DeLay, and his attorney, Brian Wice, are hoping to get his convictions overturned. On Oct. 10, they will finally get a chance to make their case to the 3rd Court of Appeals, arguing the once-powerful Republican leader did nothing wrong and is the victim of a political vendetta, a claim that prosecutors deny.
DeLay, 65, was found guilty in November 2010 of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering for helping illegally funnel corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002.
Sitting with DeLay in his office in downtown Houston on Wednesday, Wice used a literary allusion to explain the case. He compared DeLay to Jean Valjean, the kind-hearted protagonist of Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables.” He called Ronnie Earle, the now-retired Democratic Travis County District Attorney in Austin who charged the former lawmaker, a modern-day Inspector Javert, who pursued Valjean at all costs.
The Travis County District Attorney’s Office says the case was never about politics but about someone who broke Texas law.
“Our office has always been fair and never been politically motivated in prosecuting this defendant or any other,” said prosecutor Holly Taylor.
I believe it was Ronnie Earle who said “Being called partisan by Tom DeLay is like being called ugly by a toad.” But never mind that, I feel a song coming on:
Yes, Jean Valjean was exactly like Tom DeLay, with his book deal and his touring the country giving speeches and rubbing elbows with power brokers, and of course his gig on “Viennese Waltzing With The Stars”, which was a big hit back in the day. Valjean also had a legal defense fund that helped keep him afloat all those years he was being pursued by Javert. It’s like they’re twins separated by a couple of centuries and the fact that one of them is fictional.
If I hadn’t been a math major, I might have read enough Great Books to have a better fictional doppelganger for DeLay to suggest, but I didn’t and I don’t. So I’ll leave that to you. Make your nomination for DeLay’s true literary counterpart in the comments. I’m sure we’ll get a better answer than this.