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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.
January 29, 2015 #199 The Downward Slide
Three recent articles dealing with seemingly unrelated topics have been lying in a basket on my desk for some time with notes indicating each of them could be the basis for a future article. As I sat here at the keyboard this morning trying to decide which I should use for the next post, I realized that there is a sufficient relationship between them to warrant including them in a single article. One of them is about an Ecuadorean family that won favors from the government after making large donations to Obama. Another relates to a racism charge after 12 blacks were arrested for corruption in Illinois, and the third is entitled, The Unique Misery of Flying in China. Bear with me. There is a connection.
It seems appropriate to begin with the one which seems to have no relationship to the other two, and that is the last which deals with flying in China. It struck a chord with me because I had a couple of experiences which can be related to those described in the article. My first encounter with a situation similar to the ones described in the article to which the third link will take the reader, was in the Beijing airport waiting to go through security when a Chinese man, who had just checked his bag, wanted to reclaim his bag for some reason. The bag had already gone back into a secured area where passengers are not permitted, and the security people denied the man access to the area. The man lunged at the security people attempting to get past them. He was repulsed, and lunged at them again, and was again repulsed. He made several such attempts before he was arrested and taken away. My second experience was in the Shanghai Airport where I went to pick up my family who had come to China to join me as I was finishing up my duties as the head of a student program in which university students from the U.S. studied Chinese Law. With me was an employee of the Chinese university where the program was being held. My Chinese companion was also the son of a couple who were both high ranking officers in the Red Army. When my family's plane arrived, my companion and I simply walked past the security guards with just a wave of his hand. We gathered my family as they got off the plane, and we all then walked back through security with no one from Customs or Immigration checking my family's baggage or passports.
The article, to which the above link relates, deals with several incidents in which Chinese airline passengers reacted in a somewhat violent fashion when confronted with frustrating airport experiences. The author of the linked article attributes the reactions of Chinese airline passengers to the fact that flying on commercial airlines is a comparatively new experience for the Chinese people. I think there is more to it than that. For millennia the Chinese people have been subject to the exercise of arbitrary power by everyone from the patriarch of the extended family, or clan, to the Emperor. In fact, the Confucian philosophy embraces such a power oriented approach to social structure. In the 1980's, however, the Chinese government, in order to induce foreign commercial interests to do business in China, began adopting European legal codes which incorporate a rule of law approach in which everyone, from the highest to the lowest member of society, is subject to uniform rules. In other words, China was shifting from a power oriented social system to a rule of law one. The new system was being announced to the Chinese people with a propaganda campaign in which people were told they had individual rights. It would appear that the airport incidents may reflect an inability of the Chinese people to understand a rule of law system, or perhaps, some confusion during the transitional period in which such a system is being introduced.
The link to the article about the Ecuadorean family reflects some of the same confusion in the U.S. about a similar shift in social policy. While China appears to be gravitating toward a rule of law system, the U.S. is going the opposite direction, and toward a power oriented system. The article relates how the Obama administration has been giving refuge to two Ecuadorean brothers who are wanted in Ecuador for looting a bank in that country. The wife of one of them had been denied entry into the United States for several reasons including obtaining fraudulent visas for a couple of her maids to enter the U.S. She had, in other words, been engaged in smuggling illegal aliens into this country. After the family made 'tens of thousands of dollars' in Democratic campaign contributions, the ban against her entry was lifted at the request of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The total contributions of the family to Democratic campaigns runs into the 'hundreds of thousands of dollars.' The Ecuadorean government accuses the family of buying protection from the U.S. government, and wants them returned to Ecuador to face charges associated with the looting of the Ecuadorean bank. The relationship of the linked article about the Ecuadorean family and the other linked article about Chinese airports, occurred to me as I reread the two articles, and, in my mind, visualized Hillary Clinton meeting the Ecuadorean woman at the airport and accompanying her through security while, with a wave of her hand, calling off the customs, immigration, and security officials. That didn't literally happen, of course, but what did happen was every bit the equivalent of my family's sashay through the Shanghai airport as detailed above, except, of course, my family was in compliance with all Chinese laws, and the Ecuadorean woman's entry was in violation of several U.S. laws.
There are several other issues concerning rule of law vs. power-orientation systems that are made apparent in the two articles. In the article about the Ecuadorean family, which apparently originated with the New York Times, there was nothing to indicate disapproval of the extent of the profound corruption which Obama and the Democrats are engaging in with respect to the events involved. Everything the Democrats, Obama and Hillary Clinton were doing reeked of dishonesty, unethical behavior and bribery. Honesty is, of course, at the very heart of the rule of law, and its foundation document, the Ten Commandments. Very few recent events illustrate more clearly the extent to which this country, under the leadership of those mentioned, is drifting away from the rule of law. In fact, that kind of behavior is endemic in other power oriented systems worldwide, and is a natural consequence of such systems. When rules are abandoned in favor of power, the emphasis is upon not getting caught rather than on being honest. The Democrats have no fear of getting caught because they have control of the office of the federal Attorney-General, the office being held by Eric Holder. In that situation their natural inclinations are allowed to run free.
The remaining link at the beginning of this piece is to an article about a charge of racism being made because 12 of the 13 people being charged with corruption, in a single Illinois investigation, were black and the 13th was the white wife of one of the other 12. A personal friend of Barak Obama's, a Dr. Whitaker, was dropped as a potential witness against the 13 because he made the charge that racism was involved in the investigation. His racism charge was based on nothing more than the fact that all who were charged were black or the spouse of a black. He, apparently, believes that blacks cannot be charged with criminal activity unless a proportionate number of whites are charged with a similar charge at the same time. I suppose that means he believes either that the blacks who have allegedly committed the crime must go free for want of whites to be charged at the same time, or that a sufficient number innocent and unsuspecting whites be rounded up and charged to justify charging the blacks. Where would he get such a preposterous idea? He could have gotten it from an agreement the federal government forced on the Minnesota school system. It is exactly the scheme the federal government incorporated in an agreement the Minnesota school system was required to sign with respect to the disciplining of black public school students. In the latter agreement, discussed in an earlier article, #192 on this website, the Minnesota schools could only discipline the number of blacks that represented a percentage of the number of white students who were disciplined. No matter how you slice it, it is not consistent with the rule of law which guarantees equal treatment of individuals under the law.
Two of the three articles, to which the reader is directed by the links at the beginning of this piece, therefore, illustrate the extent to which the system of fairness given to us by our founding fathers, the rule of law, has been, and continues to be, mangled by the Democratic Party in order to hang onto the power position it has been given by the solid black voting bloc, and it is interesting to compare our experience to the Chinese situation in which that country has realized that if it is to prosper, it must move toward the system which we are abandoning. The message here is very clear. We are headed down the tubes, economically, socially, and politically, unless we halt this downward slide.