February 09, 2006

Campbell on the air

Tom Campbell is on the air, as a source tells me that Campbell ads have been spotted today on cable. I almost never watch TV unless the NFL or US Soccer is on, so I greatly appreciate the tip.

You can view "rough edits" of Campbell's TV spots on his website. Here are some dirty transcripts I worked up while in class:

Commercial one:
Campbell, on screen, flannel shirt, in what appears to be his study: I'm Tom Campbell. A lot has changed in our community, and change requires new leaders.

Other images on screen as Campbell narrates: Today some of the best and brightest have come to join us from other countries, Nasa is an integral part of our district. We need to provide economic growth for jobs as well as infrastructure to support that growth.

Random images of Campbell meeting folks: We cannot move forward with leaders who are distracted. I'm running for the future, our children's future, but I need your help. Vote for Tom Campbell, it's time to get back to the business that's important to us.

Commercial two:
Person 1: Integrity.
Person 2: Integrity.
Person 3: Integrity
Person 4: He's a man of integrity.
Anncr: Why do we need Tom Campbell in Congress?
Person 5: Tom Campbell is a man of integrity.
Person 6: Integrity and character
Person 7: We are raising our children in a challenging world and we need leaders who will be our examples.
Person 8: I'm worried about my children's future and I want leaders they can look up to.
Person 9: We need leaders that are concerned about our issues, and not about their own problems.
Person 10: Tom Campbell is a conservative at heart
Person 11: It's time for a change.
Person 12: It's time for a change in Washington.
They are a little fuzzy, presumably intentionally to give it a warm affect.

It's surprising to me that they aren't running any bio spots at all and the spots didn't overly impress me, however I'm a big fan of the idea that you can't judge media spots effectively until you've viewed an entire campaign. Nothing in campaigns happen in a vacuum. Good consultants weave it all together by the end of the campaign.

To date, I haven't heard of any direct mail pieces being dropped in the district by Campbell, which seems quite odd to me. Perhaps it is because of this (from a well-researched piece in the Houston Press):
With just three months to go before the primary, it's probably too late for Campbell to start a direct-mail campaign. Dick Richards, a former three-term chairman of the Utah Republican Party who was named chairman of the Republican National Committee during Reagan's first presidential term, is advising Campbell on jump-starting a grassroots campaign.
I'm thoroughly baffled. It is not true that three months is to late for direct mail, but it seems that Campbell or someone connected to his campaign must have suggested to the reporter that direct mail wasn't a good idea. If so, then perhaps Campbell's strategy is largely based on TV/radio spots. It doesn't seem to me like he's going to raise enough money for that to be very effective.

This post is pretty rough, but I need to go get other stuff done.

UPDATE: Right after I put this post up, I noticed that CQ just mentioned Campbell's spots as well. Apparently the second spot will run much less than the first, and the buy is indeed on local cable TV.

RANDOM THOUGHT WHILE UPDATING: Who thinks DeLay doesn't go on TV at all during the primary? It wouldn't surprise me.

Entire Hardball district 22 transcript available

I've posted the entire transcript that Hardball did on district 22. Because blogger doesn't allow me to do extended posts and I didn't want to take up so much space right now at the top of the blog, I've backdated the post.

February 08, 2006

Money, Money, Money

Tom DeLay
Raised 894,246
Spent 612,823
Cash on Hand 1,445,433

Nick Lampson
Raised 759,563
Spent 157,274
Cash on Hand1,291,554

Tom Campbell
Raised 58,054
Spent 4,674
Cash on Hand 53,380

No numbers from Pat Baig.

Hotline excerpts:

Ex-NOAA General Counsel Tom Campbell (R) raised $58K -- "almost all of it from his own pocket" -- in the final week of '05, and said he has raised "twice as much since he closed the books" for '05. Campbell, who is expecting to spend $400K in his bid to unseat Rep. Tom DeLay (R), is also counting on more contributions "from disaffected voters." Thus far, Campbell has contributed $51.5K of his own money to his campaign, and has spent about $5K. Campbell, on raising money: "It's easier than expected. There are a lot of people that are fed up with what's going on in Washington right now. I actually had a fellow come to my door with a $250 check that I hardly knew. ... He thought I was [a] credible candidate, and was against Mr. DeLay." DeLay is also facing two other candidates who are considered "long shots," unlike Campbell, who has a respectable GOP resume and worked in the Bush 41 admin. "Frequent" candidate/atty Mike Fjetland (R) has raised $34,270 so far, of which $20K was personally contributed by Fjetland, and has $2,170 CoH (Gamboa, AP, 1/31).

Dems taunted Rep. Tom DeLay (R) on 2/1 "for managing only a bare fundraising lead over" ex-Rep. Nick Lampson (D), and GOPers "countered that the challenger has kept pace only with help from Hollywood liberals such a Barbara Streisand." New campaign reports show DeLay raised $880K in the 4thQ, while Lampson raised $759K and has $1.3M in the bank. DeLay's camp was referring to $1K donations from Streisand and actor/director Rob Reiner. DeLay spokesperson Shannon Flaherty: "It sounds like Lampson's running more to represent the Screen Actors Guild than the 22nd." Lampson manager Mike Malaise suggested DeLay's fundraising was "nothing to brag about" (Gillman, DMN, 2/2).

Campbell has raised $150k ($51k of which was his own money) by the end of January by his own account. I don't see how he's going to spend his goal of $400k, when the primary is only four weeks away.

Excerpts from DeLay Hardball interview by Chris Matthews

Matthews: "Here you are fighting a tough election. Do you think it's going to be a tough one?"
DeLay: "It's going to be a very tough one. It's going to be a national election. We have all the MoveOn.org's down here. They've been down here for over a year. All the leftists groups have been down here...doing the telephones. This is a national campaign."

Matthews: "Is the vote for this House seat, your seat, as a member of leadership and a very powerful Republican, is this about a national decision or is this about a local decision?"
DeLay: "No this is a national decision. The Democrats have been planning this for a long time. They announced it-they announced their politics of personal destruction two years ago and the character assassination is part of their strategy. They don't have an agenda and so they're trying to get the House back by destroying people and their families."

Matthews: "Why do these rank and file Democrats make you a target? Why do they hate you?"
DeLay: "Well I hope that they hate me because I'm effective, because I get things done. We've had an eleven year run of a Republican majority doing things that I'm incredibly proud of...cutting taxes, strong national defense, welfare reform, balancing the budget, paying down on the debt. I mean, one thing after another, we've been effective on it and the democrats don't like it."

DeLay, on the trial: "I have demanded my rights to a speedy trial; unfortunately Ronnie Earle is filing frivolous appeals to drag it out as long as he wants. He's been dragging my name through the mud for three years now and he's going to try to drag it out, try to influence the election, that's the way he operates."

Excerpts from National Journal.

Joshua Micah Marshall interviews Lampson

Lefty blogger Joshua Micah Marshall interviewed Nick Lampson:

TPM: What is the case you're making to the people of the 22nd District why they should dump their congressman, who was until recently the most powerful guy in Congress? What is the case you're making to them?

Lampson: Well, first of all, they deserve to have a representative who is making headlines for the right reasons -- someone who will take a bipartisan approach to Washington and do the right thing for Texas and for that congressional district.

It's important that we work on issues that will make a difference for them – and Homeland Security, and fiscal responsibility, and education and health care are the kinds of issues that certainly I have worked on, and that I think is what the people, not just of the district, but of the nation, want us to be doing.

Tom DeLay had the opportunity to do that. But he spent his time doing something else, something different. I want to work on those issues every day that I’m in Congress.

TPM: So what is the other thing – when you say "something different?"

Lampson: He was more about either his personal wealth, or his personal power, or his party's power. He clearly did some things that are -- not just should be, but are being questioned. Whether or not something comes of it remains to be seen as they go through the process.

Standing up for sweatshops and sweatshop owners in the Marianas islands and then coming back following that trip with Jack Abramoff -- and the involvement with Jack Abramoff out there -- coming back to the floor of the House of Representatives and defending these actions on the floor of the House. Clearly that was something different from paying attention to the needs of the people of the 22nd Congressional District.

Using the lobbyists for his own personal benefit, taking a $56,000 golfing trip to Scotland. That is clearly something not in the best interest of the people of the 22nd Congressional District.

And then, just to pick another thing, the million dollars that was contributed by Russian oil people through a London law firm that came into a charity that DeLay had set up – ultimately some of the funding was used for the purchase of a building that he uses for his political activities. Those have to be reasonable questions to be asking.

Whether or not he's guilty, that's for the courts and the ethics committees to decide. But the questions certainly ought to be asked. And certainly those were things that he was doing, rather than attending to the business of the 22nd Congressional District and the citizens of the United States of America.

He was too focused on his special interests.

TPM: Now, this election as a whole, for the Democrats as a whole -- ethics and political corruption are going to be defining themes. National Democrats are trying to balance, 'how much are we against the amount of sleaze that the Republican majority has brought to Congress' versus a positive agenda, whether that's health care, fiscal responsibility, on the foreign policy, front, whatever.

Now, you're up there front and center with the man who literally and figuratively was the leader of what the Republican majority created. How are you balancing that? How are you balancing what you were just talking about -- in terms of all these accusations of wrongdoing against Tom DeLay -- versus the positive agenda – on policy issues, on health care, on fiscal responsibility?

Lampson: I want to make sure that this race is about those issues. I don't need to talk about Tom DeLay. And I try not to talk about Tom DeLay in the district. People are reading about those things that he was involved with. So I can concentrate on the legislation that I worked on when I was in the House of Representatives, my efforts on task forces that dealt with Homeland Security, with education and health care specifically, the work I did on creating the Congressional Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children. If I can concentrate on those things, then I believe that I will win the confidence of the people to put me there.

Certainly there is a question of integrity that could come up in that comparison. And I think that I bring something different to the table. I hope I bring a different kind of openness and a willingness to look at the needs of the people of my district first.

TPM: Another question. Not as much as Tom DeLay, but over the last five years, President Bush nationally has become a very polarizing figure. His poll numbers are fairly low now, they're right around the low forties, forty percent, something like that.

You're running in his home state, in a district that is, I would say, at best a swing district. There are a lot of Republicans in the district . . . A race like this against someone as prominent as Tom DeLay has sort of an in-district and a national dimension. So where are you on President Bush?

Lampson: I've been campaigning with him since, I think, 1992. I think that was the first time that I met him and started showing up at different places when we were campaigning for different offices.

I made a comment, right after his first election, before he was sworn into office when I was asked by a reporter whether or not he would be able to pull this divided congress together. And I said that I think that no matter what his interests were in trying to accomplish that, that there were other forces in play that would prevent him from doing it. And what I was referring to, and I even said the name at that time: Tom DeLay has caused such a polarization and such a lack of civility within our congress that regardless of what he was able to do, the president was able to do, they were going to stop him from doing it. And I believe that.

So I believe that there have been those who have, not intentionally, I don't believe they intentionally set out to divide it, but they certainly intentionally set out to win their issues. I think they're preventing him from accomplishing a lot of what perhaps he would like to be doing.

TPM: Preventing President Bush?

Lampson: Yeah.

TPM: On a few basic issues – the President has been in office for five years – what would you say from your perspective are his biggest successes and his biggest mistakes in office on basic points of policy?

Lampson: Let me start with his mistakes. I think that certainly you have to consider that we still have problems with access to health care and Social Security in this country. They're both huge problems for us. 46 million Americans don't have access to health care. And the bill that we passed -- I didn't vote for it -- but the Medicare bill that passed in 2003 was a piece of legislation that put the resources of the nation behind the pharmaceutical manufacturers more than it did the people who we were trying to help.

I think the foreign policy, the position, the reputation of the United States in the eyes of much of the rest of the world is significantly diminished and so I think you can't look at that positively.

Maybe from his perspective -- and I voted for some of the tax cuts -- from the President's perspective, he'd probably say that some of his biggest successes have been to pass the tax cutting legislation that they had. I believe very strongly that we need to have tax cuts, but to be put in an area where it's going to help small businesses, where it's going to help people who have less rather than those who have more.

I guess that's at first blush my answer to that.

A couple quick thoughts:

1. It's about the incumbent. Elections are usually about incumbents -- and if voters don't like the incumbent, whether the alternative is better -- and that will be the case here. What Lampson says and how he campaigns is probably a relatively small factor in whether he wins in November or not. The outcome of legal problems is the biggest factor, of course.

2. The funny. Lampson says, "I've been campaigning with [George W. Bush] since, I think, 1992."

I'm sure that's news to W. Perhaps his statement is slightly out of context or Lampson simply misspoke, but the way he phrased it made me laugh.

3. The balancing act. Lampson has to pull off several balancing acts. He says, "I don't need to talk about Tom DeLay," but that's what he spent most of the interview doing. He knows he doesn't need to attack DeLay -- his allies will do that whether he wants them to or not -- because he wants to represent himself as a down-to-earth moderate, not a partisan. A partisan won't win, but he couldn't resist the urge to attack (eg, saying DeLay had used power for "personal wealth," which is a charge I haven't really seen anywhere else and for which I can't find much support) in this interview.

Lampson also has to balance how he speaks about Bush, not depressing. Saying that he campaigned "with him" seems somewhat akin to the ad that Daschle ran showing him hugging Bush. It's an interesting juxtaposition.

Texas district 22 shorts

1. CBN News -- a Christian network -- has excerpts of an interview with DeLay, where he talks about faith.

2 Maria Recio reports on DeLay's transition out of the leadership. There's not really anything new here though.

3. Ronnie Earle has continued to subpoena more documents, this time of the state Republican party. DeLay attorney Dick Deguerin says the subpoenas are not enforceable.

PSA for Fort Bend politicos

Chris Elam has made available a list of all Fort Bend County precincts with some basic facts about each precinct.

It's a pretty good resource for those of you who like to have fun with Excel and precincts.

Delay and NASA

Roxana Tiron picks up on the DeLay -- NASA angle:

In a move that could help his reelection campaign, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) is expected to be appointed to an Appropriations subcommittee today that has jurisdiction over spending for space programs.

As of press time yesterday, a source said DeLay would reclaim his spot on the Appropriations Committee while taking seats on one subcommittee dealing with homeland security and another that funds NASA.

Those assignments could boost the indicted lawmaker's campaign against former Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Texas).

DeLay's district, which he helped redraw in 2004, includes NASA's Johnson Space Center. DeLay has been known to boost NASA's interests in the Houston area.

If DeLay is cleared of the charges brought by Texas prosecutor Ronnie Earle and defeats Lampson and Republicans maintain their majority, he could become the chairman of the Science, State, Justice, Commerce and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee in 2007 when Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) will relinquish the gavel.
Since the area around Clear Lake and NASA is now a bigger part of the district than Sugar Land, it's a smart move.

DeLay, of course, made a point of saying that he was going to reclaim his Approp spot when he originally resigned from the leadership.

February 06, 2006

Boehner's election not good for Texas

Random thought as I get back into the swing of blogging: John Boehner's election as House Majority Leader is bad for Texas' influence in Congress.

Here's a breakdown of Texas Republicans and who they backed in the Majority Whip race:


Kenny Marchant
Sam Johnson
Pete Sessions


Backing the right horse definitely matters in House politics. The House leadership holds great sway in deciding committee assignments and committee chairs. These two things are the source of cloue in the House/

So now Texas has lost the clout of DeLay as Majority Leader, and we don't have any clout with the new Majority Leader. That's not good for Texas.