Muckraker: Grist on Politics

In today’s news on the Dingell-Waxman battle for the Energy and Commerce Committee, John Dingell (D-Mich.) has rounded up the backing of several conservative-leaning conservation groups, including the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, Ducks Unlimited, American Rivers, and Trout Unlimited. He also has the support of many “Blue Dog” Democrats and a portion of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Meanwhile, Politico notes that Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) is likely to get support from more liberal House members, as well as a number of new, younger legislators that he gave financial support to just before this year’s election. Waxman cut $2,000 checks to 19 Democratic candidates, and it’s expected that many of those who won will back him in his bid to unseat Dingell.

The Politico piece notes the very different strategies the two are using in their battle. While Dingell is very publicly lobbying for support from his colleagues, Waxman is working it from behind the scenes, via these donations and more private meetings with lawmakers. They write:

Waxman has used this playbook before: In 1978, he persuaded colleagues to ignore the seniority system and elect him chairman of the Commerce Committee’s Health and Environment subcommittee in only his third term. In the run-up to that vote, Waxman lavished campaign cash on his colleagues on the committee to upset a popular Democrat with more seniority.

House Democrats are expected to vote on the chairmanship tomorrow.