The MC of the musical Cabaret had it right: “It makes the world go ’round,” which leads us to current House Dem Leader Nancy Pelosi’s friendly relationship with Rep. Don Norcross (CD 1) and not so friendly involvement with Rep. Frank Pallone (CD 6). The tale involves the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Leader Pelosi added an additional Freshman Representative position to the Steering/Policy Committee and secured the votes to ensure Don Norcross was elected. This move is not surprising if you remember that during the campaign House Majority PAC, largely controlled by Pelosi, took funds away from Aimee Belgard’s CD 3 campaign and instead provided money to help Donald Norcross who needed no help. As National Journal pointed out, “In September, House Majority PAC took in six donations, totaling $270,000, from labor unions and businesses tied in various ways to Donald Norcross.” That led Rosi Efhim to conclude in her diary Oh, so THAT’s why Nancy Pelosi’s House Majority PAC dissed Aimee Belgard to plump up Don Norcross.
The House Democrats are voting today on who will become ranking member of the House Committee on Commerce and Energy. Seniority should call for Rep. Frank Pallone to hold that position. However, the Steering/Policy Committee recommended California Representative Anna Eshoo, who is supported by Pelosi. Pallone received more than the 14 votes he needed to force a vote by the entire House Democratic membership. How Don Norcross voted on the Steering/Policy Committee is unclear. What is known is that Pallone has contributed $286,500 from his leadership political action committee, trailing Eshoo, who has handed out $436,200. NJ Representatives Donald Payne (CD 10) and Bill Pascrell (CD 9) have endorsed Pallone for the job. Pallone deserves the position and may even get it. In the meantime Norcross, after succeeding in joining the Policy/Steering Committee, also seeks to join the Energy/Commerce Committee.
Regardless of how the votes go today this tale provides insight into the ongoing importance of what Cabaret’s MC calls, “That clinking clanking sound of money money money money money money.”