Tom DeLay's Appeal Brief Is As Hilariously Over the Top As He Is
Tom DeLay's embarrassing stint on Dancing with the Stars apparently taught him one thng: Go Hollywood and go brash.
The appellate brief filed seeking to overturn his money-laundering conviction is, courtesy of Houston lawyer Brian Wice, as over the top as the man himself.
In a three-page prologue, it quotes the musical Chicago, Shakespeare, Les Misérables and -- oddly, given Wice's propensity to appear on any TV show that will have him -- criticizes DA Ronnie Earle for giving media interviews.
"I had to think of a way to distinguish this case from all the others the Third Court of Appeals will hear," Wice tells Hair Balls. "And I think I did just that. And I wanted to grab their attention immediately. But any time you file a brief, you're also trying to level the playing field in the court of public opinion."
The brief opens with this quote from the Chicago song "Razzle-Dazzle," which DeLay did not dance to on TV.
Give 'em the old razzle dazzle
Razzle dazzle 'em
Give 'em an act with lots of flash in it
And the reaction will be passionate
Give 'em the old hocus pocus
Bread and feather 'em
How can they see with sequins in their eyes?
Long as you keep 'em way off balance
How can they spot you got no talents?
Razzle dazzle 'em
And they'll never catch wise!
"Intent upon crafting a prosecutorial theory that was, by turns, novel, untested and unsupported the Special Prosecutions Division...a cadre with statewide and state-funded jurisdiction 'to investigate and prosecute criminal activity involving state government,' pursued [DeLay] over the years in a manner reminiscent of Victor Hugo's Inspector Javert," the brief says.
It then goes on to criticize Earle for talking about the case to Esquire, 60 Minutes, PBS Now and a documentary team.
Was Wice worried about sounding a bit hypocritical with that last charge? Apparently not.
"Hypocritical? Nope. Not one bit," he says. "I'm a legal analyst, not a prosecutor with the power to taint a jury pool in an already hostile venue with an eye towards destroying a man's life."
DeLay was convicted of violating money-laundering laws in using campaign contributions to finance election races that eventually resulted in redistricting that greatly favored the GOP.
He's got a vociferous defender in Wice.
"I'm not a big believer in conspiracy theories, but you don't have to be Nostradamus to see that...Earle targeted Tom DeLay for the same kind of conduct Democrats have been doing since the Summer of '42," he says. "Indicting Tom DeLay on this untested, unsupported and legally lame theory because he raised money for Republican candidates is like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500. Earle violated Rule 1 in the Prosecuor's Playbook: You can't play politics with people's lives."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.