dingell reaches out to the lobbyists to help fight off waxman

According to the folks at the technology law and policy website Ars Technica, Michigan Congressman John Dingell, is “rallying K Street’s armies of lobbyists” to his defense, in hopes of keeping rival Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman from snatching away his position as Chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The Washington Post has the text of the email sent out by Dingell’s chief of staff Michael Robbins to lobbyists and others, offering “talking points” against Waxman, and urging those loyal to Dingell to “gather intelligence.”

For what it’s worth, it seems as though Dingell, and the team of supporters in the House that he’s been able to pull together thus far, has the edge on Waxman and his faction when it comes to the support of lobbyists… at least those working in oil and coal. According to research done by Think Progress, the average Dingell supporter in Congress has taken several times the amount of money from the coal and oil lobby as the average Waxman supporter. (The following graphic comes from Think Progress.)

[It’s worth pointing out that Think Progress is an entity launched and run by John Podesta, who served as Bill Clinton’s chief of staff. Podesta, is currently heading up Obama’s transition team.]

It’s not known whether or not he would go for it, but one solution, as presented by the folks at the environmental website Grist, would be for the Democratic Leadership in the House to “promise Waxman the job in 2011 if he backs off now.” Otherwise, it’s going to come down to a war between the two men, seeing which one gets more votes of support in the House. And right now, with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi remaining quite on the issue, it seems as though it could go either way.

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  1. Tom
    Posted November 13, 2008 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    News Flash from the Detroit News- “Waxman Vows to Defeat Dingell”


    Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., vowed Thursday to defeat his Michigan rival to become the new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

    “I’m running to win and I expect to win,” Waxman told The Detroit News and a wire service reporter this afternoon, saying his campaign was going well. He said he was campaigning “with my constituents: members.”

    Waxman is challenging Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, who has been the ranking Democrat on the committee since 1981. Waxman has been a member of the committee since 1975. Waxman called Dingell on Nov. 5 to inform him of his challenge. Both have been campaigning for the job with members.

    On Wednesday, the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee is expected to vote to recommend a new chairman with the full Democratic caucus voting on Thursday.

    Waxman declined to endorse an effort led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid to quickly pass $25 billion out of the Wall Street rescue package for Detroit’s Big Three automakers.

    “I haven’t seen the proposal,” said Waxman, who is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee…

  2. Brackache
    Posted November 13, 2008 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm… If he refuses to pass THIS bailout, maybe he’s learned his lesson… unlike Dingell.

  3. Aaron
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Although Dingell may not be as green as some people like, he’s got the support of at least some anti-war activists in Michigan. The following is excerpted from an 11/12/08 email from Michigan Peaceworks (it’s not on their website yet) http://www.michiganpeaceworks.org/ :

    “Representative Dingell has been very valuable to the peace community. During the difficult Bush years, Representative Dingell broke with his own caucus and was one of a few Members of Congress who refused to cave to political pressure to support the authorization to go to war in Iraq.

    Chairman Dingell has held town halls and meetings with his constituents, including several with Michigan PeaceWorks. Even when we did not agree on every issue, he listened and he engaged in those meetings. In 2007 he introduced HR 3938, the Bring Our Troops Home Responsibly Act of 2007, calling for our troops to come home before Bush left office. He has been with the peace community on this critical issue (including three votes for withdrawal) and he was with every American when he voted against the Patriot Act and refused to vote in favor of immunity for those who went along with the President’s illegal warrant less wiretapping program. ”

  4. Meta
    Posted November 17, 2008 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Sunday’s New York Times had a front page story about the Dingell Waxman dust-up:


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