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Monday, July 31, 2006

TX-22: Stay Tuned...

Posted by James L.

Any day now, we'll find out whether the 5th Circuit of Appeals will allow former Democratic Rep. Nick Lampson the opportunity to crush Tom DeLay, or whether he'll go head-to-head with the Texas Republican Party's hand-picked replacement. The appeals court has begun hearing arguments today:

A federal appeals panel indicated today that the ability of Republicans to replace former U.S. Rep. Tom Delay on the ballot rests on whether there was "conclusive" evidence that he had moved to Virginia.

The three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals did not indicate when it would rule. But questions from the panel seemed to favor the Democrats' position that Republican officials could not declare DeLay ineligible for office based on residency prior to election day.

Republican lawyer James Bopp Jr. told the panel that DeLay had given Texas Republican Chairwoman Tina Benkiser enough evidence that she could make a "reasonable prediction" that DeLay would not be a resident of Texas on election day. That evidence included a change of driver's license and voter registration, plus a letter stating he had moved to Virginia.

Bopp said that gave her the power to declare DeLay ineligible to serve if elected and opened the door for replacing him on the ballot.

But Judges Pete Benavides and Edith Clement noted that a candidate like DeLay could move back to Texas by election day and be eligible for office. They said the U.S. Constitution would prohibit a state party official from throwing a candidate off the ballot in such circumstances.

"How can it be conclusive if you can always change your voter registration," Clement asked.

So far, so good. Of course, it'd be much preferable for Lampson to face DeLay, as his campaign warchest is being rapidly siphoned off to pay for his legal defense against his lingering criminal indictment.

Posted at 02:54 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Texas | Technorati

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I agree. I'm also hoping for the ruling to have Delay stay on the ballot. I'm being optimistic and hope Delay will follow Ralph Reed's demise.

Posted by: CanadianDem [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2006 10:18 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

On a related matter, Harold Ford seems to have caught a break as well. His uncle's criminal trial was originally scheduled for October (which would have made for wonderful election-eve headlines) but has now been rescheduled for February 2007. One obstacle to Ford's electoral prospects down, only 99 to go.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 1, 2006 10:59 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

the biggest obstacle for Ford? The fact that he is likely to face Corker, and not Bryant or Van Hilleary. Now, some may disagree which of those 2 would be easier to take down (I say Van Hilleary, others say Bryant), but Corker is the most moderate of the group (which is still in the wingnut category) and therefore won't have as much difficulty with moderate Republicans and Conservative Democrats / Independents. Plus, I think the idea that the hard-right will stay home due to his faux moderateness, is more of a hopeful myth, and if it does come to life, he will probably cancel it out anyhow. Plus he is the best funded and the wealthiest.... Bad, bad Corker.

Posted by: KainIIIC [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 1, 2006 04:46 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I don't understand why the Republicans aren't trying to force DeLay not to run if he wins. It seems like such bad publicity to allow him to be the public face of the GOP in November.

Posted by: TomT [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 1, 2006 05:48 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment