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« Reform Thursday: Week Sixteen. | WILLisms.com | NBC's Agenda On Judicial Nominees. »

On Ronnie Earle Raising Money For Democrats.

Ronnie Earle is at it again. The partisan Democrat District Attorney from Travis County (Austin), Texas, has, because of a quirk in the Texas law, the peculiar jurisdiction over statewide political issues, and he has persistently abused that authority over the past decade.

Earle became ignominious in Texas when he launched the politically motivated investigation of three of Tom DeLay's associates working for Texans For a Republican Majority (TRMPAC). This investigation has not produced any credible or compelling evidence of corruption, but it is widely cited by the left as evidence that DeLay is dirty.

In the ongoing controversy over whether he is an objective voice for justice or merely an arm of the DeLay-hating mob, Earle has "hammered" the final nail in that coffin.


According to The Houston Chronicle, Earle has now crossed the line into raising money for far-left interest groups:

A newly formed Democratic political action committee, Texas Values in Action Coalition, hosted the May 12 event in Dallas to raise campaign money to take control of the state Legislature from the GOP, organizers said.

Earle, an elected Democrat, helped generate $102,000 for the organization.

In his remarks, Earle likened DeLay to a bully and spoke about political corruption and the investigation involving DeLay, the House majority leader from Sugar Land, according to a transcript supplied by Earle....

"It may help Tom DeLay establish his case that Ronnie Earle's investigation is a partisan witch hunt," said Richard Murray, a political scientist with the University of Houston.

"It clearly fuels the perception that his investigation is politically motivated. It was probably not a wise move," said Larry Noble, a former Federal Election Commission lawyer who heads the watchdog group Center for Responsive Politics.

Earle has a history of vicious partisan hackery:

EARLE'S LAST FORAY INTO politicized prosecution in 1993 turned into a huge embarrassment when he went after Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), who was then Texas Treasurer. Earle made a series of trumped-up charges, including that the demure Hutchison had physically assaulted an employee. Earle dropped the case during the trial.


Defenders of Earle like to point to the red herring that Earle has prosecuted Democrats, as well as Republicans, over the years. What they don't mention is that those Democrats were clearly guilty of serious violations (the cases were open and shut), and those prosecutions happened decades ago, when Texas was essentially a one-party state (controlled almost entirely by Democrats).

The real issue here is a failure on the part of Democrats to cope with the loss of political power they held in Texas (and elsewhere) for so many generations. Because Democrats have been so ineffective at the ballot box, and because DeLay is, in part, responsible for that failure, he must be destroyed.

Ronnie Earle, by invoking DeLay's name in the raising of money for far-left Democrat interest groups, has shown his true colors; he is indeed a partisan prosecutor out to get DeLay, and those who claim otherwise are deluding themselves.


The American people are largely ignoring the Democrats' incessant attacks on DeLay, according to a recent survey (via blogHouston).


Activate The "Auto-Discredit" Function.


"Dollars for Dismissals"?

Posted by Will Franklin · 19 May 2005 02:55 PM


Just imagining Kay Bailey Hutchison assaulting an employee or anyone is pretty far fetched! It is laughable at best!...Wow, that is really quite funny! Sorry but this guy must have missed his medication that day or something!

Posted by: Ishka at May 19, 2005 04:17 PM

Can you imagine Kay Bailey Hutchison in a wrestling match?

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at May 20, 2005 05:25 AM

Let's take a look at some overlooked facts about politics, corporate cash and campaigns in the Lone Star state.

Ronnie Earle says his motivations are not political, so why did he help inspire a new Democrat political action committee called, Texas Values in Action Committee (TEXVAC), whose mission is for Democrats to takeover the Texas state legislature from the GOP. He even gave a speech at their recent fundraiser and helped bring in over $100,000 in donations. Printed on TEXVAC's Web-site is this disclaimer:

“Note that corporate contributions are prohibited by state law, and only personal checks or credit cards will be accepted.”

That statement is simply not true. Here is what Texas state law says:

COMMITTEE. (a) A corporation, acting alone or with one or more
other corporations, may make one or more political expenditures to
finance the establishment or administration of a general-purpose committee.”

Also, if Ronnie Earle is so concerned about the amount of corporate and labor money influencing campaigns in Texas then he should look at the Democrats who raised and spent more corporate and labor cash. The following is an excerpt of a non-partisan report called “Passing the Bucks: Texas” compiled by Followthemoney.org.

National party contributions to Texas state committees increased dramatically over the three election cycles. These committees gave just $2.3 million in 1998, $5.2 million in 2000 and $16.3 million in 2002. The Texas Democratic Party received the bulk of the 2002 contributions, taking in $11 million to the GOP's $5.2 million."

Ronnie Earle got an indictment against Jim Ellis because he claims that Ellis took $190,000 of corporate money raised in Texas (also called “soft” money,) and gave it to the Republican National Committee, and then over a period of two weeks, the RNC sent hard money back to Texas candidates in the exact amount. Well, since the RNC's soft money account and the RNC State Elections Committee account of hard dollars are completely separate, Ellis' action was legal. And, the actual amount that the RNC gave to candidates in that election cycle in Texas equaled over $1 million during that election cycle.

(see another column written by an elections lawyer, Cleta Mitchell at, http://www.family.org/cforum/fnif/commentary/a0036509.cfm)

If Ronnie Earle is concerned about hard for soft or soft for hard money trades, read again an excerpt from “Passing the Bucks: Texas.”

“The Institute found eight trades of soft money for hard money, all between the Democratic National Committee and the Texas Democratic Party. In two trades in 1998, the DNC sent $172,500 in soft money to Texas, and the state party sent back $150,000 in hard money. In two trades in 2000, the DNC sent $150,000 of soft money and received $125,000 in hard money. And over a series of four trades in 2002, the DNC gave the state party $255,000 in soft money, and the Texas Democratic Party sent $225,000 in hard money to the DNC.”

It seems clear to me that Ronnie Earle is partisan and is selectively prosecuting the TRMPAC case because he wants to taint Tom DeLay. TRMPAC fully disclosed their receipts and expenditures as required by the IRS. If Ronnie Earle is concerned about a lack of full disclosure, just take a look at the filed reports of the Texas Trial Lawyers PAC that raised millions in the 2002 election cycle. Not one expenditure is listed other than campaign contributions. Is there no staff to pay for? No rent? No costs for fundraising? No telephone bills? Maybe they didn't list those expenditures because they didn't want anyone to know who actually paid for it. Why doesn't Ronnie Earle ask those questions? Maybe perhaps the Trial Lawyers PAC donated tens of thousands of dollars to Earle's campaigns for District Attorney?

A recent LA Times magazine cover story featured Earle's prosecutorial pursuits. Earle was asked if he was nervous about making a mistake in the TRMPAC indictments especially after his failure in prosecuting Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison in the 90's. His reply that making a mistake in this case “would not be the end of the world.” Tell that to Jim Ellis, a widower who is raising his teenage daughter while trying to defend himself from these ridiculous charges.

Earle can indict someone like Jim Ellis and it would be no big deal if he's wrong? It's an outrage and an abuse of power.

Posted by: Mel Hopkins at May 23, 2005 10:43 AM

Blogarifica must not get out much. It's actually well-known on Capitol Hill that Hutchison threw a toaster at an intern who forgot to toast her bagels one morning.

Posted by: Joe G. Biles at May 26, 2005 06:42 PM

I *heart* ronnie earle. much classier than will franklin.

but who isn't?

Posted by: anon at June 8, 2005 06:36 AM

Joe G. Biles - Correction, Ishka wrote about Hutchison, not Blogarifica.

Posted by: Clint Thomson (Blogarifica) at June 11, 2005 11:25 PM