Texas GOP promises to be good next time, avoids prosecution
See, I always thought that punishment was supposed to be a deterrent to crime. You do the crime, you do the time. But I guess that's only in the movies. In real life it's about deals. But usually it's about deals where you give up the bigger fish in exchange for a smaller sentence.
With the Texas GOP, however, it's about do-overs. No zero tolerance here. Okay, they screwed up, and got caught. But they promise not to do it again. Honest! And so they go scot-free.
If Texas Democrats got caught breaking campaign laws, they'd be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail. But Republicans have "values", so they're exempt.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of Texas Democrats. There are very few I'd trust with my tax money. Nick Lampson, Richard Morrison, ..... ah, I guess that's about it. My opinion is that anyone who seeks public office disqualifies them automatically.
But to have evidence that the Texas Republicans so blatantly violated election laws, and because of this managed to rewrite the political landscape (including district boundaries) in the 2002 elections, and then walk away with a slap on the wrist, smacks of a double standard of the grandest degree.
The Texas GOP gets a do-over. They have a majority in both the House and the Senate. They've rewritten Congressional Districts that favor Republican candidates by mixing a majority of higher demographic neighborhoods with a minority of lower demographic neighborhoods in each district through strategically drawn boundaries, even thoough overall the poor voters outnumber the rich voters.
And still they get a do-over. No take-backs. Basically, they're agreeing to not break the law anymore, but they're not sorry they did it in the past. They call it a "gray area", and want to save the taxpayers from an expensive trial. How noble of them. After all, they're complicated laws. With all the high-powered lawyers on their payroll, they couldn't figure these high-falutin' laws out.
Just like Arthur Anderson didn't know that Enron was cooking it's books to build up stock value.
So what if the Texas GOP collected over $2 million from corporations to run their campaigns, and spent a good portion of that on activities that they're not allowed to spend corporate money on? It's still a grass-roots campaign, because people work for these corporations, and people buy things from these corporations, and the corporations have to have tax shelters anyway, so why not right-wing political campaigns, right?
The ends justifies the means. Big business got what they wanted. The GOP good ol' boys in Austin got what they wanted. Tom DeLay and his religious right got what they wanted.
So sure, they promise they'll play by the rules next time. Unless they don't get what they want next time. Then, if they can't win by playing by the rules, they'll just break 'em, and change 'em again.