Tales from the Trail

You won’t believe this – Dems cash in on Republican BP apology

Congressional Democrats are quickly trying to cash in on Joe Barton, the Republican lawmaker with ties to the oil industry who apologized to BP on national TV.

bartonJust hours after Barton’s remarks on Thursday, the House and Senate Democratic campaign committees issued fund-raising appeals featuring and ridiculing the white-haired Texan. 

“You won’t believe this,” begins the letter from the House Democratic campaign committee. “Yes, Texas Congressman Joe Barton actually apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward.”

The Senate Democratic campaign committee characterized Barton in its letter as a defender of “big polluters.”

Nathan Gonzales of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report said, “Joe Barton is not a high-profile guy. But Democrats aim to make him one.”

Washington politicians finally meet someone who can fast-talk them

Democrats in the House Energy and Commerce Committee had a secret weapon — a speed-reader — who they were prepared to pull out in case Republicans forced the public reading of a nearly 1,000-page climate change bill and lengthy amendments that have been debated all week.

US-FINANCIAL/The procedural maneuver to delay progress on the bill had been threatened by Republicans, who oppose the “cap and trade” program Democrats constructed to gradually reduce industry’s greenhouse gas emissions.

In the end, Republicans didn’t resort to the delay.

But not wanting to waste the talents of the speed-reader Chairman Henry Waxman hired, the committee gave Douglas Wilder his moment in the sun by asking him to read out loud hundreds of pages contained in a Republican counter-proposal that everyone knew was doomed.