Tom DeLay: fallen politican... and movie star!
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The tale of Tom DeLay's rise and fall is one of the most dramatic political stories in American history. So it's quite appropriate that a new documentary capturing DeLay's story on screen has been announced today, on the day of his Republican primary. "The Big Buy: How Tom DeLay Stole Congress," a project of documentary maker Mark Birnbaum and activist Jim Schermbeck -- both native Texans -- cost about $100,000 to produce (You can watch the trailer here).
Veteran documentary maker Robert Greenwald, who recently produced and directed the highly-touted documentaries about Wal-Mart and Fox News using a grassroots model to hit a wide audience, is set to distribute "Big Buy" through his Brave New Films company through a combination of theater openings, retail outlets, house parties and other venues.
According to the the news release, the documentary "chronicles the rise of Tom DeLay from backbencher in the Texas Legislature to the architect of the largest money machine ever constructed on Capitol Hill, and also chronicles Texas DA Ronnie Earl as he investigates that machine. Itâ€™s this local DA who wins 41 indictments against the operatives, groups, corporations and congressman who Grand Juries say broke the law in order to funnel illegal corporate money to Texas Republicans. The film lays open the confluence of events that led multinational corporations to pour donations into an obscure DeLay PAC dedicated to changing the political landscape of the nation by changing the congressional lines of a state."
Robert Greenwald, who sits on the board of AlterNet's parent organization, explained what enticed him into working on the "The Big Buy" project: "After our Wal-Mart film, I was looking to do something about political corruption. Then I learned about this great film that was almost finished and joined in. It was the perfect opportunity to apply the effective lessons we learned in distributing our Wal-Mart film."
The timing of the release in DeLay's politically red hot congressional election -- where he's been polling at under 49% -- will undoubtedly make waves, not just in his District, but Texas and the country as a whole.
Jan Frel is an AlterNet staff writer.