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Texas: one company pleads guilty in DeLay probe

AP reports: A company accused in the campaign-finance investigation that has implicated associates of U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay agreed to aid prosecutors in exchange for having charges against it dropped, court papers showed.

Under the deal, Diversified Collection Services will also develop internal policies to prevent any future violations of the Texas law against using corporate money for political purposes, according to a motion approved Thursday by a state judge.

The California-based company, which has offices in San Angelo, was accused of giving $50,000 to Texans for a Republican Majority, a GOP political action committee associated with DeLay, during the 2002 campaign. The election gave the party its first legislative majority since Reconstruction. -- AP Wire | 12/10/2004 | Company to Aid in DeLay Corruption Probe

David Donnelly comments: My sources in Texas tell me that the next major indictment is likely to be Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick. They also say there is a major development coming soon. Frankly, as interesting as it is, I donít think this settlement with Diversified Collection reaches the level of a "major development." But who knows? Maybe there this is the start of something major.

It looks to me like the prosecution is putting the edge pieces of the puzzle together in order to begin working toward the middle. They are not making a beeline at DeLay, or even Craddick. They are making very careful, clear steps to turn up the heat on those one rung, to mix my metaphors, below DeLay. -- What does the settlement mean? - The Daily DeLay

Kos comments: Ronnie Earle, the corruption-fighting district attorney taking on the DeLay machine, is seeing the fruits of his strategy.

His first grand jury indicted three close DeLay aides and a host of companies. The tactics were obvious -- force those indicted to serve up names higher up the food chain in exchange for leniency. Why should they take the bulled (life in prison, protentially) for DeLay?

The current grand jury is focusing on Republican speaker of the Texas House, Tom Craddick. Speculation has been that Earle will convene a third grand jury when he's ready to go after the bug squasher himself. -- Earle flips company -- DailyKos


Wait, why is a group of individuals prevented from giving donations to whomever they choose?

Whatever happened to political freedom?