September 28, 2005

Paging Ronnie Earle...

Hatched by Dafydd

Let me get my thoughts in order here. Today, Rep. Tom DeLay was indicted by District Attorney Ronnie Earle (D-DNC) on charges of conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws because a political action committee, Texans for a Republican Majority, on whose board DeLay serves, accepted some money from some corporations -- and then sent a different amount of money to the Republican National Committee with recommendations of various Texas politicians to whom they might, if they chose, donate money.

The indictment accused DeLay of a conspiracy to "knowingly make a political contribution" in violation of Texas law outlawing corporate contributions. It alleged that DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority political action committee accepted $155,000 from companies, including Sears Roebuck, and placed the money in an account.

The PAC then wrote a $190,000 check to an arm of the Republican National Committee and provided the committee a document with the names of Texas State House candidates and the amounts they were supposed to received in donations, the indictment said.

The indictment included a copy of the check.

Ah, but did it also include a copy of the contributions to Texans for a Republican Majority by ordinary people, not corporations? Did that amount exceed $190,000?

John Hinderaker, over on Power Line, has much, much more on the DeLay "indictment." As usual, John nails it.

Democrats are screaming that DeLay, being in charge of the PAC, just shoulder the legal blame for any irregularities committed (or even alleged to have been committed) by the PAC. In short, they want Tom DeLay sent to prison, or at least expelled from the House.

Over on the other channel, we have two aides to Charles Schumer, Katie Barge and Lauren Weiner, who allegedly fraudulently obtained a credit report on Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele, a likely Republican contender to steal away the Senate seat being vacated by five-term Democratic Sen. Paul Sarbanes -- first elected to the Senate the year Jimmy Carter stumbled into the presidency.

Schumer Staffers Eyed in Probe of Political ID Theft
By Deborah Orin
Bureau Chief
New York Post
September 22, 2005

Two staffers on a Democratic political committee headed by Sen. Chuck Schumer are being investigated by the FBI for an alleged dirty trick โ€” getting a Republican candidate's credit report illegally, officials confirmed yesterday....

Sources familiar with the situation said the [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's] head of research, Katie Barge, and a deputy, Lauren Weiner, got the credit report by using Steele's Social Security number, which they say they obtained from public documents....

The U.S. Attorney's office confirmed that it was alerted by the committee but declined to say whether it is or could become a target of the probe.

I'm not a lawyer, but if true, this would appear to be a violation of the Schumer-Nelson ID Theft Prevention Bill, which as Captain Ed wryly notes, was introduced by one Sen. Charles Schumer.

So correct me if I've missed something, but here we appear to have the allegation that a couple of aides who work for Chuck Schumer -- Schumer is the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee -- have committed serious ethical and possibly criminal violations. In response, per Captain Ed (quoting the New York Post), Schumer sent the two on paid vacations:

Phil Singer, a spokesman for the Schumer-headed Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said two staffers were instantly suspended โ€” with pay โ€” in July after admitting they obtained the credit report of Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who is running for Senate. [emphasis added]

So where, may I ask, are the Democrats screaming for an indictment of Schumer under the same theory by which DeLay was indicted for something allegedly done by a committee he doesn't even head, but on whose board he merely serves?

Where is the Republican Ronnie Earle for the District of Columbia?

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 28, 2005, at the time of 3:26 PM

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The following hissed in response by: RBMN

Ronnie Earle should go down to the Abilene Kinkos and wait by the fax machine, and hope something comes in from Lucy Ramirez. So far, Earle's got nothing. As far as I can tell, he has the rough outline of a theory, of a technicality, of a crime. Yawn.

The above hissed in response by: RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 28, 2005 4:28 PM

The following hissed in response by: Carolynp

I don't believe in the polls. I think the Republicans can walk away from the Delay situation smelling great. I also think Delay can write a great ticket if he wins this round in the court of public opinion. For me, I would rather see Earle publicly indicted for abuse of his office within the next two months than see Schumer go down, although both pictures make me smile.
Actually, while we're discussing happy smiley pictures, maybe Sheehan goes to jail for two years and Pelosi and Clinton don't get re-elected?

The above hissed in response by: Carolynp [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 28, 2005 11:50 PM

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