The Elecktronick Tyger Roares
06 December 2005
  Honest; it was on fire when I lay down on it...
So Tom Delay's atorneys are claiming that even though (well, probably they'd say "even if", but what they mean comes through) he did what the DA has charged him with and he's been indicted for, the indictment should still be thrown out.

For why?

Because, they claim, in Texas law, you only commit "money laundering" if you are dealing with actual, physical bills and coins, not with checks.

In other words, had he gone around to Big Business types with a black bag, accepting cash contributions to his PAC, passed those on in a big bag with dollar signs on it to the Republican National State Elections Committee, and then received in return several smaller bags of nickels and dimes individually marked with the names of Texas lawmakers, whose aggregate equalled the big bag he sent to the RNC, that would be money laundering in an attempt to avoid Texas campaign finance statutes which forbid direct corporate contributions to candidates.

BUT, they say, even if he did exactly the same thing, it wouldn't be money-laundering!

It might be violating the election codea.

it might even be CONSPIRACY to violate the election code. (It would not, of course, be conspiracy to commit money laundering, since it wouldn't be money laundering... Welcome to the fun house.)

But it certainly -- oh, no, not ever, could not, not possibly be money laundering 'cos it wasn't, you know, really money -- it was,like, just checks.

Hmmm. Now why might this be so important, that they are practically admitting that he might have, well, sort of, accidentally done something resembling what the indictment says he does, bt trying to get that particular charge thrown out on a technicality?

Well, permit me to quote from an AP story relating to this little matter:
Conspiracy to violate the election code carries up to two years in prison. Money laundering is punishable by five years to life. Conspiracy to commit money laundering carries two years.

To me, "two-years-and-you-serve-about-eleven-months-in-a-country-club" sounds preferable to "five-to-life-in-the-Very-Bsd-Place."

Anyway. The judge ruled that checks "are clearly funds and can be the subject of money laundering," and that was the end of that particular foolishness.

Then Delay's attorney's tried another tack, claiming it couldn't be money laundering, under Texas law, which involves criminal funds, if the funds hadn't been illegally obtained. (Which they admittedly hadn't -- it was legal to give them to Delay's PC, just not directly to the candidates.)

To which the judge responded (i'm starting to like this judge -- and remember, this isn't the original judge; Delay's people got a recusal because the original judge was a Democrat, and so, they said, prejudiced. One wonders gleefully what the original judge would have had to say by this point) that the money became suspect when "it began to be held with the prohibited intent."

He ruled that if prosecutors could establish that Delay and his minions collected corporate money "with the express intent of converting those funds to the use of individual candidates," or converted legally collected funds by asking the RNC to send the same amount back to Texas candidates, "then they will have established that money was laundered."
Conspiracy to violate the election code carries up to two years in prison. Money laundering is punishable by five years to life. Conspiracy to commit money laundering carries two years.
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My interests are broadranging -- comics, music, movies and good ol' science fiction mostly dominate. My Five Most Favouritest Films are (this week) Once Upon A Time in the West, Dark Star, O Lucky Man, Day for Night and Whatever I Watched Recently That Was Good. Currently that's Day for Night.

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Name: mike weber
Location: gainesville, Georgia, United States

Latter fifties, married, out of work (had knee surgery and haven't gotten back to work); my (step) son-in-law is back from Iraq, but a lot of boys are still over there. Support our troops -- throw the Republicans out!

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