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If the plaintiffs in the TRMPAC civil suit win...

...they should donate the money they win in damages to the institute Ronnie Earle is setting up at the University of Texas to educate the public about corporate money in politics.

Trial begins in civil suit involving DeLay's TRMPAC

The New York Times (registration) takes a look at the story behind the story in the civil lawsuit filed by five former Texas state representatives against Tom DeLay's TRMPAC's treasurer:

A civil trial scheduled to open here on Monday involving allegations of illegal campaign contributions to Republican members of the Texas House is likely to attract almost as much attention in the halls of Congress as it will on the floor of the State Legislature.

Esquire profiles Ronnie Earle

This month's Esquire has a long profile of Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle by John H. Richardson. I don't do this very often, but since it's only available on-line for those who pay $2.95 to subscribe, I recommend going to your local bookstore or newsstand and picking up the March Esquire for $3. Pass it on to your friends after you read it. It's worth the money.

How to keep prosecutors from prosecuting crimes against politicians

An anti-Ronnie Earle bill was introduced in the Texas Legislature by House Elections Committee Chairwoman Mary Denny (R-Aubrey).

More focus on Ronnie Earle

The AP runs a profile of Travis County DA Ronnie Earle's fight, including this quote from Earle himself:

"I think that democracy is at stake," said the 62-year-old Earle, who has been D.A. since 1977. "The issue is whether large corporate interests can buy more democracy. If large monied interests can control elections, then the principle of `one person, one vote' is meaningless."

Couldn't agree more.

NPR Profiles Travis County DA Ronnie Earle

Monday's profile of the man investigating Tom DeLay.

Postcards from Austin

This is the Texas State Capitol building, otherwise known as the scene of the crime.

The definition of "admonish" and "reality"

DeLay channels Clinton (i.e., depends on what your definition of 'is' is.) in the Galveston County Daily News:

"Look up in the dictionary what admonished means," he said. "All they did was say, 'In this realm, you ought to be careful about your future actions so that the perception, or the appearance, is in keeping with the House.'"

But it's clear he's living in some kind of different reality from what is closing in around him: