Saturday, March 25, 2006


WASHINGTON ( Disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff has advised friends that he has no derogatory information about former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and is not implicating him as part of his plea bargain with federal prosecutors.

Abramoff's guilty plea on fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy charges requires him to provide evidence about members of Congress. That led to speculation that this would mean trouble for DeLay, who faces money laundering and conspiracy charges in Texas.

However, Abramoff has not given a clean bill of health to any other congressman -- including Rep. Robert Ney, who has stepped down as chairman of the House Administration Committee. Ney was the only member of Congress named in court papers connected with Abramoff's guilty plea Jan. 4.

DEMOCRATIC TARGET (This is about my distant cousin, doncha know)

Rep. Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), has taken the unusual step of targeting his Republican counterpart, Rep. Tom Reynolds, for defeat in his upstate New York district this year. There is no record of a House campaign committee chairman ever being defeated for re-election by the opposition party.

The DCCC claims secret polls showed the supposedly safe Republican district represented by Reynolds is competitive this year. Reynolds, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, in 2004 won re-election to a fourth term with a surprisingly low 56 percent. His Democratic opponent was retired industrialist Jack Davis, who spent $1,250,000 of his own money in 2004 and is trying again.

In its campaign to seize control of the House, the DCCC is aiming at three other upstate New York districts to take advantage of the region's low popularity ratings for President Bush and the Republican Party. The Democrats have targeted ninth-term Rep. James Walsh and fourth-term Rep. John Sweeney, plus the seat left vacant by 12-term Rep. Sherwood Boehlert's retirement.


Republican State Sen. Tom Kean Jr., who has lost an early lead in his New Jersey campaign for the U.S. Senate, is engaged in a backstage power struggle with the influential, relatively conservative Republican organizations in Bergen and Passaic counties.

Robert Novak is a television personality and columnist. Novak is also editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report available through a free offer from Human Events Online.
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