« Alabama: was the 2002 gubernatorial election stolen? | Main | Washington State: Gregoire sworn in, Dems try to intervene in GOP suit »

Texas: "are you going to take the hit for Tom DeLay?"

The Los Angeles Times reports: Prosecutors investigating whether corporations illegally financed the Republican Party's rise to dominance in the Texas Capitol are negotiating agreements with several companies accused of making improper political donations, and analysts say the discussions could help elicit important leads in the probe.

According to documents filed in Travis County District Court, two companies accused of making illegal political contributions have "flipped" for prosecutors in the last month, signing deals requiring them to cooperate in exchange for dismissal of their cases.

The agreements were signed with Illinois-based Sears, Roebuck and Co. and DCS Inc., a debt-payment firm based in California, and say the contributions were given "on the basis of false and misleading information provided by the fundraiser that solicited the contribution." ...

One legal source with knowledge of the investigation said the agreements with the companies could help target "big fish" in the Republican Party by persuading the three DeLay aides to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for leniency or dismissal of their cases. The aides face 10-year prison sentences if convicted.

"If you are looking at 10 years in jail, are you going to take the hit for Tom DeLay?" the source asked. -- Deals Reached in Texas Political Donation Inquiry

There are many reasons someone would take a hit for another. Remember the guy in Godfather who committed suicide rather than testify against Don Corleone (or maybe it was Michael)? He had been promised protection for his family. Recently when "Preacher" Killen was indicted in Mississippi for the 1964 murders of civil rights workers Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner, the Clarion-Ledger reported that one person who had been convicted of conspiracy decades ago said "he didn't mind going to prison on federal conspiracy charges because a fellow Klansman got away with murder."

Yes, there are many reasons for individuals -- rather than corporations -- to take a hit for Tom DeLay.