Friday, April 08, 2005

It was only a matter of time for DeLay

Jonathan Chait: 'It was only a matter of time for DeLay'
Posted on Friday, April 08 @ 10:06:45 EDT
By Jonathan Chait, Los Angeles Times
In 2002, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay wanted to redraw Texas' district map to guarantee GOP gains. To pull this off, he needed Republicans to win control of the Texas Legislature, which would undertake the gerrymander.
DeLay went about raising large sums of corporate cash to plow into the Texas Statehouse races. Alas, Texas law prohibits corporations from donating money to candidates. So DeLay's group, Texans for a Republican Majority, raised $190,000 in corporate donations and sent the money to a national Republican campaign group, which in turn donated the $190,000 to individual GOP candidates for the Texas Statehouse.
DeLay is facing possible indictment for this incident. But the above paragraph doesn't contain the accusation. That's DeLay's defense. GOP lawyers say this money trading is a legal loophole. As DeLay told reporters, "When you have lawyers advising you every step of the way, it is very hard [for your opponents] to make a case stick." This defense may or may not work, but either way it doesn't quite meet the usual meaning of the word "innocent."
And that's the funny thing about the hot water DeLay finds himself in these days. He can make a plausible case that he's legally innocent of everything he's been accused of. Yet the things DeLay has admitted to are pretty bad on their own.....