Monday, April 03, 2006

Quorum Report: DeLay Brings Down Party

From the Quorum Report:

Anecdotal information from the Tom Delay's district clearly indicated many Republicans intended to sit out the election giving Democrat Nick Lampson a chance.

But the bigger story may be the drag he was becoming on the entire ticket. Having worked to build a Republican majority, Delay was on the edge of being responsible for its loss.

Matt Angle, former chief of US Rep. Martin Frost, runs the Lone Star Project out of Washington, DC. Angle says DeLay’s mission is now complete.

"Tom DeLay has managed to remove every single leader in the Texas delegation, including himself," Angle said. "He’s removed three ranking members, a key whip and now the majority leader of the House."

In Washington, there has been some speculation whether DeLay can remove himself from the ballot in Congressional District 22 at all, post-primary. Typically, under Texas law, the only way a candidate would be taken off the ballot is either to lie or to move out of state. The question, legally, is whether the ballot has been certified, and whether this timing – between the primary and run-off – is a loophole that gives the Republican Party a chance to offer up another candidate in Congressional District 22.

When contacted, the Texas Secretary of State's Office withheld comment pending legal review tomorrow morning. If the Governor can call a special election to replace Mr. Delay, it is not far fetched to believe that he can be placed on the ballot.

Tom DeLay easily swept the Republican primary in a safe Republican seat. Democrats speculate, however, that losing a third of the core Republican voters – added to the Democrat and independent voters in the general election – might have been enough to give DeLay pause when it comes to November.

Dan Rostenkowski, the former powerful chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, went down in the House check-kiting scandal and later lost his own seat under similar circumstances, except in a safe Democratic district. A powerful House leader, faced with scandal, wins a primary but loses the general election.


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