Stark, Tauscher, Lofgren ace enviro scorecard

House members Pete Stark, Ellen Tauscher and Zoe Lofgren rated perfect 100-percent scores in the League of Conservation Voters’ annual National Environmental Scorecard. Click on the names below to see how each voted on key bills:

Dennis Cardoza, D-Atwater — 65%
Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto — 90%
Mike Honda, D-San Jose — 90%
Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo — 80%
Barbara Lee, D-Oakland — 95%
Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose — 100%
Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton — 90%
George Miller, D-Martinez — 95%
Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco — 20%
Pete Stark, D-Fremont — 100%
Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo — 100%
Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma — 95%

(Note that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rated low only because she invoked her discretion not to cast votes on most of these bills; traditionally, the Speaker usually doesn’t participate in debate and rarely votes on the floor.)


Award named in Lantos’ honor

lantos-708048.jpgThe Young Democrats of America Jewish Caucus announces it has created the Tom P. Lantos Award “to not only honor his memory, but to remind all of us what is possible and what we can do when we have great people like Chairman Lantos who dedicate their life to public service,” according to the caucus’ news release.

“Chairman Tom Lantos leaves a legacy and commitment of fighting for many important issues that include, human rights, civil rights, ending genocide in Darfur, combating anti-Semitism and Israel’s safety and security,” the release says. “The news coverage, memorial service, and public statements from the past week only begin to touch upon the great legacy that he has left behind.”

The Tom P. Lantos Award will be given annually to a public figure “who exemplifies Chairman Lantos’s dedication to public service and who serves as an advocate for individuals who cannot speak for themselves.”

The inaugural recipient will be named the first week of May, with a nomination deadline of April 4; in future years, the award will be presented during the second week in February. Nomination suggestions and questions should be directed to Award Committee Chairman Aaron Coffey-Keyak — a native of Lantos’ district, now in Washington, D.C. — at tplaward@jewishcaucus.org


Video of memorial service for Lantos

Video of this morning’s memorial service in the U.S. Capitol for Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo, can be viewed here; you’ll need Real Player to view it.

It’s very touching throughout, but if you want to see Bono’s a cappella performance, it’s about one hour and 10 minutes in.

UPDATE @ 11:45 A.M. THURSDAY: This from CQ Politics

Feb. 14, 2008 – 1:42 p.m.
Partisan Dustup Mars Lantos Memorial Service

A solemn Statuary Hall memorial service for House Foreign Affairs Chairman Tom Lantos, D-Calif., was interrupted Thursday by bells calling members to the floor to vote, triggering an angry partisan wrangle.

The memorial for Lantos, a highly respected 14-term House veteran and the only Holocaust survivor ever to serve in Congress, became entangled with the two partisan issues of the day — a debate over electronic eavesdropping rules and a Democratic effort to hold White House officials in contempt of Congress.

The Democratic efforts and the Republicans’ procedural vote counter-punch had been planned in advance, but the choreography was thrown off by the timing of the bells, infuriating both sides.

“If there’s anyone in Congress who doesn’t deserve to have it happen to him, it’s Chairman Lantos,” said Rep. Jason Altmire , D-Pa. “Everyone was so shocked it happened to him.’’

“It was completely disrespectful and inappropriate,’’ said Brendan Daly, Speaker Nancy Pelosi ’s spokesman. Pelosi, along with Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer , D-Md., spoke at the service for Lantos, who died Monday of esophageal cancer.

Republicans said they had warned Democrats that when they brought up the Judiciary Committee’s contempt resolution against White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and former counsel Harriet Miers they would protest by moving to adjourn.

Republicans said they thought they had an agreement with the Democratic leadership not to start regular House business until after the conclusion of the Lantos service.

Instead, the service was still in progress when the House went back into session.

Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart , R-Fla., a GOP member of the Rules Committee, raced back to the chamber, followed his party’s plan and moved to adjourn.

“It was most disturbing that the bells rang. The House was going back into session,’’ he said later. “I’m very, very sorry that the day had to begin in that ultimately unfortunate fashion.”

The roll call on the GOP motion was held open for almost an hour to wait for the service to wrap up so members could get to the chamber.


Michael Savage speaks ill of Tom Lantos

(Hat tip to Media Matters for America)

Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Michael Savage, based here at San Francisco’s KSFO-AM 560, talked smack during his show Monday about the late House Foreign Affairs Chairman Tom Lantos:

savage.jpgWho died? What’s his name? Lantos? You know, that’s a tough one for me to deal with. You’re not supposed to talk badly about the dead. I generally wouldn’t do it. But in the case of Tom Lantos, I’ll make an exception. I think he was one of the most — he was a scoundrel. And I’ll tell you why I detested Tom Lantos. The man survived the Holocaust of World War II and used it as a weapon the rest of his life. That’s why. Do you understand what I just said to you? You can’t have it both ways. You can’t suffer such a horror, and then use it as a weapon without people noticing it. You know what I’m saying to you? I didn’t like Tom Lantos. And by the way, Tom Lantos was responsible for a gigantic policy disaster in Iraq. Him and [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi [D-CA] came out and attacked Turkey, if you remember, six months ago and caused a tremendous upheaval in our military mission in Iraq against the enemy. You won’t read that in the press, because as you know, the liberals in the media are all soft and they like to write these puff-piece stories. You understand that? It’s way beyond the — well, forget about it.

Listen to the audio clip here:


Memorial honoring Lantos set for Thursday in DC

Here’s the program for the service scheduled for 10 a.m. EST tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 14, in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall:

Prelude: The United States Army Band String Quartet

Welcome: grandson Tomicah Tilleman

Reading: Rabbi Arthur Schneier

Mrs. Annette Lantos
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco
daugher Annette Tillemann-Dick

Musical Selection: granddaughter Charity Sunshine Tillemann-Dick

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni
daughter Katrina Swett
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon
U.S. Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del.
Rep. Christopher Shays, D-Conn.
musician and human rights activist Bono
granddaughter Chelsea Hedquist
grandson Tomicah Tillemann
Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel

Benediction: Rabbi Arthur Schneier

UPDATE AT 9 P.M. WEDNESDAY: Watch the ceremony streaming live on the Internet, starting at 7 a.m. PDT Thursday, at www.foreignaffairs.house.gov


Special election set to fill Lantos’ seat

Governor Schwarzenegger has just issued a proclamation declaring that a special election to fill the House seat left vacant by Rep. Tom Lantos’ death yesterday will be held June 3 — the same day as the already-scheduled statewide primary.

But before that special general election can be held, a special primary will have to be held April 8, said San Mateo County Elections Manager David Tom. “The law requires that once the election has been proclaimed, then the primary occurs eight weeks before that.”

The 12th Congressional District includes most of San Mateo County and about 18 percent of San Francisco. Tom said it’s good that the governor made this proclamation today — “It was the last day he could’ve called it to allow us to run that general election in conjunction with our already scheduled statewide primary” — but now his office is handling three elections simultaneously: finishing the canvass of last week’s presidential primary; preparing for the already-scheduled June statewide primary, for which the candidate filing period began yesterday; and now, setting up the April 8 special Congressional primary.

At least the general 12th District election won’t cost much more than the already-scheduled June 3 vote, he said: “To add it onto our June election is really a very minimal addition.”

UPDATE @ 6:35 P.M. TUESDAY: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, gave a moving tribute to Lantos on the House floor tonight: “Tom Lantos called himself ‘an American by choice.’ America is a stronger nation, a more caring nation, and a nation more true to its founding ideals because Tom Lantos chose to call this land his home.” Read the full text, after the jump… Continue Reading