|Tom DeLay- Corporate Whore|
Some DeLay Charges May Be Reinstated
March 24, 2006
By APRIL CASTRO Associated Press Writer
© 2006 The Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas — Prosecutors will try to persuade a Texas appeals court Wednesday to reinstate some of the criminal charges against Rep. Tom DeLay, who is trying to win re-election to Congress while under indictment.
In December, a judge threw out some of the conspiracy and money laundering charges against the former House majority leader, saying the conspiracy law DeLay allegedly violated did not exist at the time.
Prosecutors say that it did. Both sides will argue their cases before the Texas 3rd Court of Appeals.
DeLay, who will not attend the hearing, said charges shouldn't be restored and blamed the case on politics. He also said he's frustrated with the proceedings.
"It's been almost 120 days that this frivolous appeal has been before the 3rd Circuit," DeLay said Tuesday in Houston. "I would hope that they would come to a speedy resolution on a matter that would, I think, take a first-year law student an hour to make a ruling on."
Because of the dispute, no trial date has been set.
DeLay is accused of funneling illegal corporate donations to Republican candidates for the Texas House. The Republicans went on to win control of the Legislature in 2002 and pushed through a DeLay-engineered redistricting plan that helped Texas send more Republicans to Congress in 2004.
Richard Murray, director of the Center for Public Policy at the University of Houston, said the prosecutors' appeal serves to "drag this case out and the congressman really doesn't need that."
"Tom DeLay needs this case to move forward to a favorable resolution before November," Murray said. "Every time he's mentioned in the press, it's 'indicted, indicted, indicted' and that's corrosive."
DeLay faces Democratic former Rep. Nick Lampson in November, in what could be the congressman's most serious challenge since voters in his Houston-area district sent him to Capitol Hill in 1984.
Lampson was defeated for re-election to the House two years ago following the redrawing of the congressional map. That map is now at the center of a U.S. Supreme Court case over whether it was created in an overly partisan way.
Lampson campaign manager Mike Malaise said the hearing Wednesday points again to "all the ethical problems surrounding Tom DeLay."
"This one just kind of adds to the overall picture of Tom DeLay as someone who's been doing for himself in Washington rather than doing for the people of southeast Texas," he said.
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