Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Tom DeLay case raises issues of law and morality

Opinion - Palladium-Item - "watched the Tom DeLay story unfold. I teach management for a state-funded university and probably should understand more about campaign finance reform -- but I don't. I'm not here to declare the innocence or guilt of Tom DeLay. But there's a fundamental societal issue here.

DeLay's attorney created the impression that somehow everything was legal if the money passed through two organizations controlled by different individuals. He's undoubtedly legally correct. What bothers me is that the letter of the law is upheld while the intent of the law is obliterated. We'd be better off to allow anyone to give to anyone so we know where the money is. We'd know who owes their future to whom. DeLay may well be the victim of partisan political warfare.

I'm not a perfect person and have many personal flaws. But in the arena of public service, where we need progressive social thought and action, the failure to recognize how ordinary Americans see these issues is tragic. We reinforce the notion that legal correctness is supreme over basic conceptions of right and wrong. There will always be cases where plaintiffs will be free on technicalities, even politicians. There is clearly a role for the law."


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