A victory for Tom DeLay:
In a courtroom victory for Rep. Tom Delay, the judge in the campaign-finance case against the former House Republican leader was removed Tuesday because of his donations to Democratic candidates and causes.
A semi-retired judge who was called in to hear the dispute, C.W. Bud Duncan, ruled in Delay’s favor without comment. Duncan ordered the appointment of a new judge to preside over the case.
The ruling came after a hearing in which Delay’s attorneys argued that state District Judge Bob Perkins’ political donations created the appearance of bias. Perkins, a Democrat, has contributed to candidates such as John Kerry and the liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org.
Delay’s lawyers cited 34 contributions Perkins has made to Democrats since 2000, including donations to Kerry and to MoveOn.org, a group that has waged a campaign against DeLay.
Perkins said that his contributions to MoveOn.org were made before it launched its anti-DeLay campaign. Prosecutors also argued that six of the contributions were wrongly counted twice by DeLay’s attorneys.
DeLay’s attorneys subpoenaed Perkins to testify, but Duncan did not make him take the stand. Perkins argued that his participation would threaten the public’s confidence in the judiciary.
Now if only they could get the prosecutor removed