Earle on film

Posted by: ST on September 30, 2005 at 10:05 am

Byron York from NRO reports:

For the last two years, as he pursued the investigation that led to Wednesday’s indictment of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Travis County, Texas prosecutor Ronnie Earle has given a film crew "extraordinary access" to make a motion picture about his work on the case.

The resulting film is called The Big Buy, made by Texas filmmakers Mark Birnbaum and Jim Schermbeck. "Raymond Chandler meets Willie Nelson on the corner of Wall Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in The Big Buy, a Texas noir political detective story that chronicles what some are calling a ‘bloodless coup with corporate cash,’" reads a description of the picture on Birnbaum’s website, markbirnbaum.com. The film, according to the description, "follows maverick Austin DA Ronnie Earle’s investigation into what really happened when corporate money joined forces with relentless political ambitions to help swing the pivotal 2002 Texas elections, cementing Republican control from Austin to Washington DC."

"We approached him [Earle], and he offered us extraordinary access to him and, to an extent, to his staff," Birnbaum told National Review Online Thursday. "We’ve been shooting for about two years."

Birnbaum and Schermbeck showed a work-in-progress version of The Big Buy last month at the Dallas Video Festival. At the moment, they do not have a deal for the film to be shown anywhere else. Their last film, Larry v. Lockney, was shown on PBS, and they hope that perhaps a similar arrangement might be made for the new picture. Whoever ends up showing it, the film has so far been funded entirely by its makers. "We tried really hard to get it funded," Birnbaum says, "but we didn’t get any takers."

Schermbeck told National Review Online that the film was an irresistible Texas story. "I’ve been pretty interested in watching Tom DeLay work," Schermbeck says. "I thought he was a fascinating guy, certainly the most powerful Texan to emerge on the national scene in some time, a kind of Republican Sam Rayburn type, with that kind of mastery of the machinery and the will to do it."

Does Ronnie Earle have some chutzpah or what?

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3 Responses to “Earle on film”


  1. PCD says:

    Ron Earle is a white version of a Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton with a legal degree. Nothing ethical or even handed about him.

    Also, what about some indictments for the people in the Dcmocrat pac Earle spoke to about Earle going to get DeLay? That pac operates in the same fashion as DeLay’s pac.

  2. clayton says:

    Just wondering if anyone has read Brian York’s actual description of the film?

    I just saw an AP story quoting the filmamkers for the first time. They claim they approached DeLay to do a film about the case through his eyes, but DeLay turned them down.

    Frankly, I can’t see any difference between what these guys are doing and a hundred other docs on cable featuring DAs dealing with a high profile case.

  3. Clayton,

    Maybe so, but it just lends more credibility to the argument that Earle is a publicity hound, don’t you think?