July 30, 2008
It's not stripping, it's burlesque

It's stuff like this that reminds me why I love the campaign season.

We had never heard of a member of Congress holding a fundraiser at a Las Vegas burlesque nightclub... until now.

And the culprit is card-carrying conservative Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.). The same Pete Sessions who scolded Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake for forcing "their liberal values upon the rest of the country" after their infamous 2004 Super Bowl halftime striptease.

But that was then.

Now we learn that Sessions held a racy (for Washington) fundraiser for his leadership political action committee last year at Ivan Kane's Forty Deuce nightclub in Sin City. A description of the club on its web site, which features a scantily clad dancer, reads: "A blue light silhouettes the sax man as one of the sexy, sensual dancers slowly slinks down the stairs to the stage and leans out over the crowd, holding on with only a handful of the world-famous curtain of pearls! Jaws drop and drinks are ignored as the tempo picks up and the dancer steps up, shedding boa, gown and gloves towards the electrifying finale."

I really don't think I can add anything to that. Link via TPM.

Meanwhile, Texas on the Potomac reports on a campaign contribution from an unexpected source.

One of President Bush's first cousins has gone way against the grain.

In February, Alexander "Hap" Ellis III donated $4,300 to Michael Skelly's congressional campaign, according to Federal Electoin Commission records.

Skelly is a Democrat. He is running against Republican incumbent John Culberson of Houston. The seat was once held by former President George H.W. Bush, Ellis' uncle. And the former president still lives in the district on Houston's west side.

As the post notes, Ellis works in renewable energy, so this isn't that great a stretch, even if it's his only donation to a Democrat this year. What's even better is that Ellis isn't the only member of the extended Bush clan to cross the aisle in 2008. Take a look at the detailed report (PDF) for Sherrie Matula, and scroll down to page ten. You'll see that none other than Neil Bush kicked in $25 to her effort. So the next time someone asks you how bad a year this is for the Republicans, you can say "Bad enough that even Bushes are giving to Democrats".

Elsewhere, State Rep. Ellen Cohen may have an unserious opponent, but she's not taking anything for granted. Some campaign-related events coming up for her include a "Young Professionals Supporting State Representative Ellen Cohen" party at the Rice Lofts downtown next Tuesday evening from 5:30 to 8:00 - if you're Facebook-enabled, you can see the details here, and a "BBQ, Birthday Bash and Yard Sign Blitz" at her campaign headquarters (4950 Bissonnet, same place as 2006) on Sunday, August 24. Contact the campaign for more info.

And finally, if you find yourself asking "What can I do to help turn Texas blue in the next 100 days", since there's now less than that till the election, you can find some simple yet concrete suggestions here. Surely there's something there that will appeal to you.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 30, 2008 to Election 2008
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