Rove deputy says Musgrave’s seat in peril

U.S. Congresswomen Marilyn Musgrave (R.-Colo.) and Barbara Cubin (R.-Wyo.) are officially in trouble.

In a Republican political strategy presentation to the General Services Administration in late January, Karl Rove’s deputy J. Scott Jennings told assembled government workers that Musgrave and Cubin were two of 17 congressional districts that merit a “priority defense” by the GOP in 2008.One slide in the 28-page Powerpoint presentation shows how Musgrave’s vote percentage slipped from 58 percent in 2004 to 46 percent in 2006. Cubin’s stock fell even further, from 69 percent in 2004 to 48 percent in 2006. Both members were narrowly re-elected.

The presentation also lays out some Republican strategy for the U.S. races in 2008. Jennings told the group that Colorado and New Mexico would be a “Republican defense” states in 2008, while the party would attempt to aggressively unseat Democrats in Montana, South Dakota and Iowa, among others.

None of this may be particularly surprising, but when Jennings presentation was over, GSA administrator Lurita Doan asked the assembled government employees to discuss how GSA resources could be used to help “our candidates” in the 2008 election — an apparent violation of the federal Hatch Act, which prohibits partisan activity by government employees.

This in turn garnered the attention of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which wrote a letter to Rove to find out whether Rove, who is deputy chief of staff for President Bush, approved of this activity. Rove has not responded as yet.

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Dan Whipple

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