Sierra Club Wades Into The Muck In South Jersey
The video above is of Alex Law. He's not the corrupt conservative, Donald Norcross, who was just endorsed by the crackpot who runs New Jersey's Sierra Club and who Alex and progressives across New Jersey and across America are hoping to defeat in the June 7th primary.
I checked around among progressives in New Jersey I know and-- with one exception, an official who told me Jeff Tittel is "crazy"-- everyone described Tittel, Sierra Club's director in the state, in far worse terms than "crazy." One top staffer in the legislature told me Tittel is "one of the state's most destructive characters... on a par with the Christie people." Another told me that Tittel is "an embarrassment for the Sierra Club nationally." Not a single progressive had a single good thing to say about him. The reason I was asking was because he had just handed George Norcross' kid brother a Sierra Club endorsement. Nearly every person I spoke with mentioned that on one level or another Tittle is "on the take," although I couldn't get anyone to agree to go on the record, so maybe "crazy" is more accurate than corrupt. The Sierra Club should look into that themselves.
The Norcross Machine wouldn't normally care about getting endorsements from environmental groups. After all, Donald Norcross' very first vote in Congress was to cross the aisle and join the Republicans in a bid to force President Obama's hand on the Keystone XL Pipeline. Obama ignored Norcross and his Republican allies and vetoed the project the Norcross Machine hoped to use to make money for themselves. Before he got to Congress, Norcross was a state legislator known as being the most hostile Democrat in Trenton to anything related to the environment or towards ameliorating the impact of Global Warming and climate change. New Jersey's Clean Water Action, for example, rated him a 25% for the period covering 2010-2013. That's a deep, deep "F." For those same legislative sessions, the New Jersey League of Conservative Voters rated Norcross a 63% and a 55%. In 2014 Environment America gave him a score of 33%. Every other congressional Democrat from New Jersey was given a 100% or a 93%. Norcross' 33% was identical to the grade they assigned his Republican buddy Frank LoBiondo.
And then along comes Tittel, just as Norcross started seeing Alex Law making serious inroads against him, calling Norcross "a true environmental leader in Congress," something that is patently absurd, as Tittel and Sierra Club members are well aware. "Whether it’s working to protect our water, our air, or public lands, he is there fighting for us. He is a leader on wind and solar and energy efficiency and working to reduce climate impacts. Rep. Norcross has stood up against the Tea Party and the Republican right and their assault on clean energy, climate change, and rolling back clean water protections. He is working to protect and expand public lands and he is himself an avid hiker and outdoorsman. He has stood up for the EPA to prevent rollbacks on carbon emissions and drinking water." All of that was untrue and all of it was written for Tittel by Norcross' campaign staff. "Donald Norcross," he lied with a straight face, "has one of the best records on the environment in Congress."
The press release also mentioned that Norcross "has been endorsed for re-election by the campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders." That is also false. A hack politician from Perth Amboy, Assemblyman John Wisniewski, who wants Norcross Machine support for his 2017 gubernatorial run and who has managed to worm his way into Bernie's New Jersey campaign, endorsed Norcoss on his own. Bernie has not. Progressive Punch rates Norcross-- whose deep blue district Obama won with 66% against Romney-- a solid "F" and gave him the lowest score of any New Jersey Democrat in Congress, 68.75. (Bonnie Watson Coleman, for example can boast a score of 96.23, Donald Payne's is 93.81 and Frank Pallone's is 86.84.) Norcross has worn out the carpet between his seat and the Republican side of the aisle in the House.
We contacted Alex Law, the progressive in the NJ-01 congressional race and the candidate who has, unlike Norcross, has endorsed Bernie and is running on his platform, about this inexplicable Sierra Club endorsement. He said he didn't want to comment on that but mentioned that "As a proud progressive, I support a robust increase in environmental clean up programs. Further, I believe the United States must lead the world in sustainable energy. We have a tremendous environmental and economic opportunity to position our country as the supplier of cutting edge solar and wind technology that nations around the world need. If we seriously shift our national investments away from fossil fuels and towards sustainable energy, the world will move with us as our American creativity will bring the price of sustainable energy further and further down. My opponent Donald Norcross has taken thousands of dollars from big oil and big coal and has voted for the Keystone Pipeline, which has shown that he is committed to the kinds of backwards policies currently pushed by Republicans. For those who care about the environment, this race is crucial to making sure Democrats have a real progressive voice representing New Jersey in Washington."
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