Is Lugar Leaning Left?

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Richard Lugar (R.-Ind.) is scheduled to speak next Tuesday, Dec. 6, at an event organized by the left-wing Center for American Progress.

Lugar will give the luncheon address for the conference, “Resources for Global Growth: Linking Agriculture, Energy and Trade for the Future.”

Among the other speakers: former Senate Democrat Leader Tom Daschle (S.D.), who is now a senior distinguished fellow at the Center for American Progress, and John Podesta, the center’s president.

The agenda features a hodge-podge of liberals from organizations such as: World Wildlife Fund-U.S. and Natural Resources Defense Council.

Why is Lugar, a veteran Republican, speaking before a group that harangues President Bush and the GOP on a daily basis?

His spokesman, Andy Fisher, told me:

"Lugar has long been an advocate for cutting agricultural subsidies and moving toward a more free-market agricultural policy. U.S. agricultural policy has been strikingly anti-conservative, violating free market principles and spending billions of taxpayer dollars."

Fisher pointed me to one of Lugar’s speeches on the topic. He added: "I would read into the appearance that conservatives would share Sen. Lugar’s views and welcome their advocacy to any group that would listen."