Wham, Bam, Thank You, TX-22

Promoted because Sunday evenings are too quiet around here. Texas Nate
As Rep Nick Lampson continues recovering from his heart surgery, he's making plans for his political future that seem likely to leave a lot of his supporters in the district very unhappy.

The Battle for TX-22 was a hard fought one in 2006. Replacing a wounded Delay (who left the race after the primary in vain hope of allowing the RPT to name a successor) took the combined efforts of a determined candidate, the DCCC and other established Dem powers, and bloggers and other activists sowing blue seeds in a determinedly red district.

One of the frequent questions at house parties dealt with the "carpetbagger" meme the right wing was smearing Lampson with.  In response candidate Lampson always said he was not running as a one off, but to be the Rep from TX-22 for many years to come.


Now incumbent Rep. Lampson seems preparing an altogether different tune, as the rumors swell that pressure is on to clear the field to anoint him as the Senate candidate against beleaguered John Cornyn (R-Box Turtle).

Not only is he preparing for different race, but apparently having exhausted his rolodex looking for a Dem to step in and run, he's  now  wooing a Republican, Tom Abraham, to crossover and run on the Dem ticket. What are the odds?

Look, politicians are all  ambitious. I don't begrudge that.  I just want the ambition to be a bit more tempered with consideration for the people who make it possible for those ambitions to be achieved.

To abandon TX-22 without having an adequate replacement smacks of a political one-night-stand that reeks of beer sweat and cheap cologne.  Those folks deserve better.

In addition, my pro-Noriega biases aside, I feel a bit used, and I'm just a blogger.  I'm not a FBC activist who put skin in the game on behalf of Nick Lampson. 

Adding insult to injury, I just don't believe Lampson will win, even with& the Texas Democratic Party on the rise in enthusiasm and finances. Lampson doesn't define a strong enough contrast with the incumbent. And we need that contrast to win.

Oh, and in anticipation of the cries of "mean blogger" picking on a still recovering Lampson, I will simply say this. If he's well enough to manipulate things in an attempt to clear the field for his candidacy, he's well enough to be criticized for doing so...

Crossposted on Texas Kaos

Tags: 2008 texas, Houston, John Cornyn, John Cornynampson, Nick Lampson, Nick LHouston, TX-22, TX-Sen (all tags)

Comments

26 Comments

Re: Wham, Bam, Thank You, TX-22

What would be the point anyway?  Cornyn, beleaguered as he may be, won't lose the election to a Democrat.

by Reece 2007-05-20 02:35PM | 0 recs
Texas Democrats are on the rise.

We are absolutely serious about taking Cornyn out, and he's got approval numbers in the danger zone.

Easy? Hell no.

Guaranteed Victory?  There is only one guarantee in electoral politics.

You can't win if you don't fight.

by boadicea 2007-05-20 05:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Wham, Bam, Thank You, TX-22

Raise your hand, after seeing the results of the election how many people thought Lampson or any of the Dems could hold on to TX-22 in anyway?

by MNPundit 2007-05-20 02:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Wham, Bam, Thank You, TX-22
You know, ultimately, MN Pundit is probably right... TX-22 is going to be a near impossible long-term hold. I know Matheson and Melancon etc. have seats like Lampson's, but they built their support on a long history of personal popularity and Lampson has not.
I dont think he can last, but given the huge warchest he amassed from his congressional seat, he may be able to raise the funds that put Texas in play. The big thing with Conryn's seat is that, even though he's not terribly popular, he has something like $3 million already for his campaign. I like Noriega as well, but has he shown he can raise the doe? I havent heard it.
As Henry Bonilla's fate showed, xenophobic anti-immigration rhetoric can shake the political foundations of Texas and bring the Democratic state party to life. Conryn will vote against the immigration bill that will soon be debated in the Senate, and that, along with his unwaivering support for the Iraq war, will put this on the map if we have a challenger with money. Go for it Nick!
by AC4508 2007-05-20 02:46PM | 0 recs
It's a tough seat

But the fact is that Nick out and out said he was in it for more than a single term.

by boadicea 2007-05-20 03:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Wham, Bam, Thank You, TX-22

It is so unlikely that any Democrat could unseat Cornyn that Lampson would be doing a better service to stay put in TX-22, as he's the only Democrat who could hope to hold that seat.  Of course he'll have an easier time holding it now that he is an incumbent, though he'll definitely have to fight for it.  That's better than sacrificing a House seat for a Senate seat that we won't win.

by lorax 2007-05-20 03:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Wham, Bam, Thank You, TX-22

Cornyn has 3 million... If he tried he could fundraise how much... 3 more?  5 more?  8 more?  Then where would the money go?  Cornyn wouldn't have a race to worry about.  

Lampson is the only guy in the spotlight now to force Cornyn to spend his money instead of spreading it all around and pulling fundraisers for people like Coleman, Collins, Sununu, or Smith.  

I'd rather make many senate races harder and sacrafice one house seat since we have many better prospects to take up when it comes to the house.  We aren't as lucky in our prospects for the senate (60 required to kill fillibusters = 9 seats to pick up.  We need 10 if Liebermann is a dousch).  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-05-20 03:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Wham, Bam, Thank You, TX-22

Raised and spent $9.7M in 2002 to stomp Ron Kirk by double digits.  If he had to, 15-20M wouldn't be a problem for a guy conservatives feel no quarrel about supporting.

by Adam B 2007-05-20 03:41PM | 0 recs
Sacrifice your own damn Senate Seat

We plan on winning this one.

by boadicea 2007-05-20 03:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Sacrifice your own damn Senate Seat

It's not about sacraficing a senate seat.  It's about not letting any of these guys get off the hook and force them to actually run a campaign.  

You must have misinterpreted what I said.  I was saying Lampson could probably force Cornyn to spend his money.  I don't know of any other candidates eyeing a senate bid in Texas, but I'm not really watching it closely.  Is there someone you're thinking is a better candidate?

What I did say was that if the loss to run a campaign with a chance in Texas is one house seat, I wouldn't mind it.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-05-20 04:08PM | 0 recs
Re: the next Senator from Texas
Boadicea!
That's your cue to put up a link to Fighting Dem
Rick Noriega, or some post about him!
by Woody 2007-05-20 04:17PM | 0 recs
Like this one?

My favorite recent Rick Noriega story.

Send me 100 such fighters, and I will change the fucking political map of Texas.

by boadicea 2007-05-20 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Sacrifice your own damn Senate Seat
A Senate seat is much more valuable than a House seat. Lets look at Tennessee for a second.
I dont think anybody really thought at the beginning of the cycle that Harold Ford could win that race. A lot of people wanted Rosalind Kurita to be our candidate instead because, unlike Harold, she was a true progressive (though that wound up being far, far from the truth). Well Harold WAS the better candidate and easily won the nomination because he could raise money and she could not, and went on to give Bob Corker a hell of a run. We lost, but the money and resources the RSCC poured in to save Corker likely cost them Virginia which was decided so narrowly.
The point is this: like Ford, Lampson may not be lefty-liberal, and he may not be a netroots favorite like Noriega, but he's a good candidate who can raise the money. with Conryn's crappy approvals and the immigration issue uniquely in line to boost whoever our candidate is if he has the resources to capitalize, this could be a close race too. If the Republicans have to play defense here, we might be win an extra seat in say Minnesota or Maine. And the reasonable chance of that happening is worth giving up TX-22.
by AC4508 2007-05-20 08:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Sacrifice your own damn Senate Seat

Except that Lampson is to the right of Cornyn on immigration -- or at least willing to campaign that way.

by Texas Nate 2007-05-21 05:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Wham, Bam, Thank You, TX-22

Lampson should run again in TX-22.  As an incumbent, he would at least have a small chance of holding the district.  Jim Matheson, Ike Skelton, and Gene Taylor all hold districts more Republican than TX-22.  Lampson would at least force Republicans to actually spend money picking up the seat than just giving it away to them.

by Toddwell 2007-05-20 08:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Wham, Bam, Thank You, TX-22

there are some things that don't sync up well here:  

1.  You say that Lampson is "wooing" a local repub to convert to D, and you put a link to an article in which Lampson's staff and campaign spokesman DENY THAT LAMPSON IS "WOO-ING" that guy.  

Why link to something that totally contradicts your point?  Aren't you just playing into the hands of a republican who is making unsubstantiated claims about Lampson?  These are the same old Tom DeLay supporters who would do anything to nail Lampson.  

2.  You claim that lampson is abandoning the district without a credible replacement, but what about Richard Morrison?  He did great in 2004, and  you and he are the two people who operate that website that you link to about your favorite rick noriega story.  Wouldn't Richard Morrison make a great candidate in CD22 again?  And what about that activist who runs the democratic party there--that Brakston guy?  He'd be good, too.  he's totally full of energy.  

3.  What's wrong with beer sweat and cheap cologne?  I'm always using the latter to cover up the former.  They cancel each other out.  I mean...well, you know.  

4.  You're not a local activist and you feel used?  How about this: I live in CD22, block walked and donated to Lampson, and I hope Nick Lampson does throw his hat in for Senate.  He's the most-qualified, most electable, and the man can raise money like nobody's business.  I'll donate again and volunteer again.  So guess what, there are a lot of us Lampson supporters who actually live in the district and would be very happy to support a Lampson bid for Senate.  

let's be honest, you're a co-founder of a website supporting another candidate for senate.  why not just talk about the candidate you like rather than putting out a hit piece on another guy...that just splits up texas democrats.  

this is the kind of stuff that just plays right into the hands of republicans.  yes, i certainly believe it's okay to disagree on who's the best candidate, but the best should not be because we very subtlely try to screw the other guy.  

Texas Democrats need to win on ideas and electability, not on some strategy of stomping on one another as we try to get to the top.  a fair analysis will rarely come from someone who is a co-founder of a website supporting another guy.  

last time i checked, texas democrats didn't have the statewide numbers to be able to afford this kind of in-party karl rove mud-slinging.  this diary wasn't an analysis--it's a hit piece.

Warm regards,
Watling Street
(let's see if you get that reference)

by NateShiner 2007-05-20 08:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Wham, Bam, Thank You, TX-22

1.  You say that Lampson is "wooing" a local repub to convert to D, and you put a link to an article in which Lampson's staff and campaign spokesman DENY THAT LAMPSON IS "WOO-ING" that guy.  

Abraham says flat out he was approached by Nick, and Lampson's staff says no. Not surprising they deny it, and given that Lampson also said he was not planning on using Tx-22 to jump up to the Senate seat, I'd say the weight on that scale of truth telling favors Abraham.

You claim that lampson is abandoning the district without a credible replacement, but what about Richard Morrison?  He did great in 2004, and  you and he are the two people who operate that website that you link to about your favorite rick noriega story.  Wouldn't Richard Morrison make a great candidate in CD22 again?  And what about that activist who runs the democratic party there--that Brakston guy?  He'd be good, too.  he's totally full of energy.

Richard Morrison is not running. Nick Lampson is the incumbent in that seat.  

Try again.

What's wrong with beer sweat and cheap cologne?  I'm always using the latter to cover up the former.  They cancel each other out.  I mean...well, you know.  

If you ever wonder why you don't get a two night stand, refer to this comment.

You're not a local activist and you feel used?  How about this: I live in CD22, block walked and donated to Lampson, and I hope Nick Lampson does throw his hat in for Senate.  He's the most-qualified, most electable, and the man can raise money like nobody's business.  I'll donate again and volunteer again.  So guess what, there are a lot of us Lampson supporters who actually live in the district and would be very happy to support a Lampson bid for Senate.  

Thanks for sharing.  It's not actually to the point, but it's the little human interactions that make the internets such a lively place.

let's be honest, you're a co-founder of a website supporting another candidate for senate.  why not just talk about the candidate you like rather than putting out a hit piece on another guy...that just splits up texas democrats.  

Let's be honest.  I linked to the very blog you're referring to within this post in the spot where I state I'm biased in favor of Rick Noriega.

A blog on which my name is displayed.

And in the comments to a post I actually wrote.

So, what exactly do you think was being hidden about my association with said pro-Rick blog?

this is the kind of stuff that just plays right into the hands of republicans.  yes, i certainly believe it's okay to disagree on who's the best candidate, but the best should not be because we very subtlely try to screw the other guy.  

Texas Democrats need to win on ideas and electability, not on some strategy of stomping on one another as we try to get to the top.  a fair analysis will rarely come from someone who is a co-founder of a website supporting another guy.  

Quit whining.  Lampson is a very capable politician-he should be able to take a little fair criticism of his conduct.

Though I do not believe he will demonstrate sufficient contrast to Cornyn to pull off a victory, I'd enthusiastically support him in defending his seat.

The way he told everyone who asked him in 2006 he would be.

by boadicea 2007-05-20 09:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Wham, Bam, Thank You, TX-22

  1. that you would trust a repub over Lampson, a guy who fought like hell against DeLay, is disgusting and supports my belief about your motivations--to just rip Lampson apart in order to support Noriega.  why rip another democrat?  

  2.  your original point was that lampson was abandoning the district without finding an adequate replacement, I said Morrison would be a fine replacement IF...IF!...lampson goes for Senate.  Thank you for clarifying that enormously complex idea about lampson being an incumbent in tx22.  

  3.  I clearly did not say that you were hiding your association with the noriega blog.  I said the opposite.  I pointed to your association, as stated in the original diary, and said that this bias was affecting a fair analysis of your view on lampson

  4.  Newsflash, bud: it is NOT GOOD for activists to be tearing apart a potential candidate of the same party simply because you support a different person.  

why don't you stop and think before you engage in an "at all costs" campaign for your guy.  why don't you think about getting people excited for your candidate because of the good qualities of your candidate instead of engaging in lies about someone you don't support.  how does that leave the tx democratic party in a better position?  

tx democrats are not in a position to be split (this isn't massachusetts, amigo!), and THAT is why this kind of in-fighting--and unnecessary swift-boating--plays right into the hands of republicans.  

by NateShiner 2007-05-20 10:45PM | 0 recs
you've completely lost the plot at this point

1. He said, he said, is still he said he said.  And, especially when he "A" isn't the only one saying it.

2.  He hasn't found a replacement, and Richard Morrison is not going to be the sacrificial lamb to Nick Lampson's Senatorial ambitions.

3.  Are you trying to speak English, here? Better pour the rest of that Shiner down the drain, bud.

4. "Tearing apart" Good god you are a delicate flower, ain't you?  And if you think that Nick's promise and subsequent disavowal would have been missed by the Republicans but for this diary, I have a bridge to sell you, cheap.

The rest of your comment is ludicrous.  A contested primary doesn't split the party, and this valid criticism is not just being written in this diary, but being voiced by more than a few Democrats in Texas.  

IOW, Swift boating, my rosy red ass.  

by boadicea 2007-05-20 11:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Wham, Bam, Thank You, TX-22

I also live in 22, so let me answer your questions.

1. It's an open secret that Lampson is wooing our Republican Sugar Land City Councilmember to run in 22.

2. Morrison was the first one wooed by Lampson, with the offer of $2 million by the DCCC, but refused to be thrown under the bus. If Lampson is seeing unfavorable poll numbers, why would Richard be dumb enough to be the sacrificial lamb? Others have been wooed. No one is biting.

3. Whatever.

4. I live in 22, gave money to Lampson, blockwalked for Lampson, phone banked for Lampson and innumerable other campaign activities. I feel used and abandoned. He promised he would not run for Senate in 08, that he was with us in Congress for the long haul and that he was here to help build up the Democrats in 22.

Let's be honest. How in the world does Lampson expect to win state-wide when he is pissing on his own Congressional District?

by sugar land dem 2007-05-20 09:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Wham, Bam, Thank You, TX-22


1.  although i keep tabs on things in SL, i live in clear lake and, in fairness to that, might not speak as well to the sugar land rumor mill.  however, i would find it hard to believe that lampson's people would have been so flatly denying the story if there were any truth to it.  

2.  the dccc would never offer morrison $2 mil to run in lampson's stead.  

3.  it was a joke...

4.  i hope you'll at least say 'fair enough' to this: i can appreciate that some others in tx22 wouldn't be happy to lose Lampson if he goes for senate.  My point in noting that i volunteered (exactly in the same activities as you) was simply to say that some of us would support a Lampson senate bid. i'm saying that--contrary to the suggestion of the original post--not everyone would be unhappy about this.  

by NateShiner 2007-05-20 10:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Wham, Bam, Thank You, TX-22

Nate,

I'm not going to refute every point you make, but please know I am on the inside of much of this and everything I said is absolutely true. You can take that $2 million to the bank.

by sugar land dem 2007-05-21 06:55AM | 0 recs
Is TX-22 so damn conservative that...

nobody here can think of a single Democrat in the economic populist mold to run in that district, if Lampson does decide to run for Senate?  Does none exist in that entire district?

Seriously?  Is TX-22 that loyal to Bush?

by BruinKid 2007-05-21 12:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Is TX-22 so damn conservative that...

It is without question conservative, but not stupid.

As for Bush's approval #s in the district, I don't know, but it does have a lot of ambitious and frustrated Republicans.

by boadicea 2007-05-21 06:02AM | 0 recs
Upgrade you

If I were in Lampson's shoes, I would almost certainly run for Senate.  House or Senate, he faces a damn tough fight, may as well lay it all on the table and go for the glory.

As for the house seat he leaves behind, I think Morrison would have a great shot at it.  He ran a great race with little cash or institutional support in 2004, and held DeLay to 55%.  Now that Lampson has proven that a Dem can win in this seat, I think Morrison will be able to get the dough and the support, and if I were a D-22 resident, I would prefer Morrison to Lampson as my Representative.

I think Lampson going for the upgrade is a win/win for Texas Dems.

by CapitalShill 2007-05-21 06:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Wham, Bam, Thank You, TX-22

2008 will be another Democratic Perfect Storm, perhaps even better than 2006.  Lampson ought to run for re-election now.  Who knows, maybe there will be an independent or third party candidate who will help siphon votes away from the R. Maybe Gibbs will run again and get the nomination then Lampson can hit her hard for being insane with her two weeks as a Congressperson illustrating the point.  How much money will the R's throw at this seat with Lampson running?  Given the tepid fundraising numbers their party is having they may take this seat but only at the expense of some other one and there is no guarantee that they will get this one.

by msstaley 2007-05-21 08:06AM | 0 recs

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