Nick Lampson, the blue dog democrat who won TX CD 22 in 2006, has been targeted by the RNCC. The republican candidate, Pete Olson, is a hard-right republican, whose mentor is Phil Gramm. From Olson's web site:
One of the biggest lessons from the September 11th attacks is that our country can never be too vigilant and never be too cautious in how we protect America. It is a lesson Democrats in Congress seem to have forgotten. Having handled defense and intelligence related issues for Senators Gramm and Cornyn, I will work tirelessly to strengthen and protect our ability to defend America from future attacks.
So Olson's playing the fear factor, standard issue for right-wing republicans.
The top of Olson's website is more of the same: "Winning the Global War on Terrorism." We will fight them over there, etc.
Olson is sliming Nick for being "soft" on immigration. Sound familiar? Olson wants to imprison the "illegals" and send them all back, wall off the border and throw even more drug users in jail. Texas prisons are already way over capacity, and we have one of the highest incarceration rates in the US. Even some of the more level-headed republicans (might be an oxymoron, perhaps I should say paleo-republicans) are getting concerned that Houston and Texas are throwing tens of thousands of non-violent offenders into prison and that Texas leads the nation in the growth of its incarcerated population.
Olson's "solution" to our health care problem is "a simple alteration of the tax code," for businesses. In other words, Olson is campaigning for a dysfunctional health care system in a state that is among the highest uninsured and underinsured in the nation.
Olson is peddling the rethug line that domestic "entitlement" programs need to be slashed so that taxes need to be reduced "to help working families." Guess whose families will benefit? The same ones that have benefited under GWB. Notice that Olson doesn't see the contradiction between reducing the size of government and continuing the Global War on Terror ™.
Olson pledges to vote to launch a constitutional amendment to restrict marriage to a man and a woman. No mention on why most of the rest of the Constitution hasn't been followed by the republicans.
Pete Olson also states that abortion should only be permitted when the life of the mother is endangered, exactly Sarah Palin's stance. No mention of incest or rape. Of course, the personal choices of women about what to do with their own bodies are completely off the radar.
Nick Lampson has been a firm supporter of the expansion of mass transit in the Houston area, actively working to expand the Harris County Metropolitan Transit Authority's light rail system, which Tom Delay almost stopped, and advocates regional commuter rail. Olson's solution? More privately-owned expressways financed by highly regressive tolls. We desperately need better public transit in the Houston area.
Olson's solution to energy problems? Drill, drill, drill, especially offshore. This is ironic in the light of repeated hurricanes in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.
Bush, Cheney and Rove have all been here for "private" fundraisers for Pete Olson. It's not surprising that Tom Delay has been campaigning for him, since Pete Olson is a Tom Delay clone.
TX CD 22 ranges from right-wing Sugarland in the west, to purple Pearland in the center ending in the blue City of Houston in the east.
Lampson has to walk a fine line in suburban Houston, hence his blue dog status. TX 22 isn't Boston, and DKOS readers need to give Nick a break. Consider the frightening alternative of losing this seat to a hard-right republican.
I've donated as much as I can afford to Nick, both this year and in 2006. We are still reeling from the effects of hurricane Ike, and times are particularly tough here at the moment.
Lampson's got what it takes to win this election, but air time in Houston is expensive. Please help us keep a Democratic congressional seat representing south suburban Houston. Donate as much as you can spare to Nick today.