LA Times reports on DeLay's allies and liabilities; Tri-Cities Herald looks at Hastings

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The Tri-Cities Herald in Ethics Committee Chair Doc Hasting's district writes up the Washingto state Republican's place in the center of the DeLay battle. We began running ads in Hastings' district on Thursday:

Though ethics disputes generally attract little attention outside of Washington, D.C., Hastings is one of three congressmen being targeted in a $25,000 cable television ad campaign funded by the Public Campaign Action Fund, part of a coalition of eight groups tracking House ethics issues.

The 30-second ad, which began running Thursday, ends with an announcer saying, "Congressman Hastings. You're the chair of the Ethics Committee. Do your job and clean up Congress without DeLay."

Dave Donnelly, a spokesman for the Public Campaign Action Fund, said Hastings needs to buck Republican leaders and "stand up and start an investigation" of DeLay.

(Listen to the ad here.)

Mary Curtius of the LA Times has a long feature piece on DeLay, his internal party support and troubles, as well as the shockingly public grassroots campaign being planned by radical elements of the far right. This passage should generate some interest in these parts:

"The only fire behind all that smoke generated by the leftist attacks is their burning hatred of a good man," wrote Morton C. Blackwell, a prominent conservative, in a posting on the American Conservative Union's website. "You and I must do all we can to make sure any politician who hopes to have conservative support … had better be in the forefront as we attack those who attack Tom DeLay." (emphasis mine)

This passage is interesting, too:

"He draws energy from these fights," said one GOP strategist, speaking on condition of anonymity. "He sees this in terms of good and evil: He is all good and his opponents are all evil."

And this:

A new poll by the National Journal magazine of GOP insiders — dozens of veteran campaign strategists — found a split opinion on whether DeLay was an asset or liability to the party. Twenty rated him either a major or minor asset, but 21 termed him either a major or minor liability.

The whole piece is worth a read...