It seems that while other Texas Democrats are returning money they received from a big donor under investigation for theft, impersonating a peace officer, and practicing law without a license, Lampson has not. His likely Republican opponent -- former John Cornyn staffer Pete Olson -- is calling for him to follow suit:
Earlier this month, Mauricio Celis, of Corpus Christi, TX, was sued by the Texas Attorney General for illegally operating a law firm as a non-lawyer.
On September 27, 2007, Lampson received two contributions, totaling $4,600, from Celis. As of today, three Democrat State Representatives from Texas: Abel Herrero, Solomon Ortiz Jr. and Juan Garcia have all donated Celis' tainted money to local charities.
"Questionable money from questionable sources, I urge Mr. Lampson to follow the lead of his fellow democrats by donating this money to a charity who can better use these funds," commented Pete Olson. "I expect Nick Lampson will practice the ethics that he preaches by immediately distancing himself from Mauricio Celis and giving this money to a worthy cause."
According to news reports, Mauricio Celis was ranked as the 51st most prolific Texas Democrat donor in 2004, having donated more than $160,000 to candidates and political action committees (PACs) designed to support Democrats. Celis has also donated tens of thousands of dollars to PACs set up by former Democrat Senate candidate Mikal Watts with the purpose of fighting medical malpractice reforms here in Texas.
After the Republican sweep of 1994, Democrats knocked off 12 of the GOP's freshmen in 1996. In general, those candidates occupied Democratic seats which Republicans had taken only because of their wave. Nick Lampson sits in a GOP seat, and will be heavily targeted in 2008. Is that reality leading him to scramble for every dollar he can get?