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Travis County DA targets Tom DeLay

Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, who has not been shy about aiming at big targets, is investigating a political committee set up by Tom DeLay.

DeLay, R-Sugar Land, created Texans for a Republican Majority as an offshoot of his Americans for a Republican Majority. The Texas committee was designed to help the GOP win a Texas House majority and put Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, in as speaker.

Texans for a Republican Majority raised more than $520,000 — a third of all its money — from corporations.

The contributions included $20,000 each from Bacardi U.S.A. and the Philip Morris Cos. and $100,000 from the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, a coalition of nursing home chains based in Boston.

While a political committee can legally raise corporate money to pay for administrative expenses, it would be illegal to use corporate money for political activities.

TRM also coordinated its activities with the Texas Association of Business, which is the target of the grand jury investigation. Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle is investigating whether the business group illegally used corporate money to pay for issue ads designed to win 20 House seats for the GOP.

I will, of course, be cheering for DA Earle, but I will not be holding my breath. DeLay’s first line of defense will be to scream that the Democrat Earle is on a partisan witch hunt. Earle’s unsuccessful prosecution of Kay Bailey Hutchison in 1994 for allegations of misappropriated campaign funds while she was State Treasurer will be his Exhibit A, and it will carry some weight. Earle will point out that he’s prosecuted quite a few Democratic politicians in his day, with his biggest scalp being that of former Speaker Gib Lewis. I will expect much sound and fury, with the usual results. But I’ll keep an eye on it anyway, just in case.

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17 Comments

  1. Perhaps there really is a God?

    Travis County DA targets Tom DeLay Chuck Kuffner relates the tale of how Rep. Tom DeLay is being investigated for setting up a PAC that allegedly used corporate money to finance political activities. DeLay may be a demagogue, but he’s not stupid. Getti…

  2. Perhaps there really is a God?

    Travis County DA targets Tom DeLay Chuck Kuffner relates the tale of how Rep. Tom DeLay is being investigated for setting up a PAC that allegedly used corporate money to finance political activities. DeLay may be a demagogue, but he’s not stupid. Getti…

  3. Lynne says:

    Thank God for Ronnie Earle!!!!

    Someone is finally stepping up to the plate to take on the gerrymanderers–er, “redistricters” who have all but killed the DNC in Texas, illegally, of course.

    THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH, RONNIE!!!!!

    Sincerely,

    A VERY concerned citizen

  4. Allen Brooks says:

    Ronnie Earle is partisan and vindictive, I know because Tom Delay said so! Good work, Ronnie. I hope you can rise considerably higher on the Neocon invective scale. Why, you may even earn the right to be called Traitor by the ever even handed Ms. Coulter.

  5. Andrew says:

    Give us more of the goods on Earl!

    I am a proud liberal in Indiana. I’ve been following Delay’s trials and tribulations on the Hill and see it as a serious chink in the Republican armor. Your site was the 7th hit when I search “Ronnie Earle Travis County prosecutor.” Those of us oustide the periphery of Austin politics need all the ammunition possible to rebut the conservative spin machine. I don’t want Delay’s charges of partisan politics to be the death of this issue that’s indicative of the Republican’s methods and agenda. Got any good antedotes about Earle’s public life? Convince me that this guy is worth defending.

  6. brian says:

    I cannot believe it. There are still American heroes. Ronnie Earle is lifting the bottom of the curtain on what could be the most powerful and corrupt group in the world. Any man who steps up to the bully is either an idiot or completely sure of the injustice. Ronnie seems pretty bright. I’ll keep an eye on the situation as it develops for good measure. I advise plenty of others to do the same. We are not alone and we got your back Ronnie.

  7. John Davis says:

    I’ve had the pleasure of working with Ronnie Earle and I can tell you, he is a paragon of integrity. If you’re planning on pulling off some sort of political chicanery, better not do it in Travis County.

  8. W. Tarry says:

    Travis County District Attorney Ronald Earle on a political witch hunt?

    After prosecuting Democrats AND Republicans in Texas? That’s 12 Democrats and 3 Republicans.

    Or how about when he filed charges against improper campaign-finance reporting with Justice of the Peace Guy Herman? Against himself? He was fines $212 for being one day late. Oh, Mr. Earle is just so vindictive. . . . .

    I think the record is skipping on DeLay’s idealogue rambling. . . . .

  9. robert deininger says:

    Delays attack on Ronnie earl is prove positive DeLay thinks he is above the law and thank God someone has the guts to take him down

  10. Paul says:

    Ronnie Earle is just a political hack trying to make a name for hinself. Has anyone read the indictment?

  11. BILL CLINTON says:

    RONNIE EARL YOUR A FOOL….BACK OFFF US DEMOCRATS LOVEEEEEEEEEE TOM DELAY.

  12. s davidson says:

    Ronnie Earl has been attempting to prosecute democrats and republicans both, and most of the charges have dropped… in some cases the judge admonishing Earl for bringing up bogus charges. Sad to see so many people so full of hatred that they’ll throw justice and reason to the wind

  13. cole says:

    THE REAL REASON BUSH AND DELAY DO NOT WANT STEM CELL RESEARCH IN TEXAS TO CURE DIFFERENT DISEASES IS BECAUSE THE US DRUG COMPANIES ARE IN THEIR BACK POCKET. (see opensource.org for the details and amounts)

  14. JoAnne Berliner says:

    Ronnie Earle you are terrific! Thank you for having the integrity to indict this corrupt man and his corrupt cronies.

  15. Curtis says:

    Ronnie Earl has made a career of accusing and indicting conservatives, both Democrat and Republican. Even with a jury pool from the very liberal Travis County area he has almost never been able to get a conviction against anyone. The fact that he has done this with more Dem’s than Rep’s does not give him credibility. He targets conservatives.

  16. Russ Hallberg Jr says:

    Two young men are going to be lynched by Ronnie Earl. The were wrongfully convicted in the 1991 Yogurt Shop Murders. Their case is documented at http://www.texas-justice.com.

    Tom Delay has been indicted for money laundering. The families of the Yogurt Shop Murder victims received 19 million dollars. That is four times the settlement in similar cases. The owners of the yogurt shop, Brice Foods, were convicted of swindling investors. Millions disappeared from Brice Foods investor accounts and turned up in the settlement for the murders.

    Attorney Eric Moebius attempted to expose a huge money laundering operation by insurance companies. His statements are correct. His statement is available in the Other Documents section of the texas-justice site. More information about the murders can be found at: http://www.totse.com/en/conspiracy/institutional_analysis/worldwidenewsl172704.html

  17. how come says:

    How come DeLays wife and kid got the $500,000.00 if it is ‘ALL FOR KIDS ‘, then he showed up on June 6, 2004, to thwarth a Congressional Investigation into Massive Medicaid/Foster Care Fraud? Question: Who is building Group Foster Homes in Sugarland – anyone knows? Post it!