One of the firms that apparently gave illegal help to Tom DeLay in his successful effort to reapportion Texas between censuses (which in turn allowed the GOP to steal four House seats) is a collection agency that hopes to profit from being hired by the IRS to collect delinquent taxes on a percentage-of-the-take basis. (Not quite tax-farming, but pretty close.) Now it seems that a legislative provision that would have forbidden that practice mysteriously disappeared from the big budget bill.
(That’s the bill that also included the tax-form-snooping provision.)
Well, it would be captious to complain. After all, rank hath its privileges. It wouldn’t really be worth the effort of being the most powerful man in the House of Representatives if you couldn’t use the legislative process to do favors for firms whose employees might otherwise be able to testify about crimes you might have committed, now would it?
However, it doesn’t always work. The firm in question, Diversified Collection services, has just reached a plea deal with District Attorney Ronnie Earle, under which the firm won’t be prosecuted at all for making the illegal contributions in return for its testimony against any defendants in the case.
Would Earle’s office really have given Diversified a complete pass for anything less than the testimony that would nail DeLay? Maybe. But if I were DeLay, I’d be a just a little bit nervous right now.
The Stakeholder has been DeLay Central. Watch that space.