Monday, October 30, 2006



Rozius, our correspondant from TX-22 is back with an update on what's going on in Tom DeLay's former district. His report:

The rollercoaster ride in the 22nd Congressional District appears to have the GOP faithful in the area ready to chuck up their cotton candy.

First, during the Spring GOP primary local Republicans renominated Tom Delay (R-Federal Correctional Facility) secure in the knowledge that he would somehow dodge his money laundering indictment and connections to GOP super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Whoops! Delay cut and ran deciding to start saving up for his legal fees as a D.C. lobbyist.

Then, the local Republicans determined in a very Bush like fit of deciderness that they could just choose another candidate to place on the November ballot as if the primary had never occurred. Whoops! Even Texas judges pointed out that Delay was the only Republican who could appear on the ballot according to the very same Texas laws that Delay and his GOP mob was so fond of ignoring.

This left the Grand Old Perverts in a strange situation. They were forced to mount a write in campaign for a seat that they had considered secure as recently as five months ago. This put Democratic nominee and former Congressman Nick Lampson in the driver's seat.

Fortunately for Lampson and the Texas Democrats, the GOP powers that be decided that the best way to assure a successful write in campaign to was select a candidate with a name that would be easy for local Republican to remember and spell. Whoops! Enter Houston City Councilwoman "Shelly Sekula-Gibbs"

To further complicate matters, Texas Governor Rick "Good Hair" Perry decided to call a Special Election during the General Election to replace Delay for the two month period between the election and the beginning of the new Congress. Considering that Congress will most likely not be is session during this time period the move on the part of Perry and Karl Rove to get Sekula-Gibbs' name on the November ballot was aimed at allowing Republican voters the opportunity cut and paste her into the write-in slot. And, since Sekula-Gibbs is running in both the Special and General Election on the same ballot she is allowed by Texas law to accept twice as much in individual contributions from wealthy Republican donors.

Local television viewers have been treated to an unending stream of campaign commercials featuring Sekula-Gibbs singing a little ditty to the tune of "Roll Out the Barrel"-- "Vote twice for Shelley. Special and then write her in."

Apparently, national Republican operatives had originally promised Sekula-Gibbs $3 million in campaign aid.That figure has turned out to be closer to $100,000 and some mail-outs. Sekula-Gibbs was forced to loan her own campaign an additional $250,000. She has spent $270,000 during the past three months. The local party had raised $500,000 from Texas Republicans including a $150,000 fund raiser featuring Dick Cheney in early October. Delay has kicked in his mailing list and other Texas Republicans like Kay Bailey Hutchinson have stumped for the GOP underdog with the unspellable last name.

The crown jewel of the Sekula-Gibbs campaign will occur on October 30th when George "Don't Take My Photo With Him" Bush comes to town to rally the rabid-but-faithful. Local Democrats are planning a special welcome for Bush when he visits on Monday. I plan on attending to see what transpires.

For his part, Lampson has run a local campaign stressing his earlier work in Congress with health care, transportation, education, The Johnson Space Center and child protection issues.

Lampson has $1.7 million in the bank. He raised $390,000 and spent $834,000 in the last reporting period, between July 1 and Sept. 30. About $195,000 of his contributions came from individuals, $115,000 from political action committees and the rest from other sources. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved $850,000 worth of television advertising time for the last two weeks of the campaign on Lampson's behalf.

Lampson has not bothered to run in the meaningless Special Election and instead is concentrating on the General Election. He faces token opposition from Texas Libertarian candidate Bob Smithers on the ballot.

State Republican officials privately admit that Sekula-Gibbs is facing an up hill battle and is a 1 in 20 shot to win. The real focus here is for 2008 when the ballot situation will be a bit more in their favor.

It looks like the local bumper stickers are correct. Texans in the 22nd Congressional District are about to "Clean Up Congress-Without Delay."


I doubt the Houston Chronicle is trying to sway the race away from Nick Lampson and towards that DeLay crony the GOP has in the race. I think the reason for the silly story on the Zogby poll is just to get people to buy newspapers-- Write-in tightens race in District 22. Oh Lord, the race is tightenin', the race is tightenin'... I better run out and buy a Chron or log in to their website.

And then if you read below the headlines you notice the race isn't tightening at all, not even a little. Chris Bowers over at MyDD explains how these silly polls, especially Zogby's, can be easily manipulated to show anything the person who commissioned the poll wants it to show. "Lampson is actually doubling up Gibbs 36-19. But hey, Zogby wasn't commissioned to make a boring poll... the poll does show long-term problems for Democrats in this district. In a straight trial heat, with Gibbs's name on the ballot, she leads Lampson 53-40. Even if Lampson wins this race due to the odd ballot situation involving DeLay, clearly it will be a difficult seat to hold."


Not much gets by our pal Rozius. And this morning he's got the details of Bush's campaign trip to the heart of DeLayland:

Here is a quick update on the Bush visit to Sugarland Texas

Bush jets into Ellington Field in Houston at taxpayer expense.

He then jumps on a Marine Helicopter at taxpayer expense to fly to a small regional airport that is much too tiny for Air Force One to land at.

Around 1,500 rabid Republicans greet the President in a hanger. No one else had a chance to attend the event because it was the standard GOP "You must have a ticket passed out by the Texas GOP to enter." Around 100 protestors braved the heat, humidity and mosquitoes to protest along the state highway that runs in front of the airport. Bush never saw them.

Here are the lowlites from the speech:

"The best way to make sure an enemy is unable to do us harm is to stay on offense. It is hard to plot, plan and attack when you’re on the run."

"I saw a threat in Saddam Hussein... I made the right decision against Saddam Hussein."

"The only way we won't succeed in Iraq is by leaving before the job is done," he said. And as for the Democrats, "It's a serious political party in the midst of a war, and they don't have a plan for success. They don't have a plan for victory."

"Their approach comes down to this-- the terrorists win and America loses," President Bush said as the partisan crowd booed loudly. "I'm not saying the Democrats are unpatriotic. I'm just saying they’re wrong."

Strangely enough, Bush spent half his speech talking about Iraq while Sekula-Gibbs has pretty much avoided the topic during her campaign appearances.

But then again, this taxpayer funded junket really wasn't about the write-in candidate with the unspellable name. It was about tossing some raw meat to some of Bush's most reactionary supporters in Texas.


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At 8:57 AM, Anonymous john wieder said...

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