Tom DeLay's Day in Court
The lawyers on both sides of Tom DeLay's case pled their cases yesterday at the court of appeals, and now they wait for a decision on whether a conspiracy charge that a judge dropped back in December will be reinstated. A decision is expected in a month or so, at which point we should have a trial date.
DeLay was typically sanguine about his chances, saying that prosecutor Ronnie Earle's strategy is to "drag this out past the November elections and then drop the charges like he did before." (WaPo, Houston Chronicle, USA Today)
MO Lawmaker Slapped with Ethics Fine
The Missouri state ethics commission fined Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO) $600 for "financial irregularities" -- and fined the state's House Democratic Campaign Committee $104,000 for the same. (AP)
Restaurateurs Lobby for The Good Ol' Days
As if lobbying reform needed one more enemy in Congress...
...restaurateurs have dispatched their lobbyists to lobby against efforts to control lobbying....critics say a ban on free meals for senators would punish the hard-working restaurateur more than the offending lobbyist, who could continue to schmooze unrestricted at lush golf courses, lavish fundraisers and fancy convention parties.
Ralph Reed's Poll - Good for Reed, Bad for GOP
The AJC relays a poll that shows George Gov. Sonny Perdue faring 8 points worse with Ralph Reed as his lt. governor.
But the Washington Times had a different spin, pointing out that the poll had this bit: "The latest statewide poll finds 24 percent of likely Republican voters favor Mr. Reed in the July 11 primary, compared with 17 percent for Mr. Reed's rival, state Sen. Casey Cagle." (AJC, Wash Times, Stakeholder)
The Texas K Street Project
State Auditor Carole Strayhorn has halted payments from the state to a Washington lobbying firm because her audit of the arrangement showed "enough questions." The firm is Cassidy & Associates, and the lobbyist was Todd Boulanger, formerly of Team Abramoff. A full audit is promised later. (Houston Chronicle)
Burns' Colorful Challenger
He might not have a chance, but I like the way he talks:
"I have a feeling that he's going to get indicted, and when he does, he's probably going to get out of the race," Neste Huffman said. "He's already guilty, and I don't know what he has to gain by lying about it."
In Other Muck
Republicans trail Democrats in fundraising for Senate campaigns...(AP)
Laura Rozen puzzles over MZM's weird contract with the White House...(W&P)
Duke's Booty (Photos Included!)...(link)
Katherine Harris Bets It All on Her Senate Campaign - Sells Assets...(link)
Caller Stumps McCain on Aide's Shady Doings...(link)
Whatever Happened To: House Intel Duke Cunningham Probe?...(link)
John Sweeney Paid Wife on Commission for Fundraising...(link)
Did MZM, Other Companies Staff White House Intel Panel?...(link)