Monday, March 06, 2006

Hammer to spend election night with lobbyists, Fastow prepares to stick it to his bosses

Too perfect for comment:

Rep. Tom DeLay, whose association with lobbyist Jack Abramoff has left him politically vulnerable, is spending Texas' primary night Tuesday at a fundraiser hosted by two Washington lobbyists. ...

The fundraiser is being held by lobbyists Bill Paxon and Susan Molinari, both former members of Congress from New York. The event will raise money for DeLay's re-election campaign. ...

Paxon, now a lobbyist with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, and his wife, Molinari, are friends of DeLay. Molinari is chairwoman and CEO of The Washington Group, a Ketchum company.

DeLay's toughest primary challenger, attorney Tom Campbell, criticized the congressman's election night plans:

"I think it's amazingly ironic and callous he would be spending election night with a group of lobbyists," Campbell said. "I don't think he understands how unhappy constituents are with what appears to be a trade of principle for power."

My prediction is that DeLay will win tomorrow without a runoff. And lose in November.

In other local felony indictee news, Jeff Fastow is all set to testify against his former bosses:

As the next witness — expected to take the stand by Tuesday — he will have his chance to redraw the portrait that Lay and Skilling have painted of him as a rogue employee, substituting the image of one made the scapegoat for a broader conspiracy.

"I've got to think he's going to defend himself and be combative and angry," said Kent Schaffer, a Houston attorney who has followed the case. "I don't think it will be particularly effective, but he will be one of the most interesting witnesses."

Keep an eye on the Chron's coverage of the Enron trial. It's the best out there.

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