February 16, 2006


The last few times I've come to this blog, the yellow sidebar was missing. Well, placed down the page.

Is that happening to anyone else? If you aren't getting the sidebar, could you email me (perryvsworld-at-gmail.com) or leave a comment?

Local Fox affiliate won't run conservative group's pro-DeLay ad

Samantha Levine in the Chron on Fox26's refusal to run an outside conservative group's pro-DeLay ad:

"We have chosen not to take the spot in its current form," said D'Artagnan Bebel, vice president and general manager of the local Fox affiliate, KRIV (Channel 26). He would not elaborate on why.

Representatives from KTRK (Channel 13) and KHOU (Channel 11) were unavailable for comment. KPRC (Channel 2) General Manager Larry Blackerby said he was unaware of it.

The ad is slated to run on CNN and Fox News in and around DeLay's suburban Houston district, starting today and running for two weeks.

The 30-second spot from the conservative Free Enterprise Committee attacks billionaire financier and Democratic supporter George Soros for spending "$25 million against President Bush. He also bankrolled the liberals linked to attacks on Tom DeLay."

Soros contributed $300,000 to the Campaign for America's Future, which along with the Public Campaign Action Fund, put out the ad that highlighted ties between DeLay and disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

"It's great that organizations like this are getting the truth out about extreme liberals like George Soros who are supporting Nick Lampson and Nancy Pelosi's agenda in Congress," DeLay campaign spokeswoman Shannon Flaherty said. She added she was unaware of the ad until a reporter called.

Democrat Lampson is running against DeLay in the November general election. California liberal Pelosi is the leader of the Democrats in the House.

The new ad features pictures of a bewildered-looking Soros followed by a smiling DeLay. "When you see attacks on DeLay, consider the source," it says. "And tell Tom DeLay to keep fighting for your conservative values."
TV stations turning down money right and left. What a race.

UPDATE: You can watch the video here.

The script is here:
George Soros, full of money and liberal ideas -- like legalizing drugs, letting felons vote and keeping the death tax.

Soros spent twenty-five million dollars against President Bush.

He also bankrolled the liberals linked to attacks on Tom DeLay.

Maybe that's because Tom DeLay fights for lower taxes and economic freedom.

So when you see attacks on DeLay, consider the source.

And tell Tom DeLay to keep fighting for your conservative values.

The ad is running on network and cable TV (except local Fox, obviously) for 2 weeks.

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.

It's primary season!

1. A couple days late, the Chronicle noticed that DeLay has retaken his seat on Appropriations and the subcommitees that do NASA and Homeland Security.

2. USNews reports that DeLay does not plan to return to the House leadership if he is acquitted in the TRMPAC charges. A smart move for the campaign:

Associates said that DeLay instead will use his position on the Appropriations Committee to boost NASA spending, especially for his hometown Johnson Space Center in Houston, and will move back into the unofficial post as head of the Texas House delegation.
DeLay may get some flak for being preoccupied with national issues, but it'll be tough to say that replacing him would bring the district more clout on local issues.

3. From the Hotline:
One campaign's internal polling shows Campbell trailing DeLay by only 10 points.
Around 6am this morning I put an email in to Campbell's campaign, but I have yet to hear back from them.

Color me skeptical. This was the day when Campbell went on the air. At that time, the media coverage in the district was rather light, and Campbell hadn't dropped any direct mail pieces (still hasn't, though a commenter suggests that there will be one dropping this week). So -- barring every other consideration -- how would Campbell be able to get name ID to be within ten points of DeLay?

Given that I've only seen this in the Hotline, it makes me wonder whether perhaps Lampson's campaign provided the poll to the Hotline. They would be more likely to have the DC connections to do so. If so...interesting. Playing in the other party's primary is brilliant when you pull it off (see South, Garry), but hazardous when you don't. But who knows, it's all speculation.

Or it could just be a rehash of the Chronicle's recent poll. If you're here, you probably know I think that poll was flawed, and I'd expect the Hotline to be more savvy in noticing that it was the Chronicle's poll. Who knows?

4. Al Franken's new PAC gave Lampson money. I bet this is not the last time we hear of this from DeLay's camp.

"GOP voters still favor DeLay in District 22"

Kristen Mack does the primary. The title of this post is the headline:

When U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay showed up at a candidate forum in Sugar Land last week, one of his Republican primary opponents slipped to the back of the room after a short speech and another talked about the need for civility in Washington.

Then DeLay took the microphone, and his years as a fearsome political battler came to the fore as he passionately vowed to fight for the district and against Democrats, civility or no.

"You know me, you know how long and hard I have worked," DeLay said at the forum sponsored by the local chamber of commerce and Republican groups. "When I fight, we win."

The hometown crowd applauded enthusiastically.


Compared with the DeLay powerhouse, the challengers are little-known underdogs.

Anyone who took him on had to be somewhat of an outsider.

No prominent Republican would dare challenge DeLay, although many are watching to see how he fares when he goes on trial on Travis County money-laundering charges related to campaign finance.

Campbell's campaign hopes to convince voters that casting a ballot for DeLay in a primary amounts to ceding the seat to a Democrat.

Former U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson is the only Democratic candidate, and will draw funding and support from across the nation from party members wanting to unseat the GOP heavyweight.

A lower-profile Republican, Campbell reasons, has a better chance of holding the district, which has a GOP voting history.

"Our challenge is to harvest the votes," said Michael Stanley, Campbell's campaign chairman. "DeLay's is to stop the bleeding."

Though he says he and DeLay agree on key issues -- Campbell backs smaller and more limited government, tax cuts and border control -- he abhors what he perceives as DeLay's ethical lapses.

"He can no longer be an effective advocate for the things that are important to us because of the baggage he has," Campbell said.

Campbell's campaign message is succinct. He has several one-liners that have become part of his stump speech:

"I believe 22 years is long enough."

"It's time to get back to the issues that are important to us."

"The public's business needs to be conducted with civility, decency and integrity."

With only a small team of campaign workers, though, Campbell is consumed with the minute details of the campaign.

It will take $400,000 to win the primary, Campbell said. He's raised $110,000 and has another $130,000 in commitments.
I love the anecdotes. Why? Because I see no evidence that DeLay will change his campaign style and be a softer DeLay. He'll campaign as outspoken as ever; just witness Mack's first couple paragraphs. And that makes for entertaining politics.

February 14, 2006


I'll be blogging tomorrow. I promise.

Here are some of the links I'll be throwing up.

And a link I can't find right now about Campbell's internal polling.


So now you have a preview of tomorrow's blogging.

February 12, 2006

DeLay mails letter

Kristen Mack in the Chronicle:

The Sugar Land Republican congressman has sent an eight-page letter to constituents, written in script and asking for their support as he contends with questions about his ties to an indicted lobbyist, an indictment of his own and political challenges from inside and outside his party.

DeLay sent the letter to thousands of Republicans in the 22nd Congressional District, saying he wanted to answer questions directly and personally.

In the letter DeLay distances himself from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, whom he called "one of my closest and dearest friends," during a trip to the Northern Mariana Islands in 1997.

"The notion that Abramoff was a close friend who wielded influence over me is absolutely untrue," DeLay writes. "Jack Abramoff and I were not close personal friends. I met with him only occasionally, in fact less frequently than numerous others who brought issues before Congress — never did he receive preferential treatment. To be certain, I knew nothing about the crimes for which he has pled guilty."

Meanwhile, Fort Bend Now also covered the letter, but carries more reaction from Lampson's camp:
U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay sent a letter to thousands of constituents this week denying he’s been involved in any wrong-doing with Jack Abramoff, and denying a close friendship with the scandal-tainted former lobbyist.

According to a Thursday report in Roll Call, DeLay's campaign mailed out a nine-page letter in the Sugar Land congressman's home district, which includes much of Fort Bend County, in an effort to blunt allegations about his relationship with Abramoff and campaign contribution-related charges brought against him in Travis County.

The campaign manager for former Democratic congressman Nick Lampson, who's running against DeLay, said the letter amounts to a lie.

Mike Malaise said DeLay "lied to his constituents about his relationship with Jack Abramoff. I don't like using that word and I wish there was a better way to say it, but there isn't. He lied, plain and simple."


Roll Call called DeLay's mass mailing to constituents "a critical move" in DeLay's campaign to gain a 12th term in office. The newspaper quoted sources close to DeLay saying he hopes to raise $9 million for his campaign, while Lampson reportedly intends to raise $5 million.

"A final word on Jack Abramoff: the notion that he was a close friend who wielded influence over me is absolutely untrue," DeLay reportedly wrote in the letter. "As Whip and Majority Leader, I met with many people who brought issues before Congress and sought support of both Republicans and Democrats."

"The reality is, Jack Abramoff and I were not close personal friends," DeLay wrote in the letter. "I met with him only occasionally, in fact less frequently than numerous others who brought issues before Congress – never did he receive preferential treatment. To be certain, I knew nothing about the crimes for which he has pled guilty."

Abramoff pled guilty in early January to federal charges of tax evasion, fraud and conspiracy to bribe public officials.

"Tom Delay didn't forget his trips with Jack Abramoff to exotic locations like St. Andrews golf course in Scotland," Lampson's campaign said in a prepared statement. "It didn't simply slip his mind that the trip to Scotland was paid for by Jack Abramoff's credit card. DeLay is purposely misleading voters. No amount of explanation, rationalization or excuse-making can hide that fact."

"Nick's been hanging out with his Hollywood liberal donors for too long and needs a Texas-sized reality check," said DeLay campaign spokeswoman Shannon Flaherty. "He's lobbing these very nasty, personal attacks at Congressman DeLay for being candid, open, and honest with the voters, while Nick's running around the country with Nancy Pelosi, MoveOn.org, and labor unions, and hiding it from Texas voters."
Fort Bend Now allows comments -- like a blog -- and this article has a running comment thread.

I didn't get Delay's letter. If anyone wants to forward me a copy, I'll post it.

UPDATE: AP coverage here.

A thought on citations

I was thinking about this blog the other day, and realized that I wasn't necessarily always quoting from news sources inside the district.

The problem with that is that you might be getting a much different view of the news from Texas 22 than the voters are.

So, in order to make the blog a reflection of the news that voters will see, most posts from now on will probably quote the Houston Chronicle. It's undeniably the most influential newspaper in district 22, and newspapers tend to set the story for local TV news coverage.

Here's what I expect to cite in the upcoming months, by frequency:
1. Houston Chronicle
2. AP
3. Smaller Houston/suburban papers
4. National coverage, when relevant.
5. Other Texas newspapers, for comparison with how they frame the story.