Tom DeLay: ‘The Criminalization of Politics’
HOUSTON, Texas—Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay spoke to Breitbart Texas about the Travis County District Attorney’s Office and their history of criminalizing the political process. Travis County successfully removed DeLay from House leadership by getting an indictment against him. His conviction was later reversed by an appellate court. Now, Texas Governor Rick Perry faces the political wrath from this office where the District Attorney continues the practice of attempting to achieve through the criminal courtroom what Democrats have been unable to achieve in the statewide ballot box – the removal of a Republican from the Governor’s Mansion.
DeLay spoke out about the charges against Governor Perry and the similarities to his case. He also explained the long history of the abuse of power from this District Attorney’s Office that has been going on for over twenty years. Even before Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison was indicted on charges that would eventually be dismissed, former District Attorney Earl would use his office to exact political retaliation on his enemies, Democrat or Republican, according to DeLay.
“The case [against Sen. Hutchison] did go to court,” DeLay explained, “and his case absolutely imploded the day they went to trial. The judge kicked them all out of his courtroom.”
“Ronnie Earl, for twenty or thirty years,” DeLay continued, “was district attorney over this public integrity unit and used it for his political gain. He used it to intimidate public officials, Democrat or Republican. If he wanted something done, he let it be known that an investigation was going to be started. Well, an elected official just goes nuts if they’re investigated by some law enforcement group. So he’s always been able to get what he wants.”
“It’s very well known in Texas,” he explained, “that Ronnie Earl abused his office and now Rosemary Lehmberg, his right-hand woman, has abused it too.”
In regards to the attack on Governor Perry, DeLay said this is an attack on several levels. “One is a personal level,” DeLay stated. “When he came out and demanded that Rosemary Lehmberg, because of her DUI, resign her office, right then, she put a target on him. Then when he vetoed money to her office, I’m sure she took it personally and she’s going to use everything she can to go after him.”
“It’s also a political move,” he continued, “that has larger implications and ramifications. I am sure she’s working with Democrats on the outside to set Rick Perry up for failure.”
DeLay went on in the video to discuss several reform options for the Public Integrity Unit. He accused the Travis County based unit of nullifying the votes of local voters who elected officials. “At the very least, I should have been tried by a jury in my home county,” he stated. “The people that put me into office ought to be the people that serve on my jury.” He went on to explain there are several issues that question the constitutionality of having a Travis County official bringing cases against public officials who are elected by other counties.
As for Perry’s charges, DeLay said, “It’s a political show trial. And he [Perry] needs to treat it that way. And there are many ways you can do that.”
“The other side is going to treat it as a political show trial,” he continued. “So you have to make political decisions. One of them I suggested is that he call a special session and reform this office. The debate of that, and the visibility of that will certainly bring the people of Texas to understand what’s going on here.”
He said the people of Texas do not understand the ramification of the power of this particular office. “Unfortunately, other than Breitbart, the media in Texas is super liberal. They’re not telling the right side of the story.” He said Perry should use the power of his office to tell the story and educate the people. He said Perry must not shirk from playing this out before the public so that the voters will see what is really going on.