Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Tom DeLay, New Jersey's Mike Ferguson's got your back.

After a bit of hemming and hawing, Ferguson staffers have told a number of TPM reader-constituents that Ferguson voted for the DeLay Rule.

Maybe the $10,000 he got from DeLay's leadership PAC helped put the issue in a clearer light.

Late Update: Contrary to the number I noted above, the list of ARMPAC giving at the Campaign for America's Future (CAF) website lists Ferguson as the single biggest recipient of DeLay largesse in the entire congress -- clocking in at a whopping $42,403. You might say he got the largest largesse. Looking at the CAF chart, I'm not sure what explains the discrepancy between this number and that provided by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), which I listed above. The CRP number is for the 2004 giving cycle. So I assume the $42,403 includes the previous two cycles Ferguson ran in (2000 and 2002). In any case, no wonder Mike Ferguson's got DeLay's back. He's already in the guy's pocket so it's not far to travel.

It seems that Illinois Congressman Henry Hyde couldn't make it to the House GOP caucus meeting to vote up or down on the DeLay Rule. No definitive word yet on whether he supports the rule or not.

The same goes for California's Richard Pombo. Pombo staffers are telling constituents he couldn't make it to the meeting either. No one can find out if he has a position on the DeLay Rule.

Rush Limbaugh's hometown congresswoman coming out against the DeLay Rule?

The Southeast Missourian seems to be saying that Jo Ann Emerson is in the Shays Handful.

Here's the update they put up this evening ...

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay would retain his leadership post even if indicted by a Texas prosecutor under a GOP rule change opposed by a minority of Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson of Cape Girardeau.

"I think that it sets a bad example," Emerson said today from Capitol Hill. "I just don't think that it passes the smell test."

For more on this story, read Saturday's Southeast Missourian.

We'll stand by for the big news in <$NoAd$> tomorrow's paper.

One surreal element to the drama over the DeLay Rule is that practically every member of the Republican House caucus is arguing that Ronnie Earle's grand jury investigation into the DeLay Machine is so dubious on its face that it is presumptively partisan and illegitimate in nature.

Meanwhile, while that's going on, and Rep. DeLay is volubly proclaiming vindication, on the other end of the Capitol you've got the hearings into the rapidly expanding 'Indian gaming' scandal in which two chief capos in the DeLay Machine have had to take the fifth on every question they're asked.

(Actually, it might be better to say 'soldiers' than 'capos'. I don't have my org chart in front of me.)

For some insights into what the scandal's about, see this article by Lou Dubose in the Texas Observer. And for helpful running commentary on the matter, stop by our friend Marshall Wittman's BullMoose blog. Finally, for a good primer on how the DeLay Machine works, see this article by Nick Confessore.

House Ethics Committee round-up ...

There are five Republicans on the Ethics Committee (and five Dems).

Of those, Chairman Joel Hefley of Colorado is in the Shays Handful. He voted against the DeLay Rule. Missouri's Kenny Hulshof is in there too.

Ohio's Steven LaTourette is telling constituents that he's in the Shays Handful; but as of yet we've seen no press reports that confirm this.

As we reported earlier today, Illinois Congresswoman Judy Biggert seems to be hanging tough with the 'private vote' line, refusing to say how she voted.

We had Washington state's Doc Hastings down as a letter-writer. But late this afternoon we received word that a Hastings staffer told at least one constituent that Hastings supported the DeLay Vote but wouldn't reveal how he voted because it was a 'secret' vote. (I guess he sort of wanted to mix up the categories a bit.) If anyone hears more on Hastings, let us know.

Washington state's Doc Hastings is not only a member of the House Ethics Committee. We had him down as a letter-writer. But now we're hearing that while he won't disclose how he voted because it was a 'secret' vote that he does support the DeLay Rule.

If other Hastings constituents have gotten a clearer word, please let us know.

As of yet, we haven't seen any press reportage about how Hastings voted.

Couldn't make it.

Illinois Congressman John Shimkus couldn't make it to the GOP House caucus meeting. So he didn't vote on the DeLay Rule.

His staff is telling constituents that he he has no position on the matter.

So far, there seems to be no press reportage on Shimkus and the DeLay Rule.

We had Michigan's Joe Knollenberg down as a letter-writer. But now we've heard from two constituents who tell us that under determined questioning, Rep. Knollenberg's staff concedes that he did vote for the DeLay Rule. So far, we've seen no press reportage about how Knollenberg voted. But we'll let you know if we see any.