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Tom DeLay Conviction Overturned by Appellate Court

Ben Sklar, /Getty Images

Thursday afternoon, a Texas appellate court overturned a three year-old conviction for former Congressman Tom DeLay. The vote by a 3rd Court of Appeals panel was 2-1.

DeLay had been convicted in 2010 of laundering corporate contributions by diverting money to other campaigns to help elect Republicans to the state Legislature. The panel ruled that DeLay did not violate any state laws.

DeLay’s lawyer told the Austin American-Stateman they are happy with the decision, “When I see (DeLay), I’m going to dump a Gatorade bucket over (his) head. We won the Super Bowl,” said Brian Wice.

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg will appeal the ruling to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. “We are absolutely going to appeal it,” she said to the Statesman. “We strongly disagree with the opinion.”

A left-wing watchdog group is also working to appeal the overturing of DeLay’s successful appeal.

In a release from Texas Correct, they state Public Citizen and Texans for Public Justice provided then-Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle with much of the information on which DeLay’s conviction was based. The organizations compiled records of all the funds raised by DeLay’s state PAC (TRMPAC) and other committees, and provided evidence that DeLay did not raise enough non-corporate money to account for all the funds he laundered into the 2002 redistricting election.

“The hubris of DeLay was stunning,” said Craig Holman, Public Citizen’s government affairs lobbyist. “The scheme DeLay orchestrated served both to put the Texas state government under Republican control and, in turn, strengthen DeLay’s own leadership position in Washington D.C. DeLay shouldn’t get off scot-free.”

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