February 15, 2006

Tom DeLay's Valentine's Present to Tom Campbell

Kristen Mack in the Chronicle on DeLay's attack of Campbell:

DeLay's campaign said challenger Tom Campbell, a lawyer, has not been active in local party politics and has not voted regularly in Republican primaries.

"Every day he proves he's nothing more than an outsider who isn't concerned with conservative issues or fighting for the priorities of Texas taxpayers," DeLay campaign manager Chris Homan said of Campbell.

Campbell's campaign countered that no pure GOP insider would dare challenge the powerful DeLay, even if he has been weakened by a Travis County indictment relating to campaign finance and a federal investigation into his relationship with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

"The fact is that Tom Campbell is like you and me. He is not a career politician like Tom DeLay. He is a citizen politician," said Michael Stanley, Campbell's campaign chairman. "Tom Campbell calls on Tom DeLay to get beyond the negative, immaterial distractions and get back to the real issues that are important to the people of the district."

Republican Party officials in Fort Bend and Harris County, who have close ties to DeLay, said they had neither seen nor heard of Campbell before he filed for office.

"We wouldn't have called him a conservative as far as being a Texas Republican," said Michael Wolfe, chairman of the Harris County Republican Party's candidate's committee.
Good wordsmithing by Michael Stanley for Campbell. "Citizen politician" is what Ronald Reagan called himself for years.

Meanwhile, the AP carries details that Mack chose not to cover:
DeLay's campaign charged that Campbell, a Houston attorney, "tried to hide the fact" that he's voted in only two Republican primaries since registering to vote in Fort Bend County a dozen years ago. The campaign also alleged Campbell lied about his activities with the Fort Bend Republican Party, is raising money outside the district, and that his campaign commercial contains footage from Michigan.


Campbell answered, "I don't recall," when asked how many of the last four Republican primaries he voted in. Campbell acknowledged to The Associated Press that he only voted in two primaries in the last 12 years.

"I have not voted as often as I should have," he said. "I have a national (legal) practice and travel hundreds of thousands of miles."

Although DeLay's campaign charged Campbell "falsified" his involvement in the Fort Bend Republican Party, the questionnaire asks only: "List your past and/or present membership or involvement in Republican organizations."

Campbell's answer was: "Fort Bend Republican Party; Fort Bend Hispanic Club."

Fort Bend Republican Party Chairman Eric Thode said that since Campbell announced his candidacy, Campbell has bought a table for a local party event and attended party functions. Before that, he had not been involved "in any way," Thode said.

"He never claimed to be an intimate insider in the Republican primary," said Campbell campaign manager Michael Stanley. "It would take an outsider to challenge DeLay."

Bill Nixon of Policy Impact Communications in Washington, D.C., which produced Campbell's ad, said all the comments from voters showed were shot in the district by local residents, the footage of the space shuttle lifting off was "clearly from Florida," and didn't know where other footage was from.
I re-watched the commercial in question that DeLay says is from Michigan. I remember thinking, "that doesn't look like Houston," when I originally saw that spot. When watching again, those definitely do appear to be blue Michigan license plates.

Meanwhile, Fort Bend Now covered an element that neither the AP or Chronicle did:
In a statement, DeLay's campaign said Campbell has received "such little support" in the 22nd District that he's been forced to raise money by "hitting the road," adding, "Yesterday, Campbell was in Utah holding a fund raiser to take money from students at his alma mater, Brigham Young."

"Tom Campbell needs to take a hint -- if he's getting more campaign support in Utah, he should consider staying there," Homan said.

Stanley said Campbell has held two out-of-state fund raisers that took in about $10,000 apiece, and that he's raised a total of about $130,000 so far.

"The reality is, it's not just the people of the 22nd District who want to see Tom DeLay replaced," Stanley said. "In the Utah fund raiser, the governor personally donated some money. That fund raiser was hosted at the downtown law firm of Sen. Orrin Hatch's son."

In what the DeLay campaign must have loved, since it fit with their message, the Salt Lake Tribune had a reporter on Campbell's fundraiser:
Utahns are helping finance the campaign of a Texas attorney challenging former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay for his seat in Congress.

Tom Campbell, a graduate of Brigham Young University, swept into Salt Lake City on Monday for a whirlwind fundraiser and meeting with Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.

Campbell is running as a reformer. He says the future of the Republican Party hinges on his race against the embattled incumbent in Texas' 22nd Congressional District.


Former congressional candidate and Huntsman adviser Tim Bridgewater hosted Campbell during a reception at a downtown law firm, the office of Sen. Orrin Hatch's son, Brent.
Meanwhile, in case you'd like to compare the coverage with the press release, I'll reprint the press release in full. I really wish I could put this in an extended entry, but Blogger doesn't do that.
From the dark and empty headquarters of 22nd District congressional candidate Tom Campbell's office comes his second television commercial and further proof of what Republican primary voters have known all along -- Tom Campbell has no base of support, no history of supporting the Republican Party, and is so inexperienced he's using film from Michigan in his commercials. Campbell isn't doing a very good job of introducing himself to Texas voters, particularly since he's spending valuable campaign time in Utah.

Campbell has received such little support in the 22nd District that he's forced to take Democrat Nick Lampson's approach to fundraising by hitting the road. Yesterday, Campbell was in Utah holding a fundraiser to take money from students at his alma mater, Brigham Young. In the meantime, only a handful of individuals in Houston will support him financially, and that's including his family, campaign manager, and treasurer.

"Tom Campbell needs to take a hint -- if he's getting more campaign support in Utah, he should consider staying there," said DeLay campaign manager Chris Homan.

Tom Campbell Shows No Love to the Republican Party, Demands Much in Return

When it comes to his conservative credentials and political activities, Tom Campbell is proven to be no sweetheart to the Texas Republican Party.

* On a recent Harris County Republican Party candidate questionnaire, he tried to hide the fact he's only voted in two Republican primaries since registering to vote in Fort Bend more than 11 years ago.

* Not only does he hide his pitiful voting record, but he falsified his involvement with the Fort Bend Republican Party. In fact, no one in the local Republican Party had ever heard of Tom Campbell until he started echoing the Democrat attacks on Congressman DeLay.

* And Campbell clearly doesn't grasp the conservative principles held by a majority of Republican voters. Just last week he told a group of voters at a candidate forum that he opposes conservative efforts to abolish the IRS as part of a package to replace the current tax code with a fairer, flatter tax.

"Clearly, Mr. Campbell is no conservative. Every day he proves he's nothing more than an outsider who isn't concerned with conservative issues or fighting for the priorities of Texas taxpayers," Homan said. "He's not qualified to run for Republican precinct chair, let alone represent hundreds and thousands of Republican voters in Congress."

Campbell's Commercials -- Canned in Michigan?

In his most recent commercial, Campbell says it's time to focus on local priorities. But, part of the commercial was filmed in Michigan. While trying to make the point that he will stand up for local issues, Campbell uses video of cars with Michigan license plates. Was it just too hard for Campbell to even find a Texas venue to slap together his newest video joke?

And where was Tom Campbell when NASA was facing a budget shortfall, or when Texans were forming coalitions to bring back more highway dollars and build I-69 through Fort Bend? The only one who can answer that question is Tom Campbell, but he remains silent on his inaction and general disregard for local issues.

"Someone needs to let Mr. Campbell know if you're asking for the trust of Texas voters, you don't film your commercials in Michigan," Homan concluded.
I'll probably put my thoughts up tomorrow.

<< Home