Do you know how many amendments have been made to the US constitution? Tom DeLay knows. Tuesday night, I had the opportunity to attend an event with DeLay, which was sponsored by the Houston Young Republicans. Mac Flores, Political Director for the HYR, organized the event and I was thankful to receive an invitation.
Before DeLay spoke to the group, we discussed his legal fight. DeLay has been battling these baseless, political accusations for ten years. Thankfully, the third court of appeals reversed the trial court and rendered judgments of acquittal. The Travis County District Attorney appealed that judgment and, on June 18, the Court of Criminal Appeals will hear oral argument. Brian Wice, a local appellate guru, will represent DeLay.
It is unbelievable to think that DeLay has been hounded by the Travis County DA’s office for ten years. First, Ronnie Earle tried to make a name for himself and use this prosecution to vault to higher office. Now, Rosemary Lehmberg is holding the torch for the Democrats.
Political grand juries are a hot button issue for me; so, Tom and I spent a few minutes sharing war stories. Tom told us that Ronnie Earle had presented his case to six grand juries – and was even no billed by one grand jury. Tom said that it was important to him for his lawyers to understand the political fight. A good criminal lawyer should always understand the political nature and motivation of any opponent. Even if the courtroom battle is won, it is hard to beat a politically motivated grand jury in the court of public opinion.
Tom spoke extemporaneously for over an hour. He began with his start as a precinct chair in Fort Bend County. In 1978, the local Republicans drafted him to run for state representative. The best spot to campaign was the local coffee shop where DeLay spent all of his extra time shaking hands. One day, he approached a Czech rice farmer and asked for his vote. After revealing his party affiliation, the farmer told DeLay that it would be a cold day in hell when a Republican would be elected to any office in Fort Bend County. Don’t you know, the day that Tom DeLay was elected was one of the coldest days in Fort Bend County history.
The themes of DeLay’s comments included education and a call to return to our values. Tom DeLay knows the US Constitution. He told a story from early in his political career that illustrated this point. While attending an event, the question was asked: “How many amendments have been made to the US Constitution?” This simple question made DeLay realize that he was a know-it-all who knew nothing about our Constitution; but, he is a man of action and he immediately undertook a class. He recommended Hillsdale College’s courses for those who want to truly understand the basis of our country. DeLay emphasized the importance of true comprehension of the Constitution rather than simple memorization.
DeLay encouraged the youth of our party to hold candidates and elected officials to their oath. He explained the best way to do that was to understand the Constitution and study it – know the meaning and the context of the document. DeLay emphasized that progressives are always trying to get around the governing document and the addition of the amendments to the Constitution was the beginning of the long slippery slope of moving away from the original intent.
Tom took the opportunity to give his testimony, which is very compelling and genuine. Upon entering Congress, Tom met Frank Wolf and his life was changed. Wolf showed Tom a James Dobson film, which transformed Tom into an accountable Christian. With his “real person” creds, DeLay’s message about returning to faith is meaningful. Tom deserves our encouragement and I hope that his supporters pack the Court of Criminal Appeals on June 18.
John Baucum and the Houston Young Republicans are doing a great job of bringing excellent speakers to the community. Their next meeting will be on June 24 at 7:30pm with Dr. Neil Frank at Theo’s Restaurant.