August 25, 2005
A match made in hell [link dead]:
WASHINGTON – Battered by months of ethics allegations, Majority Leader Tom DeLay has turned for help to the White House, which is sending Vice President Dick Cheney next month to headline a fundraiser for him in Houston.
Mr. Cheney stumped for about 70 House candidates last year and another dozen so far this year – mostly newcomers or veterans locked in uphill fights. But with 14 months before Mr. DeLay, R-Sugar Land, faces voters in a district whose contours he personally approved, analysts see anxiety over the fate of a lawmaker widely seen as the most powerful majority leader in history.
“It would be such a disaster” for the GOP if Mr. DeLay loses, said Dr. Ross Baker, a congressional expert at Rutgers University, adding that the decision to send in Mr. Cheney looks like payback for Mr. DeLay, whose help was crucial on a number of close votes, including Medicare and a bankruptcy law overhaul. “I think what you see is a combination of gratitude and prudence.”
The House ethics committee is expected to open an investigation soon into Mr. DeLay’s travel and his ties with lobbyists. In Travis County, three lieutenants face charges of skirting state campaign law.
And this month, lobbyist Jack Abramoff – accused of bilking Indian casino clients and illicitly arranging lavish trips for Mr. DeLay and others – was charged in an unrelated scheme involving a Florida-based casino ship.
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