August 18, 2008
Big John welcomes Bad Karl

Just a reminder that today was the day Karl Rove came to El Paso to help his buddy Big Bland John and State House candidate Dee Margo raise some money. Cornyn and Rove, of course, go a long way back, thanks to hitching their wagons to George W. Bush's star and never letting go. But Cornyn also has some interesting connections to El Paso and some other Bush buddies, in particular Ralph Reed and Jack Abramoff. Here's a brief primer if this isn't familiar to you. Enjoy the money, fellas.

On a related note, the Rove event in Houston has caused a little political problem for Houston City Council member Peter Brown, who for reasons as yet unarticulated was in attendance at that fundraiser. Two of the beneficiaries of that event were State Reps. John Davis and Jim Murphy, who are opposed by Annie's List endorsees Kristi Thibaut and Sherrie Matula. In a press release I've received, Annie's List has called out Council Member Brown for his attendance.

"If Peter Brown wants to hob knob with Karl Rove, that is his prerogative, but attending a Republican fundraiser for the explicit purpose of defeating Democratic candidates is way over the line. At the very least he owes Kristi Thibaut and Sherrie Matula an apology and an offer to contribute or raise an equal amount of money for them," said Annie's List Communications Director Erica Prosser.

Billed as a fundraiser for both Thibaut and Matula's opponents along with two other Republicans, the event was headlined by the architect of George W. Bush's administration, Karl Rove. Rove appeared even while he is ignoring a summons from the United States Congress to testify before them. Last week Congress voted to hold him in contempt, yet instead, Rove has been running around Texas raising money for state Republican candidates. In attending the Harris County event, Peter Brown helped legitimize this "fugitive fundraising tour," as termed by Texas Democratic Party Chair Boyd Richie.

Brown, a Houston City Councilman and 2009 candidate for mayor, ignored calls from the state party and thousands of voters around the state who signed petitions calling on Rove to heed his subpoena from Congress and return to Washington, D.C. to testify. Instead of joining these voters and his own party, Brown chose to attend a fundraiser for Republicans running against Democrats in his own area. Brown perhaps owes Democratic House Candidate Kristi Thibaut the biggest apology, as she was his campaign manager in his City Council race.

Brown needs to decide whose side he is really on and make that clear to his constituents. He can't have it both ways, and Thibaut, Matula and others deserve to know if he is really on their side. Annie's List calls on Brown to apologize to these Democratic women and other Democrats whose campaigns were hurt by this fundraiser and asks him to support his fellow Democrats at all levels between now and November and beyond.

I've heard quite a bit of grumbling from various Dems about this, many of whom have said they'll remember it next year. To say the least, I think CM Brown has some fences to mend.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 18, 2008 to Election 2008
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