October 22, 2005
On the recusal motion
The way I look at it, Team DeLay's motion to force Judge Bob Perkins to recuse himself is just another attempt by them to control what's happening. The motion itself is a longshot at best, and given the way DeLay has insisted this is all about politics, why should anyone believe that a judge who's a fellow Republican would be any less impartial? If DeLay is so confident that there is no case for the prosecution, wouldn't his vindication be even more complete in a trial overseen by a judge who once wrote a check to MoveOn? What would any of his detractors have to complain about under those conditions?
I say that Tom DeLay is entitled to the same things that any other indicted felon is entitled to. In particular, that means a judge who will interpret the law fairly and objectively. Any ruling that judge makes that he doesn't like will eventually wind up on the docket of the all-Republican Court of Criminal Appeals anyway. DeLay does not get to choose his judge, any more than he got to choose his terms of surrender. I don't care who he thinks he is, everyone is supposed to be treated equally by the law. Too bad for him if he believes he deserves otherwise.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 22, 2005 to Scandalized!
MoveOn.org could not have asked for better publicity (almost). Chalk up one early winner.
DeLay and DeGuerin are saying that DeLay cannot get a fair trial in front of a judge who contributes to Democratic org's and candidates. I've seen no evidence that Texas Republicans are less partisan than Texas Democrats, so by symmetry, that would mean that a Democrat who contributes money to political candidates or organizations could not get a fair trial in front of a Republican judge. Since most of the judiciary in Texas is Republican at the moment, that, in turn, means that no Democrat can get a fair trial in Texas. Are they sure they want to go there?
And if this motion succeeds, what's next... a demand for an all-Republican jury?
DeGuerin is of course entitled... indeed, encouraged... to give his client the best defense possible, by any and all legal means. But this kind of motion reminds me of the monkeys I saw yesterday at the Houston Zoo, flinging poo. I wonder if DeLay is well-served by it.
Curious tactic. If DeLay's goal is to return to the Majority leader position these extraordinary first strike galmour moves by his defense team will assure that no disposition can be achieved for many months. The way to get a fast track to disposition would have been no pre-trial shenanigans. Oh, and by the way, does anyone else remember a Orwellian fusilade about how his exhoneration would not be on a technicality but on the merits?
At the same time he claims he didn't do it he is trying to say if he did it it isn't a crime. Or if I did it and it is a crime I am being singled out because democrats don't like my success. I thought alternative pleading was for civil court.
His favorite argument, that it is done all the time, might be true in the other 49 states. It's just that it is a crime in Texas no matter who does it. He already got one contributor in Beaumont convicted for doing almost the exact same thing several years ago. He probably should have taken the misdemeanor. (But skip any suggestion of community service in the sentencing proposal.)
This is Charles Soechting, Chair of the Texas Democratic Party. It has been interesting watching Tom Delay fighting for his "rights". These are the some of the same basic rights that he unilaterally decided did not apply to citizens in this state. He convinced (forced) weak Republican legislators to put aside the interests of their constituents and vote for his illegal Redistricting plan and did it with illegal money. So Tom, if you want sympathy, look in Webster's Dictionary. You and your lawyers can holler all you want about pretrial publicity. Everyone knows that you are the only ones making any noise. So, once again, you have been dishonest. As for me, it reminds of the kid who kills his parents and then begs the Court for mercy because he is an ORPHAN. Tom, you can't create the situation and then claim to be a victim. Democratically yours, Charles Soechting, Chair of the Texas Democratic Party.