-- The decision by State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn to
run for governor of Texas as an independent requires President
Bush to oppose her and support Gov. Rick Perry. Strayhorn is the
mother of two trusted Bush aides, while Perry's relationship with
the president has been cool.
House had signaled it would not take sides in a Republican primary
between Strayhorn and Perry. White House press secretary Scott
McClellan and Bush administration Medicare and Medicaid administrator
Mark McClellan are sons of Strayhorn.
decided to go independent when it became clear she could not win
a Republican primary, according to Texas sources. Her opposition
to Perry in the general election evoked outrage from state Republican
leaders who claimed betrayal by Strayhorn, who in 1985 moved from
the Democratic to the Republican Party.
ALITO CAMPAIGN MIX-UP
A new fund-raising
appeal by the Committee for Justice (CFJ) on behalf of Judge Samuel
Alito's confirmation for the Supreme Court mistakenly contained
the name of former White House counsel C. Boyden Gray, President
Bush's nominee for U.S. ambassador to the European Union (EU).
is in trouble in the Senate, partly because of Democratic protest
over his activities as founder of the CFJ. He had resigned from
the group, and consequently his name on the fund-raising letter
column pointed out to CFJ executive director Sean Rushton that
Gray's name was still on the money appeal, Rushton replied he
was unaware of that and it must have been a case of the fund-raising
contractor using old stationery. He later said the letter has
been withdrawn and any money raised with Gray's name on the appeal
was being returned.
House is dispatching Vice President Dick Cheney to raise money
for embattled Republican Sen. Mike DeWine of Ohio, who has voted
against President Bush on key legislative issues.
address a $1,000-a-ticket Capitol Hill Club reception on Jan.
26 that is intended to raise $100,000 for DeWine's campaign for
a third term. DeWine most recently opposed Bush and Senate Republican
leaders on the budget bill and on drilling for oil in the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge. Invitations to the fund-raiser have
been mailed to major Bush contributors.
control of the Senate at stake, DeWine faces potential difficulty
for re-election. Democratic candidates include Rep. Sherrod Brown
and Iraq War veteran Paul Hackett, who last year ran a close race
in a heavily Republican congressional district.
Republican leaders are recruiting Vice Adm. Richard Carmona, surgeon
general of the United States, to cut off a congressional bid in
a closely contested Arizona district by a foe of President Bush's
district was put up for grabs when moderate Republican Rep. Jim
Kolbe announced recently he would not seek a 12th term. The leading
Republican candidate has been former State Rep. Randy Graf, who
in 2004 took 43 percent of the primary vote while spending only
$90,000 by advocating a hard-line immigration policy.
not expected to support Graf if he is nominated in an evenly balanced
district that Bush carried with 53 percent. Dr. Wayne Peate, a
fellow physician and friend of Carmona, filed his candidacy Monday
and raised speculation that Carmona will not run.
guest worker proposal being worked on in the Western Governors'
Association (WGA) promises to expose further the split over immigration
in both political parties, but particularly among Republicans.
Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman,
a Republican, are working on the WGA proposal. In addition to
the guest worker initiative, the proposal is expected to include
increased border enforcement and reimbursements to states of expenses
resulting from illegal immigration.
plan, if finished in time, will be presented at the WGA's annual
Washington breakfast late in February. It would immediately be
attacked by Republican immigration hard-liners in Congress.