Recycling’s Good for the Environment, Too

Posted June 12, 2007 at 6:43pm

It’s been said that there are no new ideas under the sun. Better make that under the eco-friendly light bulbs, too, now that one bipartisan duo is harrumphing that another copied its campaign to replace energy-wasting bulbs with greener ones. [IMGCAP(1)]

A bipartisan pair, Reps. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) and Bob Inglis (R-S.C.), introduced legislation in March that would swap the government’s 3 million or so old-school (read: inefficient) light bulbs with newer, fancier (read: energy-efficient) ones. The sponsors sent out three “Dear Colleague” letters and attracted more than 70 co-sponsors.

The idea was such a bright one, apparently, that another two Members, Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Jane Harman (D-Calif.), came up with their own version, sending a June 7 “Dear Colleague” letter vowing to introduce an amendment to every appropriations bill requiring that government agencies switch their bulbs.

Harman Chief of Staff John Hess told HOH there was no copying intended. “We were aware of the Lipinski-Inglis legislation,” but his boss and company thought it was a novel idea to try to amend every spending bill with light-bulb language, he said. “We weren’t aware of a similar strategy — if it was out there, that’s our oversight, but we’re just happy there’s so much interest in the issue.”

Lipinski Chief of Staff Jason Tai told HOH he sees the idea recycling as a compliment of sorts. “The more the merrier in order to move this ball down the field,” he said.

Games People Play. Kids today, HOH hears, love the video games. We’re not so certain, though, that “The Redistricting Game” is going to rivet them quite like the latest version of “Grand Theft Auto” does.

Nevertheless, the makers of the game, in which players experience gerrymandering firsthand by “drawing district maps and interacting with party bosses, congresspeople, citizen groups, and courts,” are hoping to edu-tain the electronic gaming generation, according to a press release.

The game was developed by the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and is being promoted by Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.) and political reform groups such as FairVote.org.

Just in time for intern season, the game will debut at a demonstration today on Capitol Hill.

Help Wanted, Apply Within. Sure, Starbucks offers good benefits. But why sling lattes when you could be a real, live U.S. Senator?

The Wyoming Republican Party has posted a job application on its Web site soliciting submissions from wannabe Senators of all walks of life. “Find out how you could be the next Senator from Wyoming,” the page invites visitors, exuding a sort of “American Idol”-like optimism that anyone with a dream (and not just a well-oiled political machine at their command) can be a Senator. The job is open, of course, following the death of Wyoming Republican Sen. Craig Thomas. Under Wyoming law, the Republican Party will select three candidates and the governor gets to select one of them to fill Craig’s seat until a regular election is held.

The posting, which Radar magazine first pointed out, asks applicants to answer questions that include information on “work experience” and the surely relevant “service to Wyoming.”

Coy Knobel, spokesman for Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), told HOH that Enzi is pleased with the system for selecting his new colleague. “It’s fair, open, inclusive as well as swift,” he said. “There will be no shortage of qualified candidates, even though no one will be able to truly replace Sen. Thomas.”

Sorry, recent grads, you must be 30 to be a Senator. But for those wanting to be close to the action, maybe the Starbucks in Union Station is hiring, too.

Car Talk. Most of Washington got the news of Ed Gillespie’s expected move from the head of the Virginia Republican Party to the White House on Tuesday afternoon. But one lucky Democrat — usually not privy to the inner maneuverings of the GOP elite — got the news a few hours before the rest of the Web-surfing world.

Hours before news that Gillespie likely would accept the job of White House counselor was made public, a Democrat was in a cab heading from the Capitol downtown; the cab had picked up other passengers heading in the same direction. One of them just happened to be a Republican National Committee official who, according to our Democratic fly on the wall, was blithely chatting to a pal on a cell phone about Gillespie’s impending move.

Bush and company “must have had to beg him to go,” the RNC-er yakked into a cell, according to the HOH spy.

Our spy, of course immediately shared the overheard dish with Dem friends — and HOH.

As often as it’s said, the old adage that Washington, D.C., is a small town (i.e., you never know who’s overhearing your conversations) rings true.

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