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Regardless of the outcome

"Regardless of the outcome of this election, once all the votes are counted -- and they will be counted -- we will continue to challenge this administration. This is not a time for Democrats to retreat and accommodate extremists on critical principles -- it is a time to stand firm.

I will fight for a national standard for federal elections that has both transparency and accountability in our voting system. It's unacceptable in the United States that people still don't have full confidence in the integrity of the voting process.

I ask you to join me in this cause."

That's a passage from a message Sen. John Kerry will be sending out to supporters later this afternoon.

Alaskas sole member of

Alaska's sole member of the House, Don Young, voted for the DeLay Rule. Says Young: "Everybody says it's to protect Tom DeLay. That may be so. But it also protects anyone else from an elected attorney general, thank God Alaska doesn't have one, that can use their position as a bully pulpit and prosecute an elected official."

Early on Thursday staffers

Early on Thursday, staffers for Colorado's Bob Beauprez were telling constituents that the DeLay Rule vote was either a secret or that they didn't know how the congressman had voted. By mid-afternoon, though, Beauprez's office had come clean: He voted for the DeLay Rule.

Just to show theyre

Just to show they're still on the case, the House Ethics Committee has now rebuked DeLay's accuser, outgoing Texas Rep. Chris Bell (D-TX). Bell's charges led to DeLay's earlier admonishment. But the Ethics Committee is now cracking down on him for using "innuendo and speculative assertions" in levelling his accusations.

Bell was redistricted out of his seat in last year's DeLay sponsored redistricting power-grab.

Of all the members

Of all the members of the House Republican caucus, the guy who seems to have heard from the most TPM readers (or at least high on the list) is Greg Walden of Oregon.

Oregonians who called, but weren't from Walden's district, apparently got a bit of a tongue-lashing. But those who were his constituents got either a 'we don't know how he voted' or some version of 'the person who answers that question is away from their desk', etc. Pretty much all of Walden's constituents got the run-around and none of them got a straight answer. Lots of them got promises of calls back. But nobody seems to have gotten one.

There was apparently at least one rather hard-boiled staffer in one of the Walden offices, though. Because, in at least two cases, callers were told that in the staffer's opinion Walden almost certainly gave DeLay the nod.

This is rich. Floridas

This is rich.

Florida's Adam Putnam voted for the DeLay Rule on Wednesday. And here in the local paper he's explaining how he stood up for principle by voting for the 'compromise' ...

U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Bartow, said he voted for the compromise in Republican House rules covering suspension of House GOP leaders, who are indicted in state courts, but that he would not have voted for the proposal that would have totally exempted committee chairs and other leaders from state indictments.

The issue has arisen because of a potential Texas grand jury indictment on political corruption against Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

"It would have been to me rather hypocritical to have said that we are above state law, but not above federal law," Putnam said. "The initial package stated that House Republican leaders would be excluded from state courts, but not federal courts. But there is total agreement on the final package (with the compromise)," he said.


I'm glad he clarified<$NoAd$> that.

Media Matters has a

Media Matters has a nice run-down here of how the media is uncritically picking up and running with the DeLay machine's claims that Ronnie Earle is pursuing a partisan agenda by investigating DeLay and his already-indicted associates. That unsubstantiated charge, of course, is their rationale for the DeLay Rule.

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