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Texas: DeLay co-defendant charges selective prosecution

The Austin American-Statesman reports: Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle is using different sets of rules to prosecute different groups on campaign finance charges, a lawyer for one of U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay's co-defendants argues.

The lawyer for Jim Ellis, a staffer for the Sugar Land Republican and a co-defendant in DeLay's high-profile money laundering case, filed a motion Wednesday complaining that Earle handled a case against the U.S. Hispanic Contractors Association very differently from how he conducted his investigation of Texans for a Republican Majority, a DeLay political committee that is at the center of the money laundering indictments against DeLay, Ellis and co-defendant John Colyandro.

Both groups were accused of illegally spending corporate money in connection with a campaign, but Ellis' lawyer J.D. Pauerstein said the comparison ended there.

Last week the contractors association pleaded guilty to collecting money from businesses and then giving $3,000 to two Democratic candidates during the 2002 election. The association agreed to pay a $3,000 fine for each donation. The candidates were not charged in connection with the donations. -- Lawyer for DeLay co-defendant charges selective prosecution

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