Defend our Sport Now!

This is a good place to inform fellow hunters about bills and other legislation that may jeopardize our rights to hunt and free cast our hounds.

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Defend our Sport Now!

Post by TC » Sat Nov 15, 2008 12:29 pm

Dear Sportsmen and Animal Owning Friends,

Washington based anti-hunter and anti-dog breeder legislators need to be repulsed in the next few days or we may lose our strongest DC supporter with devastating long-term impacts. California anti's led by Rep. Henry Waxman are attempting to topple Rep. John Dingell as House Energy and Commerce chairman. Rep. Waxman, from Beverly Hills, is an ultra liberal who has voted for *EVERY* Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) measure since 1996. That's right, 100% on two anti-hobby dog breeding bills, five anti-hunting bills, ten+ ill-considered livestock measures and scores more. Nearly all these bills failed, due to moderates such as John Dingell speaking and voting against them.

John Dingell, from Michigan, is the dean of the House and is the highest profile and most influential supporter of sportsmen and animal owners in the U.S. Congress. See his legislative accomplishments at John is also an avid big game hunter and waterfowler, a dog owner and has served on the boards of NRA and Ducks Unlimited. He has never let us down and has repeatedly gone to bat for us on hunting, fishing, conservation, animal and gun ownership, influencing many other legislators and public opinion.

Literally, almost without exception, Mr. Waxman and his group attempting to unseat John Dingell are animal rights zealots who have been repeatedly endorsed and funded by the anti-animal owner, anti-hunting Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS). The anti-Dingell faction includes some 24 California democrats and other HSUS favorites. HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle considers this sub group his hard core strongest supporters. They introduce dozens of ill-conceived animal rightist bills every year. It's critical that a very senior, high-profile moderate democratic committee chairman such as John Dingell not be dragged down by these elements. In Washington, committee control and perception of power matter enormously. Should these radicals succeed, an experienced and meaningful voice will be muted, a key committee staff will be replaced and the next Congress will take decided shift to the left in important legislative areas.

Sportsmen and animal owners concerns are frequently intense and heartfelt to us but they don't often receive major Washington press coverage. However, this crucial struggle between moderates and uber liberals for the control of the 111th Congress anf future legislation has received significant reporting that you may not have seen. Two recent reprints from Roll Call are attached.

*ACTION REQUEST*: As soon as possible, telephone and email all House Democrats and urge that they retain John Dingell as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The caucus vote will occur on either November 17 or 18, 2008 and newly elected members will have a voice. Everyone should have his or her two DC Senators and one House member in his address book and on speed dial. Telephoning your personal representatives is more effective than emailing. This is especially true for short fused, very simple messages. To find your representative's contact info, input your zip code in ... That same page may be used to identify every democratic House member in your state. The message is crystal clear, "Vote John Dingell for House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman. At this critical time, the country needs him in charge."

Please forward and cross post widely. Every call counts. Reach out to your family and friends.

Thank you.


Susan Wolf, Director
Sportsmen and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance -
Issue lobbying and working to identify and elect supportive legislators
From Field to Show and Show to Field the way it should be

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Re: Defend our Sport Now!

Post by TC » Sat Nov 15, 2008 12:36 pm

More of the Story:
Waxman Coup Worries Moderates
By Tory Newmyer Roll Call Staff
November 10, 2008
Facing the prospect of a liberal surge in House Democratic senior ranks, party moderates in the Blue Dog and New Democrats coalitions are banding together to make sure centrist lawmakers prevail in two critical internal fights.
Leaders of the two groups were in talks last week to plot rallying support for Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) in his bid to beat back a challenge for his gavel from liberal Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and to enlist Rep. Joe Crowley (N.Y.), a New Democrats leader, to run for the vice chairmanship of the Caucus.
The coordination marks a departure for the groups, which have not traditionally worked together, and a shared fear that with Democrats preparing to take control of all levers of political power, moderates could get steamrolled by emboldened liberals.
“We’re very concerned about the direction that some are trying to move our majority,” said Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), Blue Dog co-chairman for communications.
Leaders of both groups were working the phones last week to round up support for Dingell, the 27-term dean of the House, in his counteroffensive against Waxman’s surprise challenge. Ross and Reps. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.) and John Tanner (D-Tenn.), both senior Blue Dogs, joined Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the New Democrats, on Dingell’s 26-member team.
“There are definitely conversations going on” among leaders of the groups to find support within their respective ranks for Dingell, a senior New Democrats aide said.
Dingell and Waxman aides alike are trying to frame their contest as centered on who will make the most effective legislator — and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), an ally of both, likewise played down the notion that the fight will highlight an ideological rift in the Caucus. But Dingell, an ardent defender of his home-state auto industry, and Waxman, an ally of environmentalists, have taken dramatically different approaches to climate change and energy issues in the past — debates expected to be prominent next year.
It is not yet clear how strongly New Democrats will rally to Dingell’s defense. With 60 members, they present a vote-rich source of support. But the group emphasizes green
technology and high-tech innovation — priorities that are at times at odds with the manufacturing base Dingell champions.
Leaders of the groups are working together to draft Crowley into a leadership bid.
Ross said he and other Blue Dog leaders called Crowley last week and encouraged him to jump into the race for the Caucus vice-chairmanship, the fifth-ranking slot in leadership. Crowley, who lost a bid for that post in early 2006, has not yet announced whether he will run. So far, Reps. Xavier Becerra (Calif.) and Marcy Kaptur (Ohio) have entered the race. Also thought to be eyeing the race are Reps. Kendrick Meek (Fla.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.).
Crowley is not a Blue Dog, but Ross said members of his group understand that the New Yorker would be their best shot at adding a moderate to the leadership team. It reflects a recognition that Blue Dogs themselves, mainly white Southerners from rural districts, can’t run one of their own and hope to win over a majority of a heavily diverse Caucus representing mostly urban and suburban areas.
With a Crowley bid, the moderate faction would in effect be hoping to recover a leadership seat they are losing with the exit of Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) — a New Democrat with razor-sharp instincts. Emanuel announced last week he is quitting the House to take a job as President-elect Obama’s chief of staff.
Taken together, the contests present key tests of an unformed alliance between the groups that could prove a force in the next Congress. But much remains in the air. The groups have at times struggled to maintain unity within their own ranks. And it is not yet clear how they would work together to shape the agenda next year.
Aside from broadly centrist tendencies, the two groups don’t have much in common. While most Blue Dogs represent socially conservative, rural districts, most New Democrats hail from socially progressive, suburban districts. On policy, Blue Dogs are fiscal hawks that have been singularly focused on defending pay-as-you-go budgeting rules. New Democrats have trained their attention on promoting free trade and a high-tech agenda. They mostly backed the Wall Street bailout, which split the Blue Dogs, and are now focused on regulatory modernization of the financial markets.
“I can’t even wrap my brain around how that would work in an Obama administration,” a senior New Democrats aide said. “There will be conversations, but it’s premature right now.”
Ross said the groups will work in concert to prevent a liberal overreach that would spell a repeat of the mistakes Democrats made in the early 1990s. “We’re not going to be the most
popular folks in our party, but we’re going to ensure that we as a party govern from the middle and not the extremes,” he said. “And we’ve got the votes to keep that from happening.”
Against the backdrop of the ideological rift, the fight over the chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce panel continued to rage on Friday, with both sides deploying their whip teams to sew up support among their colleagues.
While Waxman’s announcement last week caught Dingell flat-footed, whispers of a coup attempt by the Californian have persisted in Dingell circles for months. In June, in a move Dingell allies insist was unrelated, the Michigan Democrat backed off his longtime resistance to opening a leadership political action committee and founded the Wolverine PAC. Corporate donations poured in, and Dingell tapped the funds to spread about $80,000 to moderate incumbents and challengers, according to CQ MoneyLine.
Waxman has been using his own account to engender goodwill with colleagues for considerably longer. While Dingell is one of the most recent Democrats to kick off such a fund, Waxman was the first House lawmaker to open a leadership PAC, founding his L.A. PAC in the late 1970s to boost his bid for a subcommittee gavel. Waxman used the account to dole out about $238,000 to Democrats this cycle. ... :&st=email
K Street Quietly Comes to Dingell’s Aid
By Anna Palmer Roll Call Staff
November 13, 2008, 10:18 a.m.
With the gavel for the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee hanging in the balance, Democratic lobbyists are rallying behind current Chairman John Dingell (Mich.), as he tries to fend off a well-publicized power grab for the job by Rep. Henry Waxman (Calif.).
While discussions for House leadership races are typically done at the Member level, several former Dingell staffers said that hasn’t stopped them from working the phones to put in a good word for the Capitol Hill denizen.
In particular, K Street has sought to convince members of the Blue Dog Coalition, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the New Democrats to back Dingell against Waxman, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
“Lobbyists are doing intelligence gathering, talking to lawmakers they are on a first-name relationship basis with,” said one lobbyist, who has made calls to drum up support for Dingell.
Still, lobbyists said their activity has been tempered by not wanting to appear too far out in front of Dingell’s Capitol Hill whip team.
There is also concern among lobbyists that Waxman could try to paint Dingell as being too close to downtown.
“For folks on K Street it’s just not wise to get too actively involved,” said the lobbyist.
The House Democratic Caucus is expected to vote in a secret ballot on the chairmanship next week.
Since he was first elected in 1955 to fill the seat of his father, Rep. John Dingell Sr. (D-Mich.), the younger Dingell has amassed a formidable K Street presence.
His network spans the health care, energy, manufacturing and telecom industry sectors.
Dingell has forged strong ties with former senior aides-turned-lobbyists, including John Orlando of CBS Corp., Ryan Modlin at the National Association of Manufacturers, Marda Robillard of Van Scoyoc Associates, and Alan Roth of US Telecom. He’s also close to Reid Stuntz of Hogan & Hartson and solo practitioner Michael Barrett.
Dingell’s Chief of Staff Michael Robbins is primarily running his whip operation. Robbins reached out to Dingell alumni and friends with a late-night e-mail last Thursday, acknowledging that many had offered “support and assistance.” The e-mail missive included talking points and press clips for them to use. Further, Robbins asked K Streeters to “gather intelligence” from Members and staff.
After receiving their marching orders, lobbyists said they have been quietly reaching out to lawmakers and helping staff strategize potential pickups in the chairmanship race to ensure that Dingell would continue to run the committee.
Notwithstanding the call for downtown’s help, Dingell spokeswoman Jodi Seth said her boss’s focus is on Capitol Hill.
“Chairman Dingell has long-standing relationships with lots of people in Washington who have called and offered their help, but Dingell sees this as an election among Members of Congress,” Seth said in an e-mail.
Waxman’s spokeswoman declined to comment about the gavel race.
For many it’s not just about loyalty to Dingell.
Should Waxman be successful in his attempt to oust Dingell, he would wield considerable power as the House gets ready to tee up climate change and health care reform. That, in turn, could force companies into a far more defensive lobbying posture since Waxman is likely to call for much stricter regulations against industry.
Although Waxman’s move to wrest control of the committee from Dingell appeared to catch the Michigan lawmaker by surprise, rumors have been swirling for weeks that Waxman might make a move for the enviable post.
Both Waxman and Dingell have long had financial support from industry as the No. 1 and No. 2 Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee.
Coming from the home state of the Big Three automakers, Dingell has received more than $625,000 over the past two decades from automakers, more money than all other Members of the House have received from the industry since 1989, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Waxman has also had generous contributions from industry, including insurance company Aflac, the American Hospital Association, and the American Medical Association, all of which have large stakes in the upcoming health care debate.
Both Members also have leadership political action committees, which can be used to curry favor with fellow Members. Since opening the Wolverine PAC in June, Dingell has spread the wealth to colleagues, contributing about $80,000 to moderate incumbents and challengers, according to CQ MoneyLine.
Waxman has long had a leadership PAC, founding LA PAC in the late 1970s. He has contributed about $238,000 to Democrats this cycle.
While walking softly is the norm downtown in leadership races, the National Mining Association is one industry group openly supporting Dingell’s retention of the chairmanship.
“It strikes us that Chairman Dingell is more likely coming from Detroit to have a sensitivity to the current economic plight of the country when he looks at the various serious issues before the committee than Mr. Waxman, who is from Beverly Hills,” NMA spokesman Luke Popovich said.
The Sportsmen’s and Animal Owners’ Voting Alliance has also come out in support of Dingell. In an e-mail blast to more than 22,000 members, SAOVA urged its grass-roots network to contact their Member of Congress about what they argue is an important voice of moderation.
“He’s a voice of moderation where the large California cabal is scary as hell,” said Bob Kane, chairman emeritus of SAOVA.
From Field to Show and Show to Field the way it should be

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