Pity Tom DeLay

From Holden:

Poor Tom DeaLay. He strongarms Denny the Meatpuppet into pushing the opening of the House back to January 31 in hopes that his legal problems in Texas might be resolved, allowing him to reclaim the Majority Leader’s post that is rightfully his, only to have that meanie Ronnie Earle appeal Judge Pat Priest’s decision to drop the conspiracy charge against DeLay, which could delay DeLay’s trial on money laundering charges by several months.

Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle asked a judge Monday to stay all proceedings in the money-laundering case against U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay while he appeals the dismissal of a related conspiracy charge.

If granted, a stay could hamper DeLay’s efforts to get a January trial. An early trial is key to the Sugar Land Republican’s hopes to regain his position as House majority leader.

[snip]

[Senior District Judge Pat] Priest said in an e-mail to reporters Monday night that he will hear the state’s motion to stay and DeLay’s motion to sever the money-laundering charge on Dec. 27.

[snip]

The judge found the state conspiracy law did not apply to the election code until a year after the 2002 elections when the alleged violations occurred.

“We do not believe that it was lawful for persons to conspire to violate the election laws of Texas. This is an important aspect of the state’s case and we believe the appeal could have some value as precedent,” Earle wrote in a letter to Priest.

The 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin will consider the appeal, which DeLay’s lawyer said could take months.

And to add insult to injury, now poor Tom will have to face a challenger for his congressional seat in the Republican primary.

Sugar Land Republican Tom DeLay will face opposition in the GOP primary this March from a challenger he’s defeated three times.

Attorney Michael Fjetland, who has run against DeLay as a Republican and an independent, has officially filed in the 2006 GOP primary for the 22nd Congressional District.