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Counting all the votes, twice

In the race for Majority Leader, early signs are that the Republicans are taking balloting seriously:

House Republicans are taking a mulligan on the first ballot for Majority Leader. The first count showed more votes cast than Republicans present at the Conference meeting.

(via Roll Call)

That's the ticket -- finally the GOP agrees they should count all the votes. Any paper ballots?

Off to the races

Today is the big day: House Republicans will vote on which version of DeLay-ism will be their new majority leader: Roy Blunt (R-MS), John Boehner (R-OH), or John Shadegg (R-AZ).

If you haven't yet seen the ads on these characters, click here.

State of the Union Drinking Game -- DeLay Edition

Early press reports say President Bush's speech is likely take him about 24 minutes to deliver, but to expect the whole address to last an hour while Members of Congress and assorted dignitaries interrupt to applaud their favorite lines.

To help you enjoy the evening, we've prepared our first ever "State of the Union Drinking Game--DeLay Edition." Here are the rules (feel free to add your own):

1. Every time President Bush uses the word "lobbying reform," chug a beer.

Inside Baseball

If you want an inside baseball account of leadership race campaigning check out this story in today's New York Times, which reports on Blunt, Boehner, and Shadegg stumping among conservative House members. There's talk--and denial--of any trading of favors for votes. The election, implies the paper of record, may come down to personality. Each candidate, apprently, has "stiles and perspectives that play to certain constituencies."

Naked Pix of Abramoff and Bush Found :)

New photos showing President George W. Bush and disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff "totally naked" surfaced today according to the satirist Andy Borowitz.

The photos, published yesterday in Payboy, a magazine devoted to naked pictures of disgraced lobbyists, appeared to fly in the face of the President’s claims that he had never met Mr. Abramoff.

The five photos, which appear to have been taken on five different occasions, show the two naked men smiling and shaking hands.

Nobody Wants to Talk About the Elephant in the Room

This week has been a big one for lobby reform, with Congressional Republicans releasing their draft plans for lobbying reform and the Democrats following suit yesterday. Notably absent from all these proposals is any mention of public financing of elections, or, frankly, any mention of campaign finance reform at all. It's as if nobody wants to talk about the proverbial elephant in the room.

CNN: Will The Congressional Focus On Ethics Lead To Meaningful Reform?

CNN QuickVote results from 11:25 AM EST:

Will the congressional focus on ethics lead to meaningful reform?

Yes: 8% (5,481)
No: 92% (66,706)
Total: 72,187

This may not be a scientific poll but...ouch! The CNN crowd doesn't have much faith in Congress.

To vote click here and scroll down about half way and the poll is on the right.

The Real Scandal: Our Pay-to-Play Campaign Finance System

Check out Public Campaign's editorial memorandum on the need for comprehensive campaign finance reform in the wake of the scandals swirling around Reps. Tom DeLay, Bob Ney, Jack Abramoff, etc. and etc. From the memo:

Barely One In Five

DeLay's support in his district is waning. According to a newspaper poll conducted this past weekend, only 22% of those polled said they would vote for him if the election were held now.

The response from the DeLay campaign:

"DeLay's spokeswoman Shannon Flaherty challenged the validity of the poll and said the result is 'contrary to the strong support we're seeing for Congressman DeLay throughout the district.'"

Demand stations run our ad

FactCheck.org just released its analysis of our ad that is sitting gathering dust at Houston TV stations as station managers remain cowed by Tom DeLay's bullying.

Guess what? It's factual: