man who will prosecute it, Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, a Democrat.
Weaving past balloons featuring DeLay's name, they waved hand-lettered signs that bore phrases such as "No proof, no way, we support Tom DeLay" and "Drop it now, Ronnie."
The "United for DeLay" rally was meant to welcome him back to his district, the 22nd, although the event was held in the 7th Congressional District represented by U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston.