Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Ronnie Earle Doth Protest Too Much
Like an observer along the back row of the theatre in a magic show, I cannot help but wonder, while Democratic prosecutor Ronnie Earle is performing his legal slight of hand against House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, what is going on in the other hand while we’re watching the performance? What other, potentially more-important ball, is our eye being drawn away from while this next media circus unfolds?
With $200-billion up for grabs in restoring the Gulf Coast to pre-hurricane conditions, it seems our time and attention might be better spent overseeing how that federal mother lode is to be administered, instead of picking sides in a relatively penny-ante spitting contest…which, apparently, is looking more and more like a thinly-veiled political hatchet job by a puppet prosecutor for the party most recently spurned by a fickle electorate.
All the whoopla and uproar is over $190,000, used in an apparently legal manner…although ethically questionable...when the fact is both parties are adept at this brand of sleight-of-hand.
Texans for a Republican Majority, otherwise known as TRMPAC, or "trim-pack," sent $190,000 to Republican National State Elections Committee, a.k.a. RNSEC, or "rinse-sec," and RNSEC then sent the same total amount in seven checks ranging from $20,000 to $40,000 to Texas House candidates in 2002.
Travis County DA Ronnie Earle, a Democrat, says this is money laundering, because the money that TRMPAC sent to RNSEC came from corporations, which are barred from contributing to campaigns in Texas.
What you're not going to hear in the press is that A) This is a perfectly legal move, and B) the Democrats did the exact same thing. Maybe that will all come out in the wash...in the RNSEC cycle, perhaps (gotta keep this money laundering metaphor afloat!)
A recent study by the Institute on Money in State Politics discovered the Texas Democratic Party did the same thing in October 2002 when it sent $75,000 to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and received $75,000 back from the DNC the very same day.
Ironic, don't you think, that the Democrats pulled off an exact, duplicate move in 2002? Only the names and the amounts were changed--especially the amounts: Democrats transferred a total of approximately $11 million dollars in soft money from its national parties to fund Texas campaigns in 2002, compared to $5.2 million transferred by Republicans.
Methinks the political Pot is calling the Kettle a Cookware-American…and mewonders what else is going on that we’re not seeing, while we’re watching this political freakshow unfold.