DeLay Founds Coalition; Eyes Grass Roots to Take Back Congress

Article excerpt

Byline: Eric Pfeiffer, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has formed a new grass-roots organization that he says will help conservatives better convey their message to voters and take back control of Congress.

The Coalition for a Conservative Majority (CCM) - co-founded by Mr. DeLay, Texas Republican, and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell - will establish "chapters" in all 50 states, which will be used to lobby lawmakers, coordinate political messages and influence members of the press.

"Right now, liberals are better organized, funded and active than I have ever witnessed," Mr. DeLay said. "Our goal is to work with the talented leaders of the conservative movement to complement their efforts, using an army of activists to push for the policies and leadership conservatives are begging for."

Mr. Blackwell, who will serve as chairman of CCM, began fundraising and organizing for the group earlier this year. Members will be required to pay an annual fee of $52, which will go toward funding the group's outreach efforts.

"Whether writing letters to editors or legislators, protesting tax hikes or rallying to support our common values, CCM members will reinvigorate all aspects of the conservative cause, from the grass roots up," Mr. Blackwell said.

Democrats said the new group is part of a "shadow" effort by conservatives, including outlets such as the Majority Accountability Project and Freedom's Watch, who they say are made up of Republicans who were in power when their party began to fall out of favor with independent voters.

"With the NRCC in disarray and Republicans on the defense, it was only a matter of time until a Swift-boat-like smear machine surfaced to attack Democrats and spin lies," said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Doug Thornell. …