The Note: House Rules, Part II

WASHINGTON, August 2

The Note remains focused like a laser beam on the fight over control of the House, leading us to these must reads:

1. "House GOP Incumbents Try New Stride to Beat Midterm Challenges," Washington Week favorite Janet Hook writes in the Los Angeles Times that "the political winds" are "blowing squarely against the GOP," leading some House incumbents to "dust off campaign tools that . . . are a bit rusty."

Amid the election frenzy, some candidates are bit hasty in their efforts. Hook Notes that Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-OH) was so eager to air her first television ad in June that her first name read "Deboarah." Rep. James Walsh (R-NY) distributed campaign literature that was four years old at a rally. Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA) has agreed to debate his Democratic opponent for the first time in ten years. But as NRCC Chairman Tom Reynolds (R-NY) likes to remind reporters during his pen and pad briefings, Hook argues that Republicans have one advantage not enjoyed by Democrats 12 years ago: they sense danger early and are gearing up.

LINK

2. Time magazine's peripatetic Mike Allen reports that House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has come up with a way to "ease any potential voter fears" about Charlie Rangel, John Conyers, Henry Waxman, et.al, by "making it very clear that no ranking members are guaranteed committee chairmanships." LINK

Boehner spokesguy Kevin Madden remains unconvinced: "The prospective list of Democrat leadership and committee chairmen reads like a 'Who's Who' of Democrat hysteria. As much as Nancy Pelosi thinks she can sweep that mess under the rug right now, there is no way she can hide the fact that these folks and their ideas are just way out there. The idea of Charlie Rangel directing tax policy in this country will keep our base awake at night, and it's sure to keep a lot of moderate Democrats from pulling that lever in November as well."

3. "Democrats Scrambling To Organize Voter Turnout," the Washington Post's Diamond Jim VandeHei on Pelosi criticizing DNC Chairman Howard Dean "for not spending enough party resources on get-out-the-vote efforts in the most competitive House and Senate races." LINK

4. "Texas Maps Get Day in Court," David Drucker - the pride of Malibu - writes in Roll Call that a handful of House members from Texas are facing the possibility that they could "find themselves running in radically reshaped districts on Nov. 7." Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) indicated in a statement that he expects the court's cure for the 23rd district could leave even him worse off than Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-TX). "'A consultant has been hired, a campaign office is ready to open and fundraising is underway for what may be the toughest race of my career,' Doggett said." Oral arguments are expected in Austin on Thursday.

Someone who knows how important control of the House is travels to Mentor, OH to participate in a briefing at an emergency management agency at 5:00 pm ET. At 6:25 pm ET, President Bush attends a closed press fundraiser for Ken Blackwell's gubernatorial campaign. He is due back at the White House at 9:30 pm ET. The Cleveland Plain Dealer Notes that Democrats are "jumping all over" Blackwell for not allowing reporters to cover his fund-raiser with President Bush Wednesday evening at the home of businessman Ed Crawford in Kirtland Hills."

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