Monday, January 10, 2011

How much is three years' worth of soap-on-a-rope?

Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay today was sentenced to three years in prison for his conviction on a charge of conspiracy to commit political money laundering. He also was sentenced to five years in prison on a money laundering conviction, but the judge probated that to 10 years of community supervision.

DeLay was taken into custody by Travis County deputies, but will be released on $10,000 bail pending appeal.

DeLay pleaded for himself before visiting District Judge Pat Priest.

"I don't feel remorseful for something I don't think I did," DeLay told the judge.

Yes, he'll bond out on appeal and his chances are much better with the Republicans at that level, but today goes down as a good day for justice.

Even as Republicans in both Washington and Austin prepare to overreach once more, a ray of light on a cold day in Deep-In-The-Hearta is enough to warm my heart just a little. Matt Angle at the LSP reminds us, though ...

Given the confirmation of a $27 billion Texas budget deficit, a purely partisan Republican vote on the State House Speaker, and the tragedy in Arizona, the sentencing today of Tom DeLay for felony money laundering may seem like yesterday’s news. In reality, the timing is fitting and relevant. DeLay’s extreme and ruthless partisanship has imprinted on Texas Republicans and his style will be on display today and throughout the legislative session.

“Whether DeLay spends 24 minutes, 24 days or 24 months in custody, his punishment will not undo the damage he has done to hundreds of thousands of Texas voters," said Matt Angle, head of the Lone Star Project.

“Tom DeLay – with enthusiastic help from Rick Perry, David Dewhurst and the Bush Department of Justice – not only robbed Hispanic and African American citizens of their voting strength, but made all other Texans subject to an extreme brand of partisanship that is even worse than Washington's.

“There is little reason to feel comfort in justice being served to Tom DeLay today. His corrupt, partisan legacy lives on in Austin and is being practiced enthusiastically by the Republicans currently in control in Texas.”

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