Tom DeLay Conviction Overturned by Texas Court of Appeals - A Setback for the Criminalization of Politics Crowd

Tom DeLayFormer House Majority Leader Tom DeLay can breathe a little easier today as his bogus conviction by a runaway Travis County District Attorney has been overturned by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. In documents released by the court, the court ruled the evidence in the case was "legally insufficient to sustain DeLay's convictions."

This comes as a blow to those who seek to use the criminal justice system for political gain. DeLay was convicted in 2010 after being indicted by political hack, Travis County DA Ronnie Earl. Earl gained political infamy by using the District Attorney's office in Austin to beat down Republican officials that Democrats could not defeat at the polls. His record of political attacks includes charges against former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. House Republicans had a rule that a person could not serve in a leadership position in the House if they had been indicted in a criminal offense. Earl knew he could de-thrown the Majority Leader by simply obtaining an indictment and set about to do that by using laws that were not yet in effect at the time of the alleged offense.

I spoke with DeLay at the Vision America Heroes in Faith Gala last week in Houston about this case. At that time, DeLay expressed frustration with how long the process was taking and the lack of leadership of some Republicans who could have acted sooner.  He also expressed confidence in the judicial system and said he knew justice would eventually prevail. I asked him if he would discuss the "criminalization of politics" with me after this was over and he said he would. I will be arranging this interview shortly.

Some of the delay in this process was caused by members of the appellate court un-necessarily recusing themselves from the bench. DeLay was also involved in part of the extended process by his successful fight to have a Democrat judge on the panel recused after it was learned of political conflicts of interest in this case.

In this country, we have two systems that are crucial to our culture and civilization. The first is our election process where representatives are chosen by the people to do their work in Washington, D.C. or in Austin. The second is the criminal justice system where people who commit criminal acts are investigated and, if found guilty, punished for the actions.  When elected officials abuse one process to the detriment of the other, our system of government is not well served. Ronnie Earl knew he could not beat Republicans at the polls, so he used the power of this elected office to conduct political witch-hunts and this hurts us all.

Congratulations to Tom DeLay. I am relieved that the justice system has overturned the abuse of power by this former District Attorney from Austin. As voters and citizens, we must keep an eye on those who hold great power over the freedom and liberty of private and public citizens. We must not allow these kinds of abuses to go unanswered.




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