Thursday, September 29, 2005

Ronnie Earle: A man of convictions.

Ronnie Earle, the district attorney who indicted the rabidly corrupt Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas), has been smeared as a partisan hack by DeLay apologists and other right-wingers. The problem? Earle is allegedly a Democratic partisan with a clear political agenda. (No one says just what that agenda is, but they say he’s got it.) There was an anonymous liar who just posted on this board just the other day who claimed that Earle goes disproportionately after Republicans. But I’ve got something that the DeLay apologists don’t have: facts. Have a look at Mr. Earle’s record, if you will:

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, 1994: Acquitted of official misconduct and records tampering after Earle dropped the case during the trial.

Former state Rep. Betty Denton, D-Waco, 1995: Sentenced to six months probation and fined $2,000 for listing false loans and contributions on campaign finance reports.

Former state Rep. Lane Denton, D-Waco, 1995: Sentenced to 60 days in work-release program and six years probation, fined $6,000 and ordered to pay more than $67,000 restitution after being convicted of theft and misapplication of fiduciary property for funneling money from the Department of Public Safety Officers Association to a Denton company.

House Speaker Gib Lewis, D-Fort Worth, 1992: In plea bargain, Earle dropped more serious charges when Lewis pleaded no contest to failing to disclose a business investment. Lewis was fined $2,000, and the judge said he took into consideration that Lewis was retiring from public office.

Attorney General Jim Mattox, Democrat, 1985: Acquitted on felony bribery charges. Won re-election.

State Rep. Mike Martin, R-Longview, 1982: Pleaded guilty to perjury after lying about having himself shot to gain publicity. Did not run for re-election.

State Treasurer Warren Harding, Democrat, 1982: Pleaded no contest to official misconduct and dropped re-election bid.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Yarbrough, Democrat, 1978: Sentenced to five years for lying to a grand jury and forgery. Gave up seat.

Oh, why won’t Mr. Earle leave those Republicans alone? (For the benefit of you humorless Republican Party hacks out there: that was irony.)

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