Sierra Club Endorses Paul Clements (MI-06)
One of the glory days of the progressive movement, led in this instance by the environmental activists in our midst, was when we took down crooked pollution icon Dirty Dick Pombo and elected Democrat Jerry McNerney to replace him. We first had to beat some jackoff Rahm Emanuel and the DCCC were trying to deliver the nomination to under the trope that only corporate whores can beat Republican incumbents. After Rahm the DCCC almost reformed by Chris Van Hollen-- almost-- and then wound up in the hands of a more venal and less intelligent version of Rahm, Steve Israel. Taking down the enemies of the environment is not one of Israel's priorities. Building his own power base with corrupt conservatives is.
Even though the biggest threat to the environment-- and the future of the U.S.-- is Michigan Congressman Fred Upton and even though Upton is far more electorally vulnerable than the majority of incumbents Israel is wasting money pursuing-- Israel has adamantly refused to get behind the grassroots progressive challenging Upton this cycle, Paul Clements.
For the sake of comparison, let's take a quick look at Upton's district and the 3 Michigan districts where Israel is going into battle on behalf of conservative-leaning corporate candidates.
• MI-06- Fred Upton, PVI- R+1, Obama 2008- 53%Upton would be the top target of anyone rational. Instead, Israel is undermining the race against him while wasting money on a pointless attempt to, for example, elect the former commandante of the Guantánamo gulag, Jerry Cannon, who is eager to get to Congress so he can vote to end Choice and repeal the Affordable Care Act. Blue America, on the other hand, has endorsed Paul Clements against Upton. We are raising contributions for him here… ands we can sure use some help.
• MI-01- Dan Benishek, PVI- R+5, Obama 2008- 50%
• MI-07- Tim Walberg, PVI- R+3, Obama 2008- 51%
• MI-11- Kerry Bentivolio, PVI- R+4, Obama 2008- 50%
Yesterday, both the Michigan state Sierra Club and the national organization, the country's largest grassroots conservation organization, ignored Israel and the DCCC's ass-backwards strategy and endorsed Clements' campaign.
“The Sierra Club supports Paul Clements because he is a climate champion, and that’s the kind of leader we need representing Michigan’s 6th District,” said Mike Berkowitz, Political and Legislative Director for the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter. “From extreme flooding to extreme droughts, dealing with the effects of climate disruption costs our nation billions of dollars every year. Paul Clements is ready to take climate action now, while Fred Uptons sits on his hands, gives big breaks to polluters and takes big campaign handouts from oil and gas companies.”
Southwest Michigan has benefitted from clean energy growth and expansion in the state. But the southwest corridor of the state has also endured one of the worst and most costly oil spills in U.S. history at the hands of Enbridge Energy, which gushed more than one million gallons of heavy crude oil into the Kalamazoo River in 2010, putting local drinking water at risk. Federal and state agencies are still cleaning up the Kalamazoo River from the Enbridge spill four years later.
“Paul Clements understands that clean water and clean air are great resources that shouldn’t be sacrificed for polluter profits,” said Richard Barron, Political Chair of the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter. “We are still cleaning up from Enbridge’s crude oil spill but meanwhile in DC, Fred Upton has been fast tracking legislation to approve the dangerous Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, putting even more people at risk of water contamination from catastrophes.”
Paul Clements has been an outspoken activist on the need to mitigate climate disruption, chairing Western Michigan University’s faculty workgroup on Climate Change and authoring a chapter on “The Ethics and Politics of Climate Change” in his book Rawlsian Political Analysis: Rethinking the Microfoundations of Social Science.
“Climate disruption will affect every aspect of our economy and our lives,” said Charlie Stefanac, a Sierra Club activist from Kalamazoo in the 6th Congressional District. “Paul Clements understands the importance and urgency of taking climate action now by supporting vital carbon standards on coal-burning power plants and expanding clean energy in Michigan and across the United States.”