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September 25, 2013 Appellate Court Acquits Tom Delay in Texas
A Texas appeal court has reversed the guilty verdict against Tom DeLay for money laundering entered a couple of years ago by an Austin, Texas, trial court. However, instead of sending it back to the lower court for a new trial, the appellate court entered a judgment acquitting DeLay of the commission of a crime. There is a significant difference between an acquittal and the usual remedy in such a situation which is simply sending the case back for a new trial. The appellate court’s action was a complete repudiation of the trial court, thus confirming that the prosecution of DeLay was an example of the politicization of the criminal process.
It will be recalled that DeLay, a very powerful Republican who was the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the U.S. Congress, was targeted by a Democratic Houston prosecutor named Earle, for purely political reasons. Earle was well known for indicting his political enemies and that included some who were Democrats. When Earle was unable to get a Houston Grand Jury to indict DeLay, the case was taken to Austin, the hot bed of leftists in Texas, where a left wing Grand Jury entered the indictment against DeLay for money laundering. The alleged crime consisted of DeLay’s sending some of the money in his campaign war chest to Republican legislative candidates in Texas. Some of the money in Delay’s campaign account consisted of entirely legal contributions from corporations. The Texas statute relating to campaign contributions prohibits corporations from contributing to political campaigns but does not apply to federal candidates such as DeLay. The practice DeLay was following was widely recognized as being beyond the reach of the Texas statute relating to political contributions.
The Texas money laundering statute makes it illegal for persons such as drug dealers to run their ill-gotten gains though legal bank accounts to sanitize them. The theory of Earle and his fellow leftists in Austin was that DeLay’s corporate contributors had run their contributions through DeLay’s campaign account to put them beyond the reach of the Texas political contributions act. Their theory was total nonsense. There was no evidence that any part of the money in DeLay’s war chest was intended for Texas political candidates at the time it was contributed to DeLay. Once in DeLay’s war chest it was, of course, mixed with the rest of the money already there. The money sent to Texas by DeLay was not ill-gotten in any sense, and not, therefore, covered by the Texas campaign contributions statute. No illegally obtained money had been laundered
The Texas appellate court recognized the Earle tactic for what it was, a contrived effort to politicize the criminal process by using a law to cover a situation it was never intended to cover. Nothing could be more destructive of our bedrock principle of the rule of law than the prosecution of DeLay in those circumstances. In fact our bill of rights was included in the Constitution as a reaction to the same kind of tactics used in England in the notorious Star Chamber proceedings. There can be no justice, indeed there can be no democracy, when those in power can corruptly use the criminal process to send their political opponents to jail.
The DeLay conviction was covered in a previous posting on this website. The action of the Texas Democrats in this case is just one of many examples of the fact that leftists are guided by only one principle and that is power. When one attempts to make this argument it is usually met with the response known as ‘a pox on both of their houses,’ in which it is asserted that there is no difference between the political tactics of Republicans and Democrats. While extensive research may find an instance where Republicans have been guilty of conduct similar to that of the Democrats in this case, it has to be contrasted with the ‘business as usual’ approach of the Democrats in similar circumstances. Another case that differs but little from the DeLay case, and was going through the courts at about the same time, was that of Scooter Libby who was convicted by DC jury of a crime that was never even committed. Libby’s prison sentence was commuted by President Bush, but that does not erase the conviction in the same way that a pardon would.
Nov 26, 2014 #190 Mentally Challenged Al
A couple of very prominent climate scientists recently rejected the greenhouse gas theory which contends that global warming is being created by the release of CO2 into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are consumed. That theory is rapidly losing credibility in the scientific community, and that is no surprise. The dire predictions of its adherents, that disaster for the planet will descend upon us if we do not immediately abandon coal and petroleum fuels, have never been taken seriously by much of the scientific community. The purveyors of the fraud have insisted that the rise of global temperature are tied directly to the increase in the amount of CO2, and they have then made several very specific predictions as to the time when the disaster will strike, only to see their deadlines pass with no ill effects. In fact, though the CO2 amounts have increased steadily as China and India and other countries have increased their consumption of fossil fuels, there has been no rise in global temperatures for the past 18 years. As each attempt to frighten the people of the world failed to bring the predicted calamity, their credibility has gone down. It has been clear that the lefties who are responsible for the greenhouse gas fraud have had a political agenda. A part of that agenda is revealed by their proposed cap and trade tax which is nothing more than an attempt to transfer great amounts of the wealth of developed countries to third world nations, in a manner similar to the welfare programs in developed countries. In both cases it results in nothing more than rendering those at the lower end of the economic scale dependent upon the bounty of left wing politicians, thereby transferring power to those politicians and leaving the poor even worse off than before.
The loudest negative response to the recent announcements of defections from the greenhouse gas gang (which has no relationship to the famous Gashouse Gang of the St. Louis Cardinals of yesteryear) has come from a familiar source, Al Gore. The leftist press pretty much ignored both the announcements and Gore’s response. Gore accused those making the announcements of being, among other things, pseudo-scientists, thereby attempting to raise doubts about their qualifications, and perhaps even their intelligence. The spectacle of Al Gore questioning the abilities and qualifications of those who are some of the most respected in their fields is nothing short of absurd. Al Gore has long been recognized as being somewhat mentally challenged. Even some of those who might be expected to come to his defense sometimes let their true feeling show when they make reference to his claim to having invented the internet. The fact that he was the Presidential candidate of the Democratic Party, and narrowly missed being elected, goes a long way toward explaining the mess we are in because of the doings of the current occupant of the White House, and also confirms the findings of an article in The Atlantic Magazine of a few years ago which found that conservatives are more intelligent than liberals. That authors of that article had to recant in the next issue of the magazine when the liberal readership of The Atlantic raised objections, but the recantation sounded a little tongue-in-cheek and failed to have much of a ring of truth to it.
Al Gore appears to have begun demonstrating his mental challenge well back into his youth. He attended just one year of law school at one of the Tennessee Universities (I forget which). As one who was on the re-admissions committee of another law school several times during a thirty year career as a law teacher, I can tell you that of the large number of law students who leave law school at the end of their first year, it is very rare, or at least was at that time, to find one who does so voluntarily. The first year is, or was, a probationary period for law students. During the orientation program for beginning law students at the law school I attended, one of the speakers made the statement: “Look to your left and then to your right. Two of you won’t be here next year.” It was common for that statement to be made at such programs in law schools around the country in the era of open admissions. By the time I got to law school the Law School Admissions Test was being required, and the statement may have been a slight exaggeration. However, it still reflected a reality at that time, and even until Al Gore went to law school.
Although nearly all of the law students who leave at the end of the first year do so because of academic problems, there is an occasional student who legitimately decides that he/she really has no interest in the law or any of the fields for which it prepares one. One of such fields is politics. Since Gore has spent most of his life in politics, it is highly unlikely that his departure was voluntary. I do not, of course, have any information of the facts concerning his departure, but I think that if Las Vegas gamblers were to figure the odds on that having happened, they would be something like a million to one against it.
If Al Gore did flunk out of law school, it raises some question about how and why he was admitted in the first place. Those who flunk out usually turn out to have had questionable qualifications for admission. As I previously said, I came along at about the time the era of open admissions at law schools was ending. Gore either went to Vanderbilt or The University of Tennessee, and both are very good laws schools that would have been pretty selective by the time Gore got there. Gore was the son of a United States Senator from Tennessee. Again, I have had some experience in the situation that exists when a politically connected applicant for admission is being considered for admission. In fact, I was personally involved in such a situation, and I fought tooth and toenail, and successfully, to keep such an applicant from being admitted. The applicant in question was the son of a politician of similar prominence as compared to Gore’s father. As an aside, the father of the applicant I kept out of law school was described by an even more prominent Democratic politician as being ‘so dumb he couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time.’ I am not saying, however, that Al Gore’s father would have been similarly described. I, therefore, know of the pressure on law schools to admit such students. In my case the Dean of the Law School was very strongly in favor of the admission of that student. The Chancellor of the Campus was out of town at the time, and, when he returned, I was told that he was was ‘mad as hell’ at the rejection of the student. Nevertheless, the faculty remained adamant, and the student was not admitted.
Despite all of the above, if Gore had become a competent, wise, and statesman-like leader, I, and most well-meaning people, would not have been inclined to bring up his past. Intelligence is not everything and some of the least qualified students do become very successful members of the profession who deserve the utmost respect. It might be true that most reasonable people would not bring up the academic record of one who has shown ability that indicates he has performed beyond expectations, but then leftists are not reasonable and well-meaning people. Again I have a personal experience, right on point, which confirms the truth of the last statement. When Dan Quayle was selected as George H.W. Bush’s running mate, the leftist press immediately set out to prove that he was the dumbest person on the planet. They had somehow gotten information that he was a C student. I recall about 50 reporters camping out for a full day in the area used as a reception room for the law school administration. They were insisting that we give them Quayle’s academic records to use as ammunition against him. It would have been illegal for the Law School to have complied with their demands, but that fact didn’t deter them. Shortly after the law school would not give them what they sought the Wall Street Journal ran an editorial describing our School in unflattering terms. A little later on, some leftie weasel in the University records department did unlawfully, and anonymously, post Quayle’s records on the internet.
Dan Quayle was a successful student even though he may not have finished at the top of his class. There was absolutely no justification for what the press did to him. Nevertheless, I expect that if any lefties read this, their response will be to criticize my characterization of Gore as being of substandard intelligence. I think the above stated facts demonstrate that I have shown more restraint than my leftist critics, or their counterparts, have shown in the past. My assertions are, at least based on facts as compared to more excessive statements in the Dan Quayle case which were totally unfounded. I still will not have stooped to their level even if I add my opinion that he is dumb as a box of rocks.