Battle for DeLay's Seat Could Help Tilt Balance of Power
" "Absolutely atrocious" is how Eric Thode, who got his start in politics putting up yard signs for DeLay in 1978, describes that scenario [of DeLay's old seat falling to a Democrat].
"No question it's possible," said Thode, who was the Republican Party chairman in DeLay's home county until a few months ago. "I would hope that any logical-thinking Republican will realize where the blame lies. The blame lies with Tom DeLay."...
"Theoretically, a write-in candidate can be victorious," Thode said. "And, theoretically, someone could swim from Manhattan to the U.K. The odds are very long." (McClatchy)
Homeland Security to Investigate Air Marshall's Complaint
"The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has ordered the Secretary of Homeland Security to investigate the Federal Air Marshal Service based on a whistleblower's allegations. In a recent letter, the agency informed air marshal whistleblower Frank Terreri that it had referred his complaint for investigation based on the "substantial likelihood" his allegation that the Federal Air Marshal Service Management had "failed to fully protect the anonymity of air marshals" is well-founded." (The Blotter)
Agribusiness Giant Registers "First" Lobbyist
"[Archer Daniels Midland] has historically used consultants and third-party front groups, such as the Renewable Fuels Association, the Corn Refiners Association, and the National Oilseed Processors Association, to do its heavy lifting on legislative action.
"ADMâs about-face comes three and a half months into former Chevron Corp. exec and now-CEO Patricia Woertzâs tenure and 18 months after the company hired Shannon Herzfeld, a former Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld lobbyist, as vice president of government affairs. Herzfeld will be ADMâs only registered lobbyist." (Legal Times)
McCain Breaks McCain-Feingold AGAIN Stumping for Chafee
"John McCain hadnât even finished catching flak for his last McCain-Feingold-related dust-up before he found himself embroiled in a new one: Now McCainâs breaking his own law in Rhode Island." (Senate Majority Project)
Judge: One Charge Against Padilla Redundant
"A federal judge on Monday threw out one count in the terror indictment against alleged al-Qaida operative Jose Padilla and his co-defendants, concluding that it repeated other charges in the same indictment. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke leaves intact two other terror-related counts against Padilla and the others alleging a conspiracy to provide material support to Islamic extremist causes worldwide." (AP)
Guilty Plea in Tennessee Waltz
"Shelby County Commissioner Michael Hooks Sr. was accused of taking $24,000 in payoffs from FBI agents posing as businessmen seeking a contract with county government. He pleaded guilty on the day his trial was to start, admitting that he took a bribe during the sting operation...Hooks was one of 11 people, including five current or former state lawmakers, charged in the investigation. It was code-named Tennessee Waltz and built around a fake company called E-Cycle Management that sought favors from government officials." (AP)
GOP Candidates Promote Racial Profiling
A congressional candidate in Florida has become the third Republican office-seeker to call for heightened screening of Muslim airline passengers since the foiling of an airline bombing plot in Britain. âIt is a fact that over the past 34 years, starting with the Munich Olympics, the majority of terrorist attacks have been carried out by Muslims,â said Mark Flanagan, a candidate in the 13th District of Florida, in a statement released this morning." (WashWire)
A Man, a Plan, a Dam. Then, an FBI Call
"On July 25, Jim Bensman of Alton, Ill., attended a public meeting on the proposed construction of a bypass channel for fish at a dam on the Mississippi River. Less than a week later, he was under investigation by the F.B.I. â the victim, depending on how you look at it, of either a comedy of errors or alarming antiterror zeal." (NYTimes)