Robert Novak

The Republican lobbyist who was solicited for contributions by Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign a month ago has received a second request for money from the Democratic presidential candidate, who has banned lobbyist money from supporting his candidacy. The second try was made after no response to the first attempt. As did the first solicitation, the second letter signed by Obama asked the veteran Republican donor and fundraiser for a contribution "to change the way business is done in Washington."

The lobbyist's only contributions to Democrats have been to two powerful committee chairmen -- John Dingell (Energy and Commerce) and Charlie Rangel (Ways and Means) -- in order to open their doors to his clients. The lobbyist figures that the Obama campaign lifted his name from Dingell and/or Rangel money lists.


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid may trigger a parliamentary brawl in the Senate late in July if he goes through with his threat to bundle some 100 spending bills being blocked by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn into one "Coburn omnibus."

Coburn has held up the bills to stop the practice of passing legislation without amendments or debates. If Reid uses the same tactics on the combined bill, Coburn is threatening to tie up the Senate with parliamentary tactics. "I'd welcome the opportunity to spend weeks debating wasteful Washington spending and Congress' misplaced priorities," said Coburn.

How much Coburn can do depends on whether Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republican colleagues support him to prevent Reid from getting 60 votes needed to close debate on the "Coburn omnibus."

Robert Novak

Robert Novak (1931-2009) was a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report.

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