Lee Cowan did a report on the "CBS Evening News" tonight concerning Rep. Tom DeLay’s (R-Tex) first day in court. To demonstrate that even people on the right don’t like the embattled congressman, Cowan interviewed Beverly Carter, the Republican precinct chairwoman of Fort Bend County, Texas:
“I've not heard of any Republicans that are supporting Tom at this point win, lose or draw. Whether he's guilty or not guilty, they've kind of had it with him. Pigs get fatter but hogs get slaughtered, and Tom has been a hog.”
Cowan interjected with: “And that's coming from a Republican precinct chairwoman in his home district.”
The problem is that Carter has been an outspoken foe of DeLay’s for quite some time. John Judis of the New Republic wrote of this in May:
“Beverly ‘B.K.’ Carter, grandmother and longtime editor of The Fort Bend Star, a weekly she publishes out of a strip mall in Stafford, Texas, holds up her a newly acquired t-shirt. It has a picture of Tom DeLay, Carter's U.S. representative, and says, the best congressman money can buy. She chuckles at the shirt but then frowns at the thought of the man it depicts. ‘Every year he has done things that were questionable.’”
In fact, Carter supported DeLay’s Democratic opponent, Richard Morrison, in last November’s elections. As she stated in an op-ed from the paper that she is editor of:
“It won't kill you.......Come on, It really won't hurt too much. I promise that parts of your body will not fall off. That's right! You, too, can vote for Democrat Richard Morrison to replace that scoundrel Tom DeLay.”
Finally, even though Cowan mentioned in this report that DeLay’s attorney filed a motion for a new judge, the report was not specific as to why.
What follows is a full transcript of this report, and a video link.
Lew Cowan: At times, it was hard to tell whether the congressman's first court appearance was a criminal proceeding or a political debate.
Bailiff: Please be seated.
Cowan: Within minutes, DeLay's attorney had the judge defending his ties to the Democratic Party and liberal organizations like moveon.org.
DeLay’s Attorney, DeGuerin: To which you have contributed was selling t-shirts with mr. Delay's mug shot on it.”
Judge: Well, let me just say I have never seen the t-shirt. That's number one. Number two, I haven't bought it. And number three... ( laughter ) number three, I...
Cowan: It was Tom DeLay's latest claim that behind his indictment on conspiracy and money laundering charges is nothing but politics, and tweaked prosecutor Ronnie Earle when he asked for a new judge.
Earle: I think that's absurd.
Cowan: DeLay left the courthouse and went to the Texas statehouse to launch another blistering attack on Earle, who he named eight times in a four- minute statement.
DeLay: The only reason I had to be in that courtroom today was because Ronnie Earle has abused his prosecutorial powers.
Cowan: That's been his defense all long, and some Republicans aren't buying it.
Carter: I've not heard of any Republicans that are supporting Tom at this point win, lose or draw. Whether he's guilty or not guilty, they've kind of had it with him.
Cowan: And that's coming from a Republican precinct chairwoman in his home district.
Carter: Pigs get fatter but hogs get slaughtered, and Tom has been a hog.
Cowan: Don't mistake that for lack of support. He's still plenty popular here. Margaret Gow runs a neighborhood program for foster children that DeLay and his wife started years ago.
Gow: He's very low-key about that. He's doing it for the right reasons, and he knows that.
Cowan: What he also knows is he's the first leader of the house to be indicted in more than 50 years. No matter how big the smile in his mug shot, no matter how confident he appears in court, prosecutors may have dealt a serious blow before DeLay's even entered a plea. Lee Cowan, CBS News, Austin.