On the eve of tomorrow's Democratic House vote on who will head the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Mr. Waxman won the support of the Democratic leadership panel that will make a recommendation to party representatives.
Mr. Waxman, a Californian who has headed the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, had announced he was taking on Mr. Dingell, the Michigan representative who is the longest serving member of the House.
Mr. Waxman has been much more of an activist on energy and drug advertising issues than Mr. Dingell. While Mr. Dingell, for instance, urged the Food and Drug Administration to be more proactive in reviewing drug advertising on TV, Mr. Waxman proposed legislation to ban direct-to-consumer drug advertising for the first years of a new drug.
Mr. Waxman has also called for far-reaching bans on advertising for tobacco that ad groups fear could become precedent for attempts to curb alcohol advertising on TV.