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Sunday, March 07, 2004

The Republican Mafia
Republican Mike Murphy decided to run for Congress, challenging 80-year-old Republican incumbent Ralph Hall for the party's spot on the ballot in Texas' fourth district. And he started getting phone calls:

"Just consider what you're doing now. You don't want to have the freakin' president of the United States mad at you for the rest of your life." That came from Larry Telford, the National Republican Congressional Committee's "incumbent retention director." Another Republican mafioso, New York Congressman Tom Reynolds, suggested that Karl Rove and Tom DeLay had been notified and were not pleased with Murphy's candidacy. The NRCC tried to deny the namedropping threats, but Murphy had his tape recorder running.

Now, Murphy seems to be running because Hall is a recent party-switcher, having been a Democrat until January. So it seems unlikely that I would agree with Murphy on much. But shouldn't the people of Texas' fourth district, EVEN the Republicans, have the right to choose their own representative to Congress without threats and bribes from the RNCC and the White House? (Hint: Yes.)

I recall that early in 2002 similar pressure was put on Minnesota Republican Tim Pawlenty when he wanted to run against Paul Wellstone for his Senate seat. Pawlenty got a call from Dick Cheney, who told him that the national party preferred Norm Coleman, so why doesn't Pawlenty run for governor instead? Pawlenty gave in (and is now Minnesota's governor), but apparently Murphy won't. Even though I probably disagree with him on most things, I'm tempted to send him a donation. Of course, I shouldn't be deciding who represents Texas' fourth district any more than Rove or DeLay or Bush should.

Ralph: Vote the way Tom and Karl tell you to, and you can have your House seat for life. Heck, you can put it in your will if you want!

(via Michelle)