OVERKILL ON DELAY? Look, I despise him for all the usual reasons

his ruthless partisanship, his fusion of conservatism with corporate cronyism, his proud gerrymandering, his homophobia, his view of ethics as things to get around rather than enforce, and on and on. But I’m still unsure why he’s been landed with a criminal indictment rather than something a little more appropriate for what he appears to have done. Here’s a must-read WaPo editorial:

This was an obvious end run around the corporate contribution rule. The more difficult question is whether it was an illegal end run — or, to be more precise, one so blatantly illegal that it amounts to a criminal felony rather than a civil violation. For Mr. DeLay to be convicted, prosecutors will have to show not only that he took part in the dodge but also that he knew it amounted to a violation of state law — rather than the kind of clever money-trade that election lawyers engineer all the time.
Mr. DeLay’s spokesman said this month that “to his knowledge all activities were properly reviewed and approved by lawyers” for TRMPAC. If so, the criminal law seems like an awfully blunt instrument to wield against Mr. DeLay.

We’ll see, I guess.


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