Friday, April 15, 2005

Turning up the heat, member by member

This morning's New York Times story about the letter from 10 Republican ex-Representatives we helped to coordinate is accompanied by great local press regarding members of Congress feeling the heat.

We'll start in Allentown, PA, where the Morning Call picks up our demand from our TV ads and editorializes that Rep. Jim Gerlach return the money he's received from DeLay's fundraising. The paper also extends the demand to another Pennsylvania Republican, Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick:

Public Campaign's latest ads focus on Rep. Gerlach, Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri and Rep. Jim Nussle of Iowa. The group is pressuring Republican members of Congress to demand Rep. DeLay's resignation for a series of alleged ethical lapses. But each ad ends differently. The Gerlach ads end with a demand that he return tens of thousands of dollars that he received at a Washington fund-raiser a few weeks ago — and he should.

Rep. DeLay has given Rep. Gerlach $20,000 over his two campaigns, plus about $150,000 this year through ROMP. One other Pennsylvanian, freshman Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, R-Bucks, also has received money from ROMP, but to a lesser degree. Rep. Fitzpatrick, however, should return the $5,000 he received from Rep. DeLay.

In another development, the Denver Post is reporting that Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) is edging closer and closer to joining the Shays' Rebellion:

Rep. Tom Tancredo says it is "probably not the worst idea" for embattled House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to step down while he deals with ethics allegations.

Stepping into a swirling Washington controversy, the Littleton Republican said he doesn't think the current accusations of impropriety against DeLay amount to much. But Tancredo said that from a political perspective, DeLay has handled the ethics issue "stupidly."

"I don't think we should try to oust him," he said in an interview Thursday at the Capitol. "Right now, I would not encourage him to leave. If he chose to resign as majority leader until these matters are resolved, that's probably not the worst idea."

Wow. Let's keep up the heat, folks. This is getting very interesting.

If you see other stories along these lines (there's an AP story from Minnesota I need to get to, too, about their Republican members' responses), let me know and I'll post what I can.


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