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Nation: Waxman Main Draw at DCCC Money Event

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (Calif.) will be the special guest at a fundraising lunch benefiting the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today — the day before the House is scheduled to vote on landmark climate change legislation.

Waxman is the main draw for the DCCC’s Chairman’s Council event, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by Roll Call. DCCC Vice Chairman Joe Crowley (N.Y.) is hosting the lunch, which also features Reps. Ed Markey (Mass.), Bobby Rush (Ill.), Bart Stupak (Mich.) and Baron Hill (Ind.), all of whom serve on the Energy and Commerce panel.

Tickets for the event that is geared toward the political action committee and business community cost $1,000 to $5,000, which provides guests with yearlong access to Members.

“For a contribution of $5,000 per year to the DCCC, the DCCC Chairman’s Council Membership offers you great opportunities to meet with our Members several times throughout the year, and provides you with access to other special DCCC events,— the invitation states.

— Shira Toeplitz

NRCC Calling All Troops for Patriot Day’

The National Republican Congressional Committee is hosting its first “Patriot Day— today with hopes of raising $90,000 to $100,000 for each of the program’s 10 Members.

House Republican leaders, other GOP Members and political action committees are expected to bring contributions to the all-day reception at the Capitol Hill Club, according to an NRCC aide.

Reps. Judy Biggert (Ill.), Brian Bilbray (Calif.), Ken Calvert (Calif.), Anh “Joseph— Cao (La.), Leonard Lance (N.J.), Chris Lee (N.Y.), Dan Lungren (Calif.), Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.), Erik Paulsen (Minn.) and Dave Reichert (Wash.) have all signed on to the the program and can expect to benefit from the event.

The NRCC started the “Patriot— program this cycle to support Republican Members who are considered to be more politically vulnerable than their colleagues. The Members work with the committee to develop fundraising goals and campaign infrastructure.

— S.T.

Bill to Tackle Redraw Reform Reintroduced

In anticipation of the reapportionment and redistricting that will follow the 2010 Census, Reps. John Tanner (D-Tenn.) and Mike Castle (R-Del.) on Wednesday reintroduced a bill aimed at removing the partisan maneuvering inherent in how state legislatures draw Congressional district boundaries.

“You have good people coming [to Congress] but they are elected by the most partisan elements of American society,— Tanner said at a news conference touting their Fairness and Independence in Redistricting Act.

Tanner said redistricting methods have contributed to the polarization of Congressional politics, with legislatures tailoring districts to be ideologically homogeneous so that elections become a foregone conclusion.

“To represent the people correctly, you need some sort of balance in terms of what you are doing,— Castle said. “Instead of sitting down and working things out together, we get into contentious fights, so the country can’t progress.—

To safeguard against tit-for-tat trading of voters, Castle said he advocates the creation of a Bipartisan Reapportionment Committee that would act as a redistricting watchdog.

This is the third time the bill has been introduced, and there is little indication that it will see significant movement this time around.

Both parties have reaped the benefits of gerrymandered districts, and Democrats will be looking to the next redraw to help cement their majority. Cooper said it’s easy to understand why lawmakers might be resistant to its passage.

“Members today think it must be a perfect system because it produced them,— he said.

— Jeremy B. White

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