The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Ronnie Earle v Tom DeLay: more redistricting shenanigans
Way back on October 3, I plaintively enquired
What's Ronnie Earle's deal?and found no satisfactory answer, but much scope for actual journalism.
If anyone has provided any, I've yet to see it.
The infamous decision of House Republicans to can their little rule about GOP leaders having to resign their posts if indicted for a crime carrying a maximum sentence of two years or more has naturally suggested a clear and present danger of Prince of Darkness Tom DeLay suffering that fate. And Earle would be the guy to solicit such an indictment from a grand jury down in Austin.
Meanwhile, the Austin Chronicle of November 7 suggests one line of counter-attack: redistricting.
There are, it seems, various anomalies in the coverage of Texas district attorneys, such as to give an element of plausibility to such an exercise:
For example, Kerrville and San Angelo (Kerr and Tom Green counties, respectively) each have two elected district attorneys, each of whom also represents additional, noncoinciding counties. In Tom Green Co., the two prosecutors alternate taking indictments...
Texas is not as other states...
The piece suggests that the MO would not be anything as crude as swamping Earle's district with GOP voters:
Far more likely is that a bill that remaps judicial and prosecutor districts across the state will include a provision placing the Public Integrity Unit under the control of the Texas attorney general.
Earle has charge of the Public Integrity Unit, I'm thinking, ex officio as DA for the county (Travis County) in which the state capital is located. And cases like TRMPAC are brought by him as head of the PIU, not as Travis DA.
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