Friday, November 04, 2005

DeLay Shows the Way to Public Financing

In the ongoing saga of finding a judge to preside over the trial of indicted former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom Delay, we are faced with the ugly reality of how our government, including the justice system, is tainted by campaign giving.

Only days ago, DeLay’s attorneys argued that the judge selected to preside over DeLay’s trial for money laundering of campaign funds could not be fair-minded and impartial because the judge had previously contributed to Democratic campaigns.

In reply, state prosecutors essentially argued the exact same point about the Republican judge who had been appointed after Judge #1 was removed. Guess what? Judge #2 is off the case as well now.

So, here’s an idea. Remove the need for partisan alignment in judicial campaigns by providing a system of public financing. Think of the benefits – we can preserve the independence of the judiciary, encourage judicial candidates who couldn’t afford to run for office otherwise, and allow judges to get back to the business of hearing trials instead of scrounging for campaign cash.

And then guys like Tom DeLay will have to come up with another tactic to delay his day in court.