|Tom DeLay- Corporate Whore|
Races Hatching I: Lampson vs. DeLay
Democrats are pushing donors big and small to help former representative Nick Lampson (D-Tex.) raise $1 million before the end of the year to fund his long-shot bid to oust Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), the House majority leader. Lampson, a victim of DeLay's redistricting effort in the 2004 races, is on target to pocket $750,000 by the end of September, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) said.
But there DeLay has access to some kinds of money that his opponents can't match. He stuffed hundreds of millions of dollars into the energy and transportation bills passed last month to benefit projects in his suburban Houston district. He'll spend much of this month making sure the largess -- including $50 million to improve an interstate that cuts through his district and $324 million for Houston Metro -- does not go unappreciated. On Monday, DeLay will show a softer side, speaking at the opening of the foster care foundation he and his wife started.
In 2004, DeLay spent nearly $3 million to defeat attorney Richard Morrison (D), 55 to 41 percent. Emanuel sees DeLay as one of the top targets in the Democratic strategy to paint Republicans as ethically compromised and abusive of Washington power.
Other GOP names high on what Emanuel calls his ethics hit list: Reps. Robert W. Ney (Ohio), Charles H. Taylor (N.C.) and Richard W. Pombo (Calif.). Republicans say all four targeted Republicans are on pace to win reelection in strong GOP districts.
Races Hatching II: Bell vs. Perry
Speaking of DeLay, his former colleague ex-representative Chris Bell (D-Tex.) is planning to run next year for governor of Texas. Bell broke an unwritten truce last year between the two parties when he filed an ethics complaint against DeLay. Bell, a freshman who earlier that year had been redistricted out of his seat -- thanks to partisan maneuvering directed by DeLay -- is the first major Democrat to indicate he will challenge Gov. Rick Perry (R).
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