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October 21, 2004

Tom Delay Subpoenaed!!!

By Byron LaMasters

Is this the end of the end for Tom DeLay?

The Stakeholder reports on the subpoenae from the office of State Rep. Lon Burnam:

Tom Delay Subpoenaed for Role in 2003 Texas Redistricting

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R) was subpoenaed in Houston to an October 25, 2004 deposition concerning his role in the controversial dispute between Democratic Legislators and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) during last year's redistricting struggle. Texas State Representative Lon Burnam (D--Fort Worth) subpoenaed DeLay in his ongoing lawsuit challenging DPS's use of public funds to achieve political ends and for its destruction of documents following the exodus of Democratic Legislators from the State to prevent a quorum in a redistricting effort that Democrats claim was illegal.


Burnam's lawsuit alleges that the DPS destroyed documents regarding their efforts to apprehend the Legislators and that DPS had no lawful authority to arrest Democratic members who went to Ardmore. A number of high ranking DPS officials have given their depositions, as has Burnam in the case. An Austin Appeals Court recently held that Burnam's case on the open records issue could go forward.


Burnam claims DeLay continued a pattern of obstruction and abuse of power in avoiding service of the subpoena. Burnam had sought to subpoena DeLay at a major Republican fundraising event in Austin on the evening of October 1, 2004, but DeLay and his supporters secretly rescheduled the event to 7:00 a.m., thwarting Burnam's process server. Preventing execution of civil process is a misdemeanor under the Texas Penal Code. On Wednesday, DeLay's attorneys agreed to accept the subpoena for him to prevent service at the event.

"I brought this lawsuit because no government official should be able to use government resources for partisan political purposes and to oppress duly elected officials who are acting in their official capacity," Burnam stated. "If they can do this to an elected official and get away with it, then no citizen's rights can be protected against abuse."

The DCCC could certainly use your help, as can Richard Morrison. Check out their blog as well.

Lon Burnam is one of the most liberal members of the Texas legislature - he actively opposed the war in Iraq, and I got him to speak at the University of Texas anti-war rally in February of 2003 when I was President of the University Democrats. Burnam was also the only vote against Speaker Tom Craddick in 2003 in the Texas House. Having said that, Greg's still happy. So, that's a good thing.

Tom DeLay is resorting to the same old tired crap of a defense:

This is a cheap publicity stunt on something that has no connection to Tom DeLay," Jonathan Grella, a spokesman for DeLay, said Thursday. "It's a frivolous matter that's already been rendered moot and everyone should consider the source."

Tom DeLay's words aren't exactly creditable themselves, so I'll consider the source when I don't giving a damn about what he has to say.

Back to CD 22, there's finally some new polling in the race. I saw (sorry, forgot the link) somewhere that Tom DeLay cited a poll that showed him with 56% (in a three way race) last week. I also received this email from the Morrison campaign yesterday:

New Poll Confirms that DeLay is in Danger

This is a race. DeLay and Club for Growth have bought a combined $500,000
in TV ads. DeLay even showed up and debated Richard last night in Clear
Lake. A new third party poll shows that DeLay at 47%-- traditionally the
kiss of death for incumbents.

That's the good news -- the bad news is that Richard Morrison's name ID is
only 50% in the district.

MyDD is now reporting that this is a seven point race - I still don't see it that close, but here's what he has:

I got my hands on [this poll] from the 22nd CD. 305 RV's, done the 18th-20th (LSP numbers from 10/10-11 as trend):
DeLay 42 (47)
Morrison 35 (33)
Bush is polling 61% in the same poll.

Needless to say, there's ample reason to suspect that this race is closing, but the question is how much? In addition to Campaign Money Watch, Democracy for America is now up with a television ad. I think this race will come down to whether the DCCC decides to make an investment in the final week. If not, DeLay probably wins. If the DCCC comes in, there's a possibility this race will close even further, although I'm still doubtful about a Democrats' chances in CD 22 under any circumstances, the current ones are about the most favorable ever for Democrats.

Update: Here's quotes of Richard Morrison's press release on the matter today:

“The redistricting was part of Tom DeLay’s master plan to get more power and
he wasn’t going to let anything get in his way. Not the legislative
process, not the voters and certainly not the letter of the law,” said
Morrison. [...]

“We reap what we sow and Tom DeLay’s corruption is catching up with him,”
said Morrison. “Almost every legal authority has found DeLay guilty of
unethical acts. First it was the House Ethics Committee, then it was the
Supreme Court and now he’s got to face the music here at home in Texas.”

Posted by Byron LaMasters at October 21, 2004 04:20 PM | TrackBack


I missed the part in my criminal law class where a subpoena was an arrest, indictment, and conviction, all rolled into one.

If he committed any crimes, he should be removed from office and sent to jail. But whether he committed any crimes is for a jury of his peers to decide. As far as I understood, its innocent until proven guilty. Are we changing it to "innocent until proven guilty, unless you're a Republican?"

Posted by: Drew at October 21, 2004 06:29 PM
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