Saturday, October 09, 2004

Attention College Professors: Is the Right-Wing targeting you?

The right-wing group, Students For Academic Freedom are prompting members to spy on professors and report their findings back to headquarters. What the information is used for is not clear. ~E

Students For Academic Freedom(

How to Research Faculty Bias
(Using Voter Registration Records)

1. Investigate Your University and State

Find out how your state keeps voter registration records. The best way to do this is to call your local board of elections or the state board of elections. Some states either leave out partisan registration, have closed records, or have open voter registration lists but do not reveal party registrations. Some states don’t record party registration as such but do keep public records as to the primaries an individual votes in. Some states where this project is not possible are Texas, Missouri, Georgia, and New Jersey. There may be others. The project is possible, obviously, in any state for which CSPC has already done a school. You should also find out if your school has a faculty or all campus directory that includes mailing addresses. If it does, you should obtain a copy of it.

2. Select Professorial Research Subjects

Visit the websites for the following departments: Economics, English, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology. If there is an English Literature and English Language department, choose the literature department. Political Science is sometimes called Government or American Government. Sociology is sometimes paired with Anthropology. Compile lists of tenure and tenure track professors (these people should be called Associate Professors, Assistant Professors, and Professors.) You should also select one science or technology related department. Please select departments in the following order.

1. Department of Civil Engineering
2. Department of Engineering (if it is only one department.)
3. Department of Computer Science
4. Department of Physics
5. Department of Mathematics

If the school has no departments or a single department/college of science, then select a sample of at least 25 scientists or survey all of the scientists at your school.

2. Select Administrative Research Subjects

Next, you should develop a list of the administrators at the school. You should compile a list that includes the President/Chancellor, the Provost, some assistant provosts and vice presidents, a variety of deans, and the head of admissions. This task requires some judgment on your part: administrators should be selected primarily on the basis of how likely they are to deal with students and the academic life of the school you are surveying: the heads of academic colleges, the people responsible for overseeing on campus residences, and the individuals in charge of disciplinary matters should be surveyed. Titles are not consistent but, at most schools, people with Dean in their titles are more likely to deal with student life than Vice Presidents or Assistant Provosts. At smaller colleges, it may be appropriate to include a few people who do not deal directly with students.

3. Create Spreadsheet

Using Microsoft Excel or a program capable of saving excel files. The colums should be labeled: Our format is:
Last Name – First Name – Party – Department – Address – Gender – Age
The age data point will generally be included along with voter records, if it is not, it may be left out. Occasionally, it will not be possible to tell gender from a name alone: you might try calling that professor at an odd hour to check the voice mail or just asking the department secretary.

4. Investigate the Records

Visit your local voting records facility – in almost every state but Massachusetts, it will be part of county government. It may require a little digging to find out where the facility is and what their rules for viewing are – but if there is any difficulty, call up the main line for your county and ask. Once at the facility with a printed copy of the Excel list, begin looking up the names, keeping in mind the following protocol for identifying a professor with a party. You should be sure that you have the right person and always error in favor of leaving a person out rather than recording his or her party registration wrongly. You should, however, assume that all professors are over 25 and that anybody with the proper name who lives on the college campus teaches there. If you have a name and an address, look up the name, and if the address matches, you’ve got an airtight identification. If not, it’s a bit harder. Here’s an example of how to proceed:

The person being investigated is “Andrew Jones,” and there is no address available.
If your result is one “Andrew Jones,” this is conclusive. Record the party.
If your result is two people named “Andrew Jones” this is not conclusive. Record as TM – too many positive hits.
If your result is “Andrew L. Jones”: this is conclusive. Record the party.
If your results are “Andrew L. Jones” and “Andrew N. Jones”: not conclusive. Record as TM – too many positive hits.
If your results are “Andrew Jones” and “Andrew L. Jones”: still not conclusive. Record as TM – too many positive hits.

Obviously, you should use whatever knowledge you have of the professors. If you know that professor Andrew Jones looks about 40 and the only other registered voter named Andrew Jones is 90, then you can safely assume that the 41-year old Andrew Jones is the person you are looking for. Common sense should also come into play: if, for, example, you find one person who is registered to vote at a trailer park 600 miles away and another who lives in a college town neighborhood preferred by professors, you can safely assume that the professor lives among his colleagues.

5. Note party registrations:

You should note party registrations as follows.

No party/Not affiliated/Non-partisan: NP
Republican: R
Democrat: D
Libertarian: L
Green: G
Other Party/Local Political Party/Etc.: O
You will also encounter many professors for whom no voting records are available. Record them as: N

Occasionally, a party may have a different name on the state level than it doe nationally. Minnesota’s Democratic Party, for example, is officially the Democratic Farmer/Laborer Party and the Washington D.C. Green Party is called the Statehood/Green Party. In some cases, you will find that party registration is not recorded but primary voting is. For this purpose, you should examine the last five primaries the person voted in. If the person voted in the same party’s primary each time, then he or she should be recorded as a member of that party. If the person voted in the primary of more than one party, then the person should be recorded as NP.

6. Enter data

Once returned from the registrar’s office, enter the party affiliation in the Excel file, and email the results in an attachment to: Your contribution and hard work are greatly appreciated, and will be acknowledged.


Judicial Nominees Bad For Civil Rights

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights: Bush's Judicial Nominees Bad For Civil Rights

Washington, DC - At a meeting today of the United States Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR), Republican Commission members failed in their attempt to have a highly critical review of the Bush administration's record on civil rights removed from the public domain. The comprehensive draft details the blatant lack of progress George Bush has made on civil rights in America during the last four years, placing special emphasis on Bush's controversial record concerning judicial appointments.

The opening summary of the report, prepared by staff for the Commission's review today, states: "This report finds that President Bush has neither exhibited leadership on pressing civil rights issues, nor taken actions that matched his words."

"This new report proves that Bush is abusing our judiciary system to appoint activist judges with extremist ideologies," said Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Terry McAuliffe. "If Bush is given the chance, he will appoint one of his far-right wing judges to the Supreme Court. If that happens we won't be headed in the wrong direction for four more years. We'll be headed in the wrong direction for generations to come."

Below are excerpts from the Commission's draft report. For the full report, go to

The Bush Record

"Many of his nominees and appointees do not support civil rights protections. The effect may be eventual weakening of civil rights laws."

"Some of President Bush's nonminority nominees hold views that would limit the scope and strength of civil rights laws, as do some of his minority and female nominees."

Increased Politicization of the Bench

"One commentator cites the President's campaign promise to effect an ideological transformation of the federal judiciary as the reason for increased politicization."

"Because federal judges have the power to interpret and establish precedent upon which future case law can be based, and because they serve life terms, their civil rights views are critical. Civil rights organizations and leadership have objected to and launched campaigns against several of President Bush's nominees, claiming that the administration is trying to pack the judiciary with anti-civil rights ideologues."

Selection Process

"President Bush's first action on judicial nominations was to change the selection process. In March 2001, the administration terminated the longstanding relationship between the American Bar Association (ABA) and the White House Counsel's Office. For 50 years, ABA had advised Presidents on the qualifications of judicial nominees for service."

"In a news conference following the White House announcement, the ABA president expressed concern that ‘the role of politics may be taking the place of professionalism in choosing judges.' Some newspapers and civil rights advocacy groups voiced opposition to the decision and said that removing ABA could have a negative effect on civil rights law enforcement."

Controversial Judges

Charles Pickering "Of particular concern to civil rights advocates was a 1994 case in which Pickering actively sought a reduced sentence for a man convicted of cross burning, a widely used hate group intimidation tactic. At one point Pickering referred to the act as a ‘youthful prank,' diminishing its symbolic representation of race baiting and hatred. Pickering took the further step of contacting a friend at the Department of Justice during the trial to try to get the offender's sentence reduced, a move considered unethical by several legal experts.

"Pickering has also argued for a more narrow application of the Voting Rights Act and suggested that, generally, discrimination cases have no bases.

"On January 16, 2004, President Bush bypassed Senate approval and used his recess appointment powers to seat Pickering."

Priscilla Owen
"President Bush first nominated Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen during the 107th Congress. She received a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which eventually declined her nomination. In early January 2003, a coalition of civil rights groups wrote a letter to President Bush, urging him not to renominate Justice Owen, in part because her opinions ‘reveal a troubling hostility to discrimination and employee rights.' Another observer noted that ‘her judicial record suggests strongly that she lacks a commitment to equal access to justice for all.' Nearly 40 organizations, including the NAACP, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Women's Law Center, the National Council of Jewish Women, and the National Employment Lawyers Association, oppose Owen's nomination. Despite these objections, President Bush renominated her. In April 2003, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved Owen, but she has yet to receive a vote before the full Senate."

Jeffrey Sutton
"The Senate confirmed Jeffrey Sutton to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals over the protestations of more than 70 national groups and 375 regional, state, and local organizations, including the NAACP, the National Organization on Disability, among other disability rights groups, and environmental justice organizations. These groups expressed concern that Sutton's legal views would curtail Congress' ability to enforce federal protections against discrimination. He has argued against allowing private individuals to sue to enforce the disparate impact regulations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and for placing limitations on the ability of state employees who are victims of age discrimination to recover damages.

"He argued furthermore that ADA prohibitions should not apply to state governments despite overwhelming evidence of discrimination by state actors."

Miguel Estrada
"Estrada did not reveal his views on landmark Supreme Court decisions, and the White House refused to answer questions about his judicial philosophy or release memos he wrote during his tenure in the solicitor general's office in the Bush Sr. administration."

Janice Rogers Brown
"Despite opposition from nearly 80 national organizations and more than 200 law professors and legal academicians, President Bush nominated Janice Rogers Brown for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in July 2003. As a judge on the California Supreme Court, Brown consistently demonstrated hostility to affirmative action, civil rights, and the rights of disabled individuals, workers, prisoners, and women, according to the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. In an affirmative action case in California, a fellow Republican-appointed justice, despite concurring with the result of the case, described her view as "a serious distortion of history." In that case, not only did Brown issue a lengthy opinion opposing affirmative action programs, but she also strongly condemned Supreme Court decisions that had upheld such programs in the public sector, even in limited circumstances."


House Rejects Outside Check Into DeLay


Published: October 9, 2004

ASHINGTON, Oct. 8 - As partisan tensions escalated in the House, lawmakers voted along party lines on Friday night to reject a measure by the Democratic leader, Representative Nancy Pelosi, to have an outside counsel investigate lapses that prompted the House ethics committee to publicly admonish Ms. Pelosi's Republican counterpart, Representative Tom DeLay.

The vote was 210 to 182, with five members - four of them Democrats who serve on the ethics panel - voting present. Ms. Pelosi, who exerted a special procedural prerogative to bring forth the resolution, said afterward that she was prompted to do so by Mr. DeLay's suggestion that he had been exonerated.

"Instead of being contrite, the leader was contemptuous," she said, adding, "I wouldn't have done this absent his inappropriate behavior."

Mr. DeLay responded by calling the measure "a political smear."

The move was clearly intended to force Republicans into the uncomfortable position of going on record as supporting Mr. DeLay just weeks before the November elections.

Already, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has been singling out moderate Republicans whose statements in support of Mr. DeLay could hurt them at home.

The recent rebukes of Mr. DeLay - two this week and one last week - have reverberated through the House, creating divisions between Republicans and Democrats that are more bitter than usual.

The ethics panel is composed of five Republicans and five Democrats, and reached its decision unanimously. In an interview on Friday, its chairman, Representative Joel Hefley, Republican of Colorado, said he had been taking heat from both parties. "From one side because we didn't hang him from the Capitol steps and from the other side because we were too harsh," Mr. Hefley said.

Since last week, the committee has cited Mr. DeLay for three infractions: pressuring a Michigan lawmaker to switch his vote on an important health care bill; creating the appearance of linking political donations to support for legislation; and exerting undue influence over federal officials by ordering them to search for Texas legislators who had fled the state to avoid voting on a redistricting plan there.


The Bulge in Bush's Jacket

The Mystery of the Bulge in the Jacket

Published: October 9, 2004

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 - What was that bulge in the back of President Bush's suit jacket at the presidential debate in Miami last week?

According to rumors racing across the Internet this week, the rectangular bulge visible between Mr. Bush's shoulder blades was a radio receiver, getting answers from an offstage counselor into a hidden presidential earpiece. The prime suspect was Karl Rove, Mr. Bush's powerful political adviser

When the online magazine Salon published an article about the rumors on Friday, the speculation reached such a pitch that White House and campaign officials were inundated with calls.

First they said that pictures showing the bulge might have been doctored. But then, when the bulge turned out to be clearly visible in the television footage of the evening, they offered a different explanation.

"There was nothing under his suit jacket," said Nicolle Devenish, a campaign spokeswoman.

"It was most likely a rumpling of that portion of his suit jacket, or a wrinkle in the fabric."

Ms. Devenish could not say why the "rumpling" was rectangular.

Nor was the bulge from a bulletproof vest, according to campaign and White House officials; they said Mr. Bush was not wearing one.

Link checks the words of President Bush

Below excerpts from on yesterday's second presidential debate:

George W. Bush

Bush's Timber-Growing Company

Kerry: "The president got $84 from a timber company that owns, and he's counted as a small business. Dick Cheney's counted as a small business. That's how they do things. That's just not right."

Bush: "I own a timber company?

That's news to me."


Bush got a laugh when he scoffed at Kerry's contention that he had received $84 from "a timber company." Said Bush, "I own a timber company? That's news to me."

In fact, according to his 2003 financial disclosure form, Bush does own part interest in "LSTF, LLC", a limited-liability company organized "for the purpose of the production of trees for commercial sales." (See "supporting documents" at right.)

So Bush was wrong to suggest that he doesn't have ownership of a timber company. And Kerry was correct in saying that Bush's definition of "small business" is so broad that Bush himself would have qualified as a "small business" in 2001 by virtue of the $84 in business income.

"They're Working"
Bush: "There are other ways to make sure drugs are cheaper. One is to speed up generic drugs to the marketplace, quicker. Pharmaceuticals were using loopholes to keep brand -- brand drugs in place, and generics are much less expensive than brand drugs. And we're doing just that.

Another is to pass -- to get our seniors to sign up to these drug discount cards, and they're working."


Bush defended his opposition to importing cheaper, price-controlled drugs from Canada, saying another way to make drugs cheaper is "to get our seniors to sign up to these drug discount cards, and they're working." But in fact they're not working nearly as well as originally advertised.

Seniors complain the cards are confusing, and healthcare advocates fault the Department of Health and Human Services for failing to effectively publicize the program. The Associated Press reported that of the 7 million poor seniors who are eligible for the card and a $600 subsidy, only 1.3 million have actually signed up to receive the discount.

And as widely reported, total enrollment -- counting both poor and non-poor -- is at 4.4 million, and over half of those were enrolled automatically by heath maintenance organizations. The overall total is still 3 million shy of the number the administration predicted would be enrolled by the end of 2004.

$28 Billion a Year?
Bush: "Secondly, he says that medical liability costs only cause a 1 percent increase. That shows a lack of understanding. Doctors practice defensive medicine because of all the frivolous lawsuits that cost our government $28 billion a year."

Bush recycled his claim that lawsuits force physicians to practice "defensive medicine" that adds substantially to medical costs, and increases federal spending for health-care programs by $28 billion a year. We de-bunked that one back in January.

As we said then, both the General Accounting Office (recently re-named the Government Accountability Office) and the Congressional Budget Office criticize the 1996 study the Bush administration uses as their main support for that claim. These nonpartisan agencies suggest savings from passage of limits on malpractice damages --- if there are any savings at all -- would be relatively small.

Bush's claim rests mainly on a single 1996 study by two Stanford economists who said caps on damage awards could hold down overall medical costs by 5% to 9%. They studied heart patients who were hospitalized, compared costs in states with and without limits on malpractice lawsuits, and then projected their findings to the entire health-care system.

But both the GAO and the CBO questioned such a sweeping conclusion. When the CBO attempted to duplicate the Stanford economists’ methods for other types of ailments they found “no evidence that restrictions on tort liability reduce medical spending.”

Rationing of Health Care?
Bush: "And finally, he said he's going to have a novel health care plan. You know what it is? The federal government is going to run it.

It's the largest increase in federal government health care ever. . . .

Government-sponsored health care would lead to rationing. It would ruin the quality of health care in America."

Bush escalated his attack on Kerry's proposal to expand health-care insurance through an expensive assortment of subsidies and expansions of Medicare and Medicaid. The president stated Kerry's plan "would lead to rationing" of medical care, and "would ruin the quality of health care in America."

Bush's attack in the debate echoed a grossly misleading claim made in his earlier TV ad, which said Kerry's health plan would put "Washington bureaucrats in control" of medical decisions, putting "big government in charge. Not you Not your doctor." That view isn't supported by neutral experts, however, as we reported on Oct. 4.

Actually, an estimated 97% of Americans who now have health insurance will simply keep the plan they have, according to projections by the independent, politically neutral health-care research firm The Lewin Group .

And The Lewin Group's vice president, John Sheils, disputes the Bush ad's claim:

Sheils: I don’t see how, in Kerry’s plan, decisions on medical procedures would be made in Washington under any circumstances, under any proposal.

Other Dubious Claims

-Bush said Kerry voted 98 times to "raise taxes" during his 19-year Senate career. But as we reported Aug. 30, the Bush campaign's list of votes includes 43 votes for budget measures that merely set targets for taxes without actually legislating changes to the tax code. And it counts multiple votes on the same bills, including 16 votes on the 1993 Clinton package of tax increases and spending cuts.

-Bush once again claimed 900,000 "small businesses" would see a tax increase under Kerry's proposal to raise taxes only on persons making over $200,000 a year. As we showed earlier , that's an inflated number. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center calculates that 471,000 small employers would see an increase in taxes.

-Bush claimed that "we increased that child credit by $1,000," when in fact it has increased by half that much under his legislation. It was $500 before Bush took office, and his tax-cut bills doubled it.

For more on yesterday's debate, visit

Friday, October 08, 2004

More Censorship From The Right

Date: Fri, 8 Oct 2004 10:28:13 -0600
From: "Citizen Link"
Subject: CITIZENLINK ACTION ALERT -- Help Pass the Broadcast Indecency Enforcement Act


Last chance to raise broadcast indecency fines this year!

The Washington Post reported this morning that Sen. Sam
Brownback's amendment to the Department of Defense
Authorization Bill raising broadcast indecency fines
ten-fold was dropped last night during House-Senate
conference negotiations. Increasing indecency fines has
garnered overwhelming support in both the House (by a
391-22 vote) and the Senate (by a 99-1 vote), but this
procedural move puts at risk one of our best opportunities
to pass this needed legislation.

Brownback is committed to securing broadcast decency
language this year and, in an attempt to salvage this
effort, he and Sen. John Ensign are working to bring the
Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act to a full Senate vote
before Congress adjourns, which could happen as early as

Your help is needed on this effort. Please call your
senators at their Washington and district offices TODAY
and ask them to prevent indecency on the public airwaves
by supporting the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act.

To find the phone numbers to call, visit the CitizenLink
Action Center.

There is also an indication that the Democrats may attempt
to block this bill. Please take an extra moment to contact
Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and ask that he not
stand in the way of this extremely important tool for
protecting America's families.

American Family Association Censorship

Dear Member,

In a hasty reversal, SC Johnson has decided NOT to sponsor TBS's cross-dressing show He's a Lady after all.

Earlier this week, news reports cited SC Johnson as the principle sponsor of the new reality show based on deceiving men who think they're going to participate in a "macho" show, but end up wearing women’s clothing and make-up. By the end of the series, the men are required to live their "feminine" life in front of hometown friends and family for a period of time.

In response to emails sent to SC Johnson by upset consumers over the sponsorship, the company is sending differently worded email messages holding the same position.

One email response from SC Johnson says, "As part of SC Johnson's advertising and marketing efforts, we review and evaluate programming on a constant basis. He's a Lady is scheduled to air October 19. As part of our ongoing evaluation process with our marketing brand teams, we are not sponsoring this program."

Another response simply says, "We have assessed the show and we will not sponsor it."

Thanks to your good actions, together we are making a difference! We will monitor the show for future advertisers and keep you informed of who they are.

Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman
American Family Association

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Delay ruled unethically fit; Refuses to step down

DeLay says he won't step down

By Andrea Stone, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — The second-most-powerful Republican in the House, Tom DeLay of Texas, rejected calls Thursday from Democrats and watchdog groups that he step down as majority leader after the House ethics committee admonished him for abusing his power.

DeLay, a 10-term House veteran, said he remains focused on fighting terrorism and preventing another 9/11. "By the Democrats' actions today, it is clear they are focused on something else entirely: a smear campaign," he said.

The war of words all but ended the unwritten, seven-year ethics truce between Democrats and Republicans in the House. In harsh language, Democrats demanded that Republicans remove DeLay if he refused to step down.

"Republicans must answer — do they want an ethically unfit person to be their majority leader, or do they want to remove the ethical cloud that hangs over the Capitol?" House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said.

Wednesday's admonishments, coming six days after another warning from the ethics committee, could end any hopes DeLay had of becoming House speaker when Dennis Hastert of Illinois retires. (Related story: Ethics panel rebukes DeLay again)

House Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri said the actions came as a result of a personal vendetta by Rep. Chris Bell, a first-term Texas Democrat who lost a primary this year after DeLay's redistricting plan was implemented. "We're seeing some election-year politics playing out," Blunt told CNN.

The latest rebukes came late Wednesday from the committee of five Republicans and five Democrats. They were unanimous. In a letter to DeLay, the panel said his actions "went beyond the bounds of acceptable conduct."

The panel said DeLay:

• Created the appearance of favoritism when he helped facilitate a golf fundraiser with executives of Westar Energy, which was seeking legislative help.

• Raised concerns by contacting the Federal Aviation Administration to help locate a planeload of Texas state legislators who had fled to Oklahoma to thwart action on the redistricting plan. House standards forbid using government resources in a partisan conflict.

• Pressured Rep. Nick Smith, R-Mich., to switch his vote on a Medicare prescription-drug bill by offering to endorse Smith's son in a Republican primary. Smith refused, and his son lost the primary.

In addition, DeLay was rebuked in 1999 for threatening retaliation against a trade group if it hired a Democrat as its president.

The committee deferred action on another complaint that DeLay in 2002 illegally funneled corporate funds to state legislators through a political action committee he created. A Texas grand jury is investigating; three of DeLay's political associates have been indicted in the case.

The committee did spare DeLay more severe punishment: a formal investigation, a more serious letter of reprimand or even expulsion.

"Admonishment is not a good thing," said Ken Gross, an election law expert who has represented both Democrats and Republicans in ethics cases. "It's on the mild side, but not completely insignificant."

Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill., said there is "no sentiment" among Republicans to remove DeLay as leader before the Nov. 2 elections. But, he added, "If he's indicted, that changes the whole thing. He'd have to step down."

Less clear is the effect DeLay's case will have on current House races. Democrats will likely still have a tough time reversing the Republicans' 227-205 advantage. But they saw a new opportunity to make DeLay an issue in campaigns. On Thursday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent an e-mail to supporters asking for contributions to help "efforts to unseat DeLay."

Some Republicans were already seeking to put distance between themselves and the majority leader. In Oregon, Republican Goli Ameri, who is challenging Democratic Rep. David Wu, said in an ad that if elected, "When Tom DeLay is wrong, I'll look him in the eye and I'll let him know that."

Contributing: William M. Welch

Delay's actions found unethical for a second time this week

Ethics panel rebukes DeLay for second time in a week

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House ethics committee rebuked Majority Leader Tom DeLay for the second time in a week for questionable conduct, sternly warning the Texas Republican to temper his behavior.

The committee late Wednesday admonished DeLay for creating an appearance of giving donors special access on pending energy legislation and using the Federal Aviation Administration to intervene in a Texas political dispute.

Last week, the same committee admonished DeLay for offering to endorse the House candidacy of a House member's son in exchange for the member's favorable vote on a Medicare prescription drug bill.

The committee's publicly issued findings constituted the panel's mildest punishment, and spared DeLay from a lengthy investigation.

But the committee noted the rare back-to-back admonishments and that in 1999 DeLay received an ethics committee warning for pressuring a lobby company to hire a Republican.

"In view of the number of instances to date in which the committee has found it necessary to comment on conduct in which you engaged, it is clearly necessary for you to temper your future actions," the committee said in a letter to DeLay.

DeLay is one of the nation's most partisan political leaders and most successful money-raisers. He has long been known in the Capitol as "The Hammer."

The committee of five Democrats and five Republicans delayed action on an allegation that DeLay violated Texas campaign finance laws. A Texas grand jury investigation has so far led to indictments of three DeLay associates and eight corporations.

DeLay said he considers the complaint against him dismissed, but accepted the committee's guidance.

He called the complaint another personal attack by Democrats that fell short "not because of insufficient venom, but because of insufficient merit."

The panel told DeLay that he created an appearance of favoritism when he mingled at a 2003 golf outing with executives of Westar Energy of Kansas.

The tournament at a Virginia resort came just days after the executives contributed $25,000 to Texans for a Republican Majority, a fund-raising organization associated with DeLay.

In addition, company executives donated $33,200 to six House campaigns.

The committee concluded DeLay was "in a position to significantly influence" legislation Westar sought because he is a House leader and at the time was involved in House-Senate efforts to negotiate an energy bill.

The legislation sought by Westar was inserted in the energy bill by another lawmaker, but eventually was withdrawn.

The committee made clear that DeLay did not solicit contributions from Westar in return for a favor, which would have been far more serious.

"Representative DeLay took no action with regard to Westar that would constitute an impermissible special favor," according to the report from the panel led by Chairman Joel Hefley, R-Colo. and senior Democrat Alan Mollohan of West Virginia.

DeLay also raised "serious concerns" by contacting the Federal Aviation Administration in 2003 to chase down a Texas Democrat's private plane. State Democratic legislators were fleeing Texas to prevent Republican state lawmakers from passing a DeLay-engineered redistricting plan.

While Democrats and government watchdog groups unleashed a stream of criticism of DeLay's conduct, the committee findings are unlikely to derail him if Republicans retain control in November.

Wednesday's admonishments stem from a a three-part complaint filed by freshman Rep. Chris Bell, D-Texas. He lost his primary because of the DeLay-inspired redistricting plan.

Bell said DeLay should step down from his leadership position. "The old rule is three strikes and your out," Bell said.

The committee said it would take up DeLay's objections that the complaint by Bell contained "innuendo, speculative assertions or conclusionary statements."

DeLay, 57, was elected in 1984 to a district representing the Houston suburb of Sugar Land.

He began his ascent in Congress after Republicans captured the House in 1994 — successfully running for the No. 3 position as majority whip.

As the chief vote-counter and fund-raiser for House Republicans, he kept the party united on key votes when it possessed only a slim majority over the Democrats.

When Newt Gingrich stepped down as speaker in 1998 after a damaging ethics investigation, DeLay played a major role in raising little-known Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., to the speakership. DeLay became Majority Leader in 2002 after Dick Armey, R-Texas, retired.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Bush Backers Give Campaign Money To Ralph Nader

Swift Boat Veterans Float Nader Some Money

By Brian Faler

Thursday, October 7, 2004; Page A07

Swift Boat Veterans for Nader? A handful of donors to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, an organization that has run controversial ads attacking Democrat John F. Kerry, have also given money to independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader.
Five donors, who contributed a total of $13,500 to the anti-Kerry group, also gave $7,500 to the longtime consumer advocate. That has infuriated some Democrats, who complain that Nader is taking money from supporters of not only a Republican group, but also one he has repeatedly denounced. In August, at a speech at Tulane University, Nader called the group "proxies" for the Bush campaign, which, he said, was attempting to "smear" the Democratic nominee.

"If Nader wishes to have any credibility left with progressives, he must give back all right-wing money," said Robert Brandon, co-founder of anti-Nader United Progressives for Victory, which unearthed the contributions.

The Nader camp rejected suggestions that it was hypocritical of him to accept the money -- and said the donations were evidence of its candidate's ability to appeal to voters from across the political spectrum. "Twenty-five percent of our voters are people who voted for Bush. I'm not surprised there's some overlap in funding, as well," said spokesman Kevin Zeese. "If they support us, they support us," he said. "We can still criticize their advertising campaign."

Bush Administration Wrong: No WMD stockpiles in Iraq

Report: No WMD stockpiles in Iraq

Thursday, October 7, 2004 Posted: 1:00 AM EDT (0500 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Saddam Hussein did not possess stockpiles of illicit weapons at the time of the U.S. invasion in March 2003 and had not begun any program to produce them, a CIA report concludes.

In fact, the long-awaited report, authored by Charles Duelfer, who advises the director of central intelligence on Iraqi weapons, says Iraq's WMD program was essentially destroyed in 1991 and Saddam ended Iraq's nuclear program after the 1991 Gulf War.


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Cheney plugs and gets slammed by

Cheney wrongly implied that FactCheck had defended his tenure as CEO of Halliburton Co., and the vice president even got our name wrong. He overstated matters when he said Edwards voted "for the war" and "to commit the troops, to send them to war." He exaggerated the number of times Kerry has voted to raise taxes, and puffed up the number of small business owners who would see a tax increase under Kerry's proposals.

Cheney wrongly implied that FactCheck had defended his tenure as CEO of Halliburton Co., and the vice president even got our name wrong. He overstated matters when he said Edwards voted "for the war" and "to commit the troops, to send them to war." He exaggerated the number of times Kerry has voted to raise taxes, and puffed up the number of small business owners who would see a tax increase under Kerry's proposals.

Visit and read what they have to say

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Fox News Poll: Senator Edwards wins debate

Who won Tuesday night's vice presidential debate?

a. Vice President Cheney (46%)

b. Senator Edwards (53%)

c. I did not watch (1%)

d. None of the above (0%)

134,393 total votes

Speaking Facts to GOP Talking Points

The below entry was posted at the Bush/Cheney 2004 Campaign Site:

GOP Official Campaign Blog

OCTOBER 5, 2004

Cheney Wins

Vice President Cheney won tonight because he countered rhetoric with the facts. Here are some quotes that will be remembered from this debate:
“So they, in effect, decided they would cast an anti-war vote, and they voted against the troops. Now, if they couldn't stand up to the pressures that Howard Dean represented, how can we expect them to standup to Al Qaeda?” -- Vice President Dick Cheney

“Senator, frankly, you have a record in the Senate that's not very distinguished. You missed 33 out of 36 meetings in the Judiciary Committee. Almost 70% of the meetings of the Intelligence Committee. You've missed a lot of key votes on tax policy, on energy, on Medicare reform. Your hometown newspaper has taken to calling you Senator Gone. You've got one of the worst attendance records in the United States Senate. Now, in my capacity as Vice President I am the President of the Senate, the presiding officer. I'm up in the Senate most Tuesdays when they're in session. The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight.” -- Vice President Dick Cheney

Posted by at 11:29 PM

The Facts

Fact #1: Both Kerry and Edwards voted to give the president the ability to use the military against Iraq with the agreement that the president would develop a coalition. The resolution specifically said, "The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate." Edwards made it clear at the time of his vote that he hoped to avoid war by enlisting broad support from the United Nations and US allies:

Edwards( Oct. 10, 2002 ): I believe we should act now for two reasons: first, bipartisan congressional action on a strong, unambiguous resolution, like the one before us now, will strengthen America's hand as we seek support from the Security Council and seek to enlist the cooperation of our allies.If the administration continues its strong, if belated, diplomacy, backed by the bipartisan resolve of the Congress, I believe the United States will succeed in rallying many allies to our side. Second, strong domestic support and a broad international coalition will make it less likely that force would need to be used.

The president failed to put together that coalition, leaving American soldiers vulnerable in Iraq. This administration took the focus off of Al Qaeda, Afganistan and the War on Terror by attacking Iraq, which was proven by the 911 commission to not have any involvement in the attacks of 911. The Administration furtheer failed the troops by not supplying them with adequate equipment (ie Flack Jackets,Body Armor, Armored Humvees etc.)

Fact #2: Several journalist have documented at least two instances in which Cheney had met Edwards previously. Edwards escorted Elizabeth Dole when she was sworn in as North Carolina's other senator on January 8, 2003, according to Gannet News Service. Cheney administered the oath.

Cheney also was present with Edwards at a National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 1, 2001, when a transcript shows Cheney acknowledged Edwards among those at the gathering:

Cheney: (Feb. 1, 2001): Thank you. Thank you very much. Congressman Watts, Senator Edwards, friends from across America and distinguished visitors to our country from all over the world, Lynne and I are honored to be with you all this morning.

Leave it to the GOP to claim a victory on false statements. ~Eximius

Talk Show Host, Lars Larson says "discrimination in the constitution is good"

October 5, 2004

Oregon-During a phone interview today with Gorgene Rice of the Yes on 36 Campaign (Oregon anti-gay marriage amendment), Lars Larson, an Oregon talk show host, made the statement that having discrimination written into the (Oregon) Constitution is good.

The response came from Larson when a caller by the name of Jimmy raised the concern that if Measure 36 were to pass, it would write discrimination into the Oregon Constitution by denying equal protection under the law.

The caller expressed futher that "The constitution isn't there for you (meaning Lars Larson and the Yes on Measure 36 campaign) to discriminate." Larson responded, "as a matter of fact it is". Jimmy further stated, "Your writing discrimination into the constitution", Larson responded again, "yes we are. In fact, some discrimination is good".

Lars Larson, of course, believes discrimination belongs in the Oregon Constitution. I wonder how many other Oregonians share this belief. ~Amadeus

Two Bush Donors Kick In $2 Million To Swift Boat Veterans for Truth

WASHINGTON — A political action group of Vietnam War veterans that has attacked Democratic candidate John F. Kerry over his combat record has begun a new television and direct mail blitz, enriched by $3 million in contributions from two longtime financial supporters of President Bush and the Republican Party.

In filings with the Federal Election Commission last week, officials of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth disclosed two $1-million donations from Harold Simmons, a billionaire chemical and waste industry magnate, and another $1 million from oilman T. Boone Pickens. Both base their corporate empires in the Dallas area.

The mammoth donations are the latest evidence of how Republicans and Democrats are capitalizing on unlimited contributions flowing to 527 political action groups. The Swift boat veterans operation has been one of the most conspicuous examples of the growing use of tax-exempt independent groups by both parties as stalking horses to advance controversial ad campaigns.

Simmons and Pickens have provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to GOP candidates and committees.

Pickens had already given the Swift boat group $500,000. And Simmons contributed more than $90,000 to Bush's two Texas gubernatorial races.

With its treasury swelled by the two Texans, the Swift boat group has launched a new cycle of campaign ads claiming that Kerry "betrayed his fellow veterans" by meeting with "enemy" Vietnamese negotiators in Paris during the Vietnam War.

In the ad, two wives of former prisoners of war rebuke Kerry for his April 1971 antiwar speech to a U.S. Senate committee, which first brought him national fame.

Mary Jane McManus, who is identified as one of the POW wives, says that Kerry gave "aid and comfort to the enemy." A second woman is identified as Phyllis Galanti, whose husband, Paul, is a former POW who was appointed by the Bush administration to a Veterans Affairs advisory council and who had criticized Kerry in an earlier campaign ad.

During his 1971 speech to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry talked about private meetings he had attended the previous May in Paris with representatives from the U.S.-backed South and communist North Vietnamese governments.

Kerry advocated an immediate pullout during his Senate appearance, but he has since denied any intent to intervene in the peace process, shepherded by the Nixon administration. Kerry attended the meetings while on his honeymoon in France, but it is not clear how he happened to meet with delegation members.

The anti-Kerry ads are running on national cable and in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Nevada and New Mexico. Sean McCabe, a spokesman for the Swift boat group, described the $1.4-million effort as "the most expensive media buy the group has made to date."

McCabe said the operation had also begun a nationwide direct mail campaign aimed at 1.2 million voters.

The Swift boat group's latest burst of activity and funding was dismissed Monday by Kerry aides, who have long complained of collusion between the Bush campaign and the anti-Kerry veterans. Democrats have bridled all summer over the Swift boat group's questioning of Kerry's medals and battle accounts. The charges were heavily covered in the media but remain unsubstantiated by military records and key eyewitnesses.

"Given the national laughingstock this discredited group is, you would have thought that the Bush-Rove money men would have invested in something more reliable and useful, like snake oil," said Kerry campaign spokesman Michael Meehan.

Calls to a Bush campaign spokesman were not returned. Neither of the Texas business executives could be reached for comment. A Simmons spokeswoman said the two men were "business friends."

With holdings that include chemicals and sugar, Simmons' net worth is reportedly $1 billion, according to Forbes magazine's annual survey of financial wealth. Pickens is close behind at $750 million.

Simmons' Waste Control Specialists firm won permission this year from the Texas Health Department in its efforts to dispose of low-level nuclear waste in West Texas. Environmentalists are fighting the decision.

In 1993, he paid a penalty of $19,800 to the Federal Election Commission for exceeding the $25,000 annual contribution limit in 1988 federal elections by nearly $45,000. The fine was paid after a conciliation agreement with the FEC.

With their support of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Simmons and Pickens join a growing list of multimillion-dollar donors to the 527 groups in this election. Unlike political parties, 527 groups — named for a section of the Internal Revenue Service code covering political organizations — are governed by the tax code and can accept unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations and unions.

"This would be a convenient way for Harold Simmons to score some points for George Bush without being directly connected to the campaign," said Andrew Wheat, research director for Texans for Public Justice, a nonprofit policy and research group based in Austin.

Republicans at first filed complaints with the FEC alleging that liberal 527 groups were violating the campaign finance reform law.

But after the FEC ruled in May that it would not reign in the 527s this year, Republicans began forming their own groups. Chief among them were the Swift boat group, which has raised more than $8.7 million from wealthy donors in Texas and 65,000 small contributors, and Progress for America Voter Fund, which shares some of the same donors and has raised $30.7 million since June.


Monday, October 04, 2004

In the Senate, Raising a (Quiet) Republican Voice Against the Administration


WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 - One day after the Supreme Court sealed the 2000 election for George W. Bush, his running mate, Dick Cheney, went to the Capitol for a private lunch with five moderate Republican senators. The agenda he laid out that day in December 2000 stunned Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, sending Mr. Chafee on a painful journey of political conscience that, he said in an interview last week, has culminated with his decision not to vote for Mr. Bush in November.

"I literally was close to falling off my chair," Mr. Chafee said, recounting the vice president's proposals for steep tax cuts, missile defense programs and abandoning the Kyoto environmental accords. "It was no room for discussion. I said, 'Well, you're going to need us; it's a 50-50 Senate, you're going to need us moderates.' He said, 'Well, we need everybody.' ''

For Mr. Chafee, who was a prep school buddy of the president's brother Jeb and whose father, the late Senator John Chafee, was close to the first President Bush, that day was the beginning of an estrangement with the president, whom he had worked to elect. In the months since, he has opposed Mr. Bush on everything from tax cuts to gay marriage and the war in Iraq. Now, this life-long Republican has concluded that he cannot cast his ballot for the leader of his party.

"I'll vote Republican," he said, explaining that he would choose a write-in candidate, perhaps George Bush the elder, as a symbolic act of protest. Asked if he wanted Senator John Kerry to be president, Mr. Chafee shook his head sadly, as if to say he could not entertain the question. "I've been disloyal enough," he said.

On Capitol Hill, some regard Mr. Chafee, a soft-spoken, gentle man who once shoed horses for a living, as the Republican counterpart to Senator Zell Miller, the fiery Georgia Democrat who is campaigning for Mr. Bush. But the truth is more complex. While Mr. Miller is retiring, Mr. Chafee is planning to run again in 2006. His misgivings about his party's conservative tilt have thrust him into a powerful position in Washington, where Republicans' memories are still fresh of how another moderate, Senator James M. Jeffords of Vermont, defected in 2001 and became an independent, temporarily giving Democrats control of the Senate.

Mr. Chafee insists he has no intention of defecting. But it is no secret that Democrats would welcome him, and already, Mr. Jeffords is offering him counsel.

"I understand the feelings that he has," Mr. Jeffords said. "I'm going to be talking to him, so I'm not going to say any more. I probably shouldn't have even told you that."

At 51, Mr. Chafee, who was appointed to the Senate after his father's death in 1999 and then won handily in an election the following year, is a curious figure in Washington. Pensive and intellectual, he hardly appears suited for the bare-knuckle world of politics and seems to exist on the periphery of things, ambling about the Capitol like an absent-minded professor making a study of its power-hungry inhabitants.

Some call him quirky; others think of him as the accidental senator, a political version of the loner protagonist in the Anne Tyler novel "The Accidental Tourist."

"I don't think he marches to the same drummer as other politicians," said M. Charles Bakst, a political columnist for The Providence Journal who has followed Rhode Island politics since the 1960's, when John Chafee was governor. "When they march, one of their big drums is party, and I don't think he cares very much what this party says or what another party says."

But Mr. Chafee says he does care. In heavily Democratic Rhode Island, he has been a Republican since birth; his parents named him Lincoln after the first Republican president. He says he is waiting for the moderate wing of the party to rise again; in the meantime, he was asked if he went to bed at night wondering how he could remain a Republican.

"Yes," he said, "I don't deny that."

Born into wealth and privilege, Mr. Chafee never envisioned following his father into politics. Instead, after graduating from Brown University in 1975, he took his grandfather's advice to "get a trade." Having grown up around horses, he settled on a blacksmith school in Bozeman, Mont., and spent seven years working at harness race tracks.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Setting The Record Straight: Bush Military Service


Associated Press

BUSH SERVICE President Bush never was disciplined while serving in the Texas Air National Guard, never failed a physical and never asked his father or family friends for help to get him into the Guard during the Vietnam War, the White House said. The statement came in response to a dozen questions submitted by The Associated Press in light of accusations about Mr. Bush's service. The Texas Air National Guard stripped Mr. Bush of his pilot status in August 1972 for failing to take the annual medical exam required of all pilots. Former Air National Guard officials say it was rare for a pilot to skip his physical exam. The A.P. asked whether Mr. Bush ever participated in a disciplinary process during his Guard service, whether he ever received a critical report or was ever present for a conversation in which his performance, conduct or physical condition were raised by a superior officer. "No and this is clear from the president's records, which have been made public," the White House said in an e-mail response.

Fabricated Kerry Posting Leads to Apology from Fox News


WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 - Plenty of news media analysts thought Senator John Kerry looked good at Thursday night's presidential debate, but Fox News went a step further, posting a made-up news article on its Web site that quoted Mr. Kerry as gloating about his fine manicure and his "metrosexual" appearance.

Fox News quickly retracted the article, saying in an editor's note on its Web site that the article "was written in jest and should not have been posted or broadcast.'' It said, "We regret the error, which occurred because of fatigue and bad judgment, not malice."

The article, posted on Friday on, was written by Carl Cameron, the chief political correspondent for Fox News, and included several bogus quotes from Mr. Kerry, supposedly assessing his performance in the debate.

"Didn't my nails and cuticles look great? What a good debate!" the article quoted Mr. Kerry, the Democratic candidate, as telling his supporters in Florida after the event.

"Women should like me! I do manicures," the story also quoted him as saying. It also had Mr. Kerry contrasting himself with President Bush: "I'm metrosexual - he's a cowboy."

Before the debate, several Fox News commentators remarked on the air about how Mr. Kerry had reportedly gotten a manicure that day.

Mr. Cameron has been reprimanded over the incident, said Paul Schur, a spokesman for the network. "This was a stupid mistake and a lapse in judgment, and Carl regrets it," Mr. Schur said.

He declined to say how Mr. Cameron had been reprimanded or whether action had been taken against others at Fox News who reviewed the article before it was posted. Mr. Cameron, who is well respected in news media circles, declined to discuss the incident when reached on Saturday. He is continuing to report from the campaign trail.

The gaffe comes at a time when journalistic errors and lapses both big and small have called into question the credibility of a number of major news organizations.

Less than two weeks ago, CBS News and Dan Rather - who is a frequent target of conservatives who accuse him of liberal bias - apologized for a "mistake in judgment" in relying on unsubstantiated documents for a report about President Bush's National Guard service.

On Saturday, it was Democrats who were chuckling over the incident at Fox News, a network that portrays itself as "fair and balanced" but is often accused by liberals of having a pro-Republican bias.

The Kerry campaign sought to turn the Fox retraction against Mr. Bush.

"Fox is doing the right thing by admitting its mistake and correcting the record," said Phil Singer, a spokesman for the Kerry campaign. "George Bush would be well served to heed the lesson and admit to his own mistakes."

DeLay Cases Could Imperil His Climb Within the House


WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 - Representative Tom DeLay, the majority leader rebuked by House ethics officials for pressuring a fellow member to switch his vote on a health care bill, still faces potentially more serious accusations, subjecting him to a new scrutiny that even some Republicans say could complicate his political future.

Mr. DeLay, the take-no-prisoners Texan known for maintaining strict discipline in his caucus, is entangled in a series of inquiries here and in Texas regarding his fund-raising and other activities. In Texas, three of his top aides have been indicted; in Washington, the House ethics panel is deciding whether to initiate a formal investigation.

On Friday, Republicans publicly rallied around their leader, though some said privately that the surprise ethics rebuke on Thursday - the second for Mr. DeLay, who was previously chastised for pressuring interest groups to hire Republicans - could hinder the leader if he tried to become speaker.

Democrats, who are already making Mr. DeLay an issue in their campaigns, attacked him on Friday for what Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader, called a "continued abuse of power.'' She said there was "an ethical cloud over this Capitol because of how he is conducting business here.''

The fracas is evoking memories of past ethics battles that have roiled Capitol Hill, and contributed to the ouster of two previous House speakers, Jim Wright, a Democrat, and Newt Gingrich, a Republican. Both ultimately faced calls from their own party members to step down, which is not the case with Mr. DeLay.

"If there is any pattern, it is that whenever anybody gets in power and becomes an effective leader in Washington, the other side, rather than beating them with ideas and philosophy, does a flank movement on ethics charges,'' said Representative Jack Kingston of Georgia, the vice chairman of the House Republican Conference.

Mr. Kingston predicted that by Monday the ethics rebuke would be a "nonstory.''

But more than one Republican, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear they would anger their party's powerbroker, said Mr. DeLay's ethics history might make it difficult for him to become speaker someday.

"There are a lot of folks who want to see that happen, and they're a little depressed right now," one said.

A spokesman for Mr. DeLay, Stuart Roy, dismissed the Democratic criticism as politically motivated, and said the leader was not worried about the speaker's job. "He has said in the past that the only job he ever wanted was whip,'' Mr. Roy said, "and he has let everything else take care of itself.''

The rebuke, issued Thursday night, stems from last year's vote on the Medicare prescription drug bill. The committee found that as the bill appeared headed to defeat, Mr. DeLay offered to endorse the son of a Michigan congressman, Representative Nick Smith, in a Congressional primary in return for Mr. Smith's vote in favor of the measure. Mr. Smith, a Republican who considered the bill too expensive, refused; he was admonished for what the panel said was exaggerating the pressure and inducements made to him.

The bill passed; Mr. Smith's son lost the primary.

For the ethics panel, which is composed of five members of each party, investigating the House majority leader is a task so delicate that the panel made public its 62-page report practically under cover of darkness, dropping it off in the House press gallery without comment.

In fact, the House had been awaiting the ethics panel's decision on a separate complaint, filed by Representative Chris Bell, Democrat of Texas, that accuses Mr. DeLay of illegally soliciting campaign contributions, laundering campaign contributions to influence state legislative races and improperly using his office to influence federal agencies. An announcement could come as early as next week.

The admonishment was particularly surprising since Mr. DeLay had not figured prominently in the controversy surrounding Mr. Smith. "It is like a second hurricane," one Republican official said.

Some wondered if a trade was afoot - a public slap in the Smith case in exchange for a decision not to pursue Mr. Bell's complaint. Others said the ethics panel now had no choice but to look into those accusations.

"Mr. DeLay has a track record now in the ethics area, and it's a bad one," said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a watchdog group that has called for the ethics panel to hire an independent counsel to investigate Mr. DeLay. "There's just no basis on which the House ethics committee can do anything now but seriously move forward with an investigation into the ethics complaint pending before it."

Democrats are encouraging their candidates to invoke Mr. DeLay's name in campaigns. Since the indictments, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has demanded that Republican candidates return donations from Mr. DeLay.

"He hasn't reached the stage of Newt Gingrich, but he has reached the center of gravity, where people do see him as representing the Republican Party in the House of Representatives, and as somebody who abused the rules of the House," said the committee's chairman, Representative Robert T. Matsui of California, in an interview on Friday.

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