The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Saturday, April 23, 2005
 

Do the numbers add up for DeLay blackmail?


There are various elements to the power a US House Majority leadership wields over its members.

But one element that gets a lot of play is DeLay's financial clout.

For example, the Note yesterday quoted the WSJ as saying of DeLay
The House leader plans to raise $5 million for 2006 campaign, nearly double his 2004 war chest. With Democrats preparing a media fusillade, 'We are going to be armed,' a DeLay strategist says.

The Texan cultivates Republican support by sending $144,010 from his political-action committee to other candidates in March. Americans for a Republican Majority collected funds from the political-action committees of Wal-Mart Stores, the NRA and the American Trucking Associations, among others.


Now, according to a useful paper (PDF) on the 2004 Congressional elections (p22a), the average amount spent by an incumbent GOP defending a House seat was around $820,000.

Aren't contributions from DeLay's PACs to a member liable to be small relative to his total outlay?

Of course, there's the NRCC; and the contributions from other sources over which DeLay has influence.

But I wonder how much the superhuman power of DeLay is used as a pretext by some members to explain awkward votes to their constituents; and to solicit contributions from those who contemplate at some stage benefiting from the Hammer's amazing facility for getting legislation passed!

(Not that there would be anything so vulgar - or illegal - as a quid pro quo.

Absolutely not.)


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