Doing DeLay A Solid

From Holden:

My hometown DA, Ronnie Earle, did Tom DeLay a big favor by requesting that a warrant be issued for DeLay’s arrest.

U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, might not want to be tried in Travis County on money-laundering charges — and he also may skip getting booked in front of a media circus expected at his first Travis County court appearance Friday.

State District Judge Bob Perkins on Wednesday issued an arrest warrant for the former U.S. House majority leader that allows DeLay to be booked in any Texas county, including in his hometown of Sugar Land, away from the media throng expected in Austin.

Until Wednesday’s warrant was issued, DeLay had only been summoned to appear in 331st District Court at 9 a.m. Friday. The warrant, which requires a defendants to be booked, then could have been issued in court that day, and DeLay would have gone downstairs to be photographed and fingerprinted on the first floor of the Travis County Criminal Justice Center. The booking room has a wall of windows that would have allowed the news media to record the moment.


DeGuerin refused to say when or where his client would be booked on the felony charges of violating the state election code and money-laundering. Both charges also include conspiracy counts.

“Tom DeLay will be in (Judge) Perkins’ courtroom at 9 a.m. Friday,” DeGuerin said. “Nothing else is definite. We might have him go to Presidio,” in far West Texas.

Typically, politicians worry that their mug shots or footage of them being booked will be used in campaign ads against them. DeLay is being challenged in 2006 by Democrat Nick Lampson, a former U.S. House member whose campaign had almost $690,000 in the bank on Sept. 30, compared with DeLay’s $1.16 million.