Sunday, October 2


The Dallas Morning News looks for what Tom DeLay and Ronnie Earle have in common. They're both relentless and tenacious, but I'll take Ronnie's motivations and ideals over Tom's cynical corruption any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Interestingly, the conservative and staunchly pro-GOP DMN doesn't make DeLie sound very good in comparison with Earle. More evidence that the Bug Man has crossed a bridge too far to recover?

If Mr. DeLay sees Wednesday's indictment on charges of conspiracy to violate the state's election laws as a political witch hunt by a "partisan zealot," Mr. Earle sees it as part of a mission to save democracy.

"We have a problem," Mr. Earle told an Austin group two weeks ago. "It's the corruption of our representative democracy by large amounts of money. This is an issue of concentrated power, and concentrated power in any form erodes democracy."

The 63-year-old prosecutor said the threat of big money in politics has animated him as he has pursued a three-year grand jury investigation of corporate cash in Texas races.

"Ronnie's not an ideologue in the sense of people who have fixed views on some sort of issue," said former Austin lawyer David Richards. "He's an idealist."

Political master
Mr. DeLay's politics are decidedly practical and comfortably concrete. Conservatives and liberals. Allies and obstacles. Good guys and bad guys. Exterminators and pests.


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