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Watching Colorado's Republican candidates this year wrestle to answer questions about climate change has the feeling of a last gasp.
President Obama’s decision early this month to side with anti-regulation business interests against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop a plan to tighten smog regulations comes during an election cycle in which Obama has received campaign donations from top polluters, and only weeks after his chief of staff met with anti-regulation industry trade associations.
Billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch don't often see eye to eye with youngest brother Bill. On at least two things, though, they share common ground: A love for Colorado and an eagerness to fund Rep. Scott Tipton's campaigns.
Many of the most influential American agricultural interests are headquartered in specific parts of the country: The majority of peanuts come from Georgia, corn from Iowa and sugar from Florida. But even though agricultural interests have a significant presence in only a small number of congressional districts, they play an inordinately large role in the political landscape of the entire country.
The Obama years have so far been a predictable boom-time for the army of anti-regulation lobbyists paid by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that the Chamber spent $276 million over the past two years lobbying against, among other things, health care reform, environmental protections and Wall Street regulations. The Chamber is the number-one spender on lobbying this year as in years past, but it is outdoing itself, setting records in its own outrageous largess. In just the last three months of 2010, the Chamber spent $50.9 million on lobbying at the federal, state and grassroots levels. That's a step down from last year, when in the last financial quarter as health and financial industry reform were being discussed in DC, the Chamber spent $79 million from October through December to defeat or water-down Democratic legislation.