George Hearst from Deadwood is Raymond Tusk. The parts are quite similar: both are fantastically wealthy businessmen who use political corruption and strongarm tactics to advance their empires. While at first they seem to be surprisingly down-to-earth and humble, they are actually ruthless and maniacally greedy.
The name "Peter Russo" is an anagram for "pressure to," which is central to Underwood's purpose for Russo. Underwood wanted the VP spot, but the problem was the VP was still occupying that position. Knowing the VP was former Governor of Pennsylvania, Underwood expertly crafted a house of cards candidate for the Governor race (Russo), with the sole purpose of collapsing Russo's life through overwhelming pressure from drugs, alcohol and fast women. Pressure was also applied to the VP to feel like an outsider as VP, but to generate nostalgia for the old days he loved as Governor. When Russo imploded, by design, Underwood simply convinced the VP to run for Governor because his people needed him.
One of Us: Frank Underwood. An avid fan of video games, specifically first person shooters, that he plays at night to help relax. He also has a collection of Gears of War action figures that he keeps in his office desk, which he uses as props to intimidate a pair of junior congressmen to supporting the Watershed bill. The first thing he notices when he visits Peter Russo's condo is his son's PSVita lying on the coffee table. Frank picks it up like a kid on Christmas morning and even asks Peter what games he has for it before finally setting it down.
Real-Life Relative: Jayne Atkinson, who plays Catherine Durant, is married to Michael Gill, who plays President Walker.