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A target on his back, Mahoney fires back

Rep. Tim Mahoney, the Democrat who narrowly won the race to succeed disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley, is using the specter of White House strategist Karl Rove to raise some last-minute campaign donations.

In an e-mail sent to supporters, Mahoney claims that Rove "has been caught red handed trying to take down newly elected representatives, including me, who are dedicated to fiscal responsibility and accountability and ethic."

According to a story in Thursday's Washington post, staffers at the General Services Administration participated in a Jan. 26 videoconference in which J. Scott Jennings, White House deputy director of political affairs, who works for Rove, briefed political appointees about plans to target 20 congressional Democrats in 2008.

"Recent e-mails prove that he was conducting an illegal campaigning scheme designed to influence federal bureaucrats in the workplace," Mahoney wrote in his fundraising pitch. "He has been making the rounds to these federal buildings in a crusade against the GOP's top targeted democrats for the 2008 cycle, like me!"

Mahoney notes in the e-mail that Saturday marks the first quarter fundraising deadline and he needs "to come out of this first quarter with a strong showing."

He already has four opponents, he notes in the e-mail.