I think most people would agree that Ronnie Earl, District Attorney of Travis County, Texas, is kinda nuts. He once indicted, pleaded guilty, and fined HIMSELF $200 for untimely reporting of campaign finances. A fine, by the way, that is the lowest assessed to any public official "convicted" by Earl in his career. I also think that he sometimes uses his office to accomplish political goals. He once indicted then State Treasurer Kay Bailey Hutchison then dropped the charges in the middle of the trial. Nearly all of his "convictitions" are the result of plea bargaining. And the total jailtime served by ALL officials he has prosecuted is 60 DAYS! When an indicted official goes to trial, eg, Hutchison, Mattox, they are acquitted, or the charges are dropped. Earl, the DA in the only blue county in Texas, Travis County, has written an opinion piece for the New York Times. My responses are in [brackets].
WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD
By Ronnie Earle, Special to the New York Times
AUSTIN - It is a rare day when members of the U.S. Congress try to read the minds of the members of a grand jury in Travis County. Apparently Tom DeLay's colleagues expect him to be indicted. [ With Earl's past record of using his office for political hatchet jobs, can they be blamed??]
Last week, congressional Republicans voted to change their rule that required an indicted leader to relinquish his post.[ After a review by a committee, to determine if the indictment actually has merit and was not POLITICALLY motivated. He forgot to add that little detail.] They were responding to an investigation by the Travis County grand jury into political contributions by corporations that has already resulted in the indictments of three associates of DeLay, the House majority leader.
Yet no member of Congress has been indicted in the investigation, and none is a target unless he or she has committed a crime. [I suspect that now, they will not be indicted. Since Ronnie can't accomplish his goal of knocking out Tom delay from the leadership position.]
The grand jury [Composed of partisan Travis County Democrats, just like the DA.] will continue its work, abiding by the rule of law. That law requires a grand jury of citizens, not the prosecutor, to determine whether probable cause exists to hold an accused person to answer for the accusation against him or her. Politicians in Congress are responsible for the leaders they choose. Their choices reflect their moral values. [ It certainly does! And I don't think Earl can stand it because Tom Delay did the same thing for the Republican's in 2001 that Martin Frost did for the Democrats in 1990.]
Every law enforcement officer depends on the moral values and integrity of society for backup; they are like body armor. The cynical destruction of moral values at the top makes it hard for law enforcement to do its job. [He wraps himself in the mantle of a law enforcement officer. What a disgusting load of cynical, self serving CRAP!!]
In terms of moral values, this is where the rubber meets the road. The rules you apply to yourself are the true test of your moral values. [Hmmm. Would that you would apply the same to yourself.]
The thinly veiled personal attacks on me by DeLay's supporters in this case are no different from those in the cases of any of the 15 elected officials whom this office has prosecuted in my 27-year tenure. Most of these officials -- 12 Democrats and three Republicans -- have accused me of having political motives. What else are they going to say? [If they said anything else, it would not be the truth.]
For most of my tenure, the Democrats held the power in state government. Now Republicans do. Most crimes by elected officials involve the abuse of power; you have to have power before you can abuse it. [He should know. He has the power, and he abuses it.]
There is no limit to what you can do if you have the power to change the rules.[ Or apply them selectively. Eh, Ronnie?] Congress may make its own rules, but the public makes the rule of law and depends for its peace on the enforcement of the law. Hypocrisy at the highest levels of government is toxic to the moral fiber that holds our communities together. [ This statement is simply jaw-dropping in it's hypocricy!]
The open contempt for moral values by our elected officials has a corrosive effect. It is a sad day for law enforcement when Congress offers such poor leadership on moral values and ethical behavior. We are a moral people, and the first lesson of democracy is not to hold the public in contempt. [ Thus concludes the lesson in morals from a person who does not possess a single strand. He would not know a moral if it jumped out and bit him in the ass!!]