Texas Politics Update

TEXAS POLITICS UPDATE….As you may recall, Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle ? whose jurisdiction includes the entire state of Texas ? has been investigating Tom DeLay for possible campaign fundraising violations for a couple of years now. Republicans are unhappy over this state of affairs, and this week a Republican legislator introduced a bill that would give the Texas Ethics Commission the authority to halt prosecutions of politicians whenever it felt like it. Here’s my favorite quote from the LA Times account:

State Rep. Mary Denny, who filed the bill, said in an interview Thursday that she was attempting to add oversight, not remove it. She said it never occurred to her that the legislation could be used to protect Republican leaders who might become targets of the fundraising investigation.

God love ’em. The DeLay investigation is just about the biggest political circus in the entire state of Texas, but this 14-year Republican legislator is just dumbfounded at the idea that people think her bill might have anything to do with it. Folks sure do get the wildest ideas, don’t they?

The story continues:

But the bill doesn’t stop there.

It also says that a district attorney, including the one in Austin who is overseeing the fundraising investigation [i.e., Ronnie Earle], would be prohibited from continuing such an inquiry if the Ethics Commission did not agree that charges were warranted. Denny said she believed district attorneys would welcome input from people who specialized in election law.

“Why would they want to pursue something when there is no wrongdoing?” she asked.

Aw, isn’t she sweet? Wouldn’t any district attorney welcome an outside commission setting them straight about the merits of their own case while an investigation is still ongoing? Sure they would!

Damn. They sure do grow them brazen down in Texas, don’t they?

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