It would be nice if we could stop paying attention to Mike Huckabee, but the other big news about him is that he is polling well across the South. The former Arkansas governor is popular, and as Paul points out, Huckabee comes across as the likable, down-to-earth sort of Israel-loving, crypto-birther conservative. (Back in 2008, he even made an appearance, pegged to music education, at the staunchly liberal Center for American Progress, because, you know, inviting the occasional Republican over helps convince the IRS to maintain your tax-exempt designation.)
Hello TAP readers: I’m Sarah Laskow, a freelance reporter and writer based in New York City. But I’m also an ex-member of the D.C. media corps who’s written about homeland security, money and politics, the environment, and a host of other geeky topics. Thanks for having me.
In places like Ithaca, New York, green advocates might be fighting to keep natural-gas companies away, but in Washington, D.C., progressive leaders and national environmental groups are ready to fight for natural gas as a source of clean energy.
Take Tim Wirth. The former senator, who came to Congress in 1974 as a representative from Boulder, Colorado, asked climate guru James Hansen to testify about global warming in 1988 and worked in the State Department on climate-change issues during the Clinton administration. Long familiar with the natural-gas industry, Wirth, who now heads Ted Turner's United Nations Foundation, is pushing its leaders to cuddle up to their peers in the solar and wind industries.
Influence: AARP, an organization for people age 50 and over, is one of the biggest players in Washington, and its health-care lobbying team increased from 36 lobbyists at the end of 2008 to 42 in the last quarter. The group has spent more than $9 million on lobbying this year.
Demands: AARP's membership splits evenly along party lines, so the group's main priority has been discussing "the need for bipartisan action."No matter what their political persuasion, however, most older Americans stand to benefit from cuts to prescription drug prices, and AARP is using its lobbying dollars to ensure that they do.