The League of Conservation Voters, which is in the midst of a multimillion-dollar campaign to elect climate-friendly candidates, has hired the Center for American Progress’s Daniel J. Weiss to oversee its climate and elections program.
Weiss, a three-decade veteran of the green scene, will oversee what the group is pledging will be a far-reaching and deep-pocketed campaign. LCV and its affiliates spent $14 million last cycle and expect to top that this time around.
“Dan has the skills, creativity, and experience to help us support environmental champions and take on climate-change deniers,” said LCV president Gene Karpinski. “We’re excited to have him join our team at a time of unprecedented growth and success for our organization.”
Weiss most recently served as a senior fellow at CAP and the director of the group’s clean-energy and climate program. He also served as political director for the Sierra Club for eight years, where he oversaw its then-record $9 million Environmental Voter Education Campaign in 2000.
His hiring comes as big money is flowing from environmental interests ahead of the 2014 midterms. LCV’s Give Green campaign has already raised $3 million — a record for the campaign — for candidates in high-profile races like the Iowa and New Hampshire Senate campaigns. And billionaire Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate aims to inject $100 million to defeat Republican candidates in seven Senate and gubernatorial races.
Weiss, who started at LCV Wednesday, said he looked forward to complementing NextGen and others’ “efforts to also elect pro-climate action candidates and defeat the climate science deniers.”
With Weiss departing, CAP has beefed up its energy and climate team this spring by hiring Greg Dotson as vice president of energy policy. Dotson spent over 18 years as an aide to Rep. Henry Waxman, the top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee and former chairman of that panel and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
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Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."