The decision moves DeLay and his co-defendants, the Republican fundraisers John Colyandro and James Ellis, a big step closer to facing trial, perhaps as soon as January.
The charges involve $190,000 that the state says was collected from corporate donors in 2002 and, in violation of Texas election and money-laundering laws, routed through Republican political action committees to seven Republicans running for the Texas House. The judge ruled that the conspiracy provisions of the state election code did not take effect until a year after the charged violations. But he rejected defense challenges to the money-laundering charges and ruled that they could go to trial.
And in a case on interesting timing, this ruling came out just as a $500.00 plate Tom DeLay fundraiser was about to start, with featured guest speaker, Dick Cheney.