Hearing Loss

If you really want to know how dysfunctional Congress is, I recommend attending a field hearing, in which lawmakers venture out of the safety of the Beltway and into the political wilds of America. I’m in Laredo today for a meeting of the House International Relations Committee’s subcommittee on International Terrorism and Proliferation.

Twenty-Two Skidoo

A friend just called with an intriguing question: What happens if, when the parties to the redistricting suit submit their maps to the three-judge panel next Friday, Attorney General Greg Abbott changes the boundaries of Tom DeLay’s district? Would that force the panel to order new elections in the Twenty-Second, thereby rendering Judge Sparks’s decision inoperative and allowing the Republican party to replace him on the ballot after all?

Anybody want to weigh in here?

DeLay DeNied

So the Hammer has to remain on the ballot after all – or at least that’s what U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks says. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, but Democrats should keep the cork in the champagne. The very Republican Fifth Circuit Court well may take the opposite view.

Adios, Grandmo

Some days there’s not much to write about except the silly stuff, and there’s nothing sillier than the flap over how the names of the independent candidates for governor should appear on the ballot this November.

Late Word Out of Corpus...

Both Ortiz and Noyola have announced. Ortiz is claiming the support of 14 precinct chairs. Noyola is said to have between 10 and 15. There are 44 precincts in the district; 23 votes are needed to win. Although Luna had no general election opponent, it now appears that the Republicans will also be allowed to nominate a candidate.

Vilma to Lobby?

A conversation with soon-to-be former Representative Vilma Luna did not provide much insight into her retirement; other than the usual comments about wanting to spend more time with her family, the operative expression was, “I’m exploring options in the private sector.” Does that include lobbying?

He's Baaaaack

Guess who’s behind the president’s seemingly sudden shift on immigration policy? A GOP congressman tells me it’s our old friend Karl Rove, who has been spending much of his time on Capitol Hill lately, trying to sell the president’s guest worker policy.

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