Wednesday, February 22, 2006



Although protecting the environment used to be a thoroughly bi-partisan issue, promoted enthusiastically by both Democrats and Republicans, it has increasingly become something that Democrats support and Republicans sabotage. Until George W. Bush came along to sell off this country's natural wonders to his cronies and campaign contributors, every single American president since Teddy Roosevelt-- including Bush's father, Nixon, Reagan, Ford, Eisenhower, etc.-- has expanded protections for the American environment. But it isn't just Bush. There is now a firm Republican majority which espouses bulldozing and wrecking the environment in order to reap short-term profits for developers and polluters who bribe them with campaign contributions.

The poster boy for this is the head of the House Natural Resources Committee, right-wing California extremist, Richard Pombo. His record on pollution and environmental protection is absolutely dismal-- he scores a 6 out of 100 on ProgressivePunch's vote analysis-- and he comes up with really bizarre proposals, like selling off our cherished national parks. Yes, well Pombo exerts a real leadership role in this area but truth be told, the California GOP, with just a few notable exceptions, has turned into a real hotbed on anti-environment activism. California Republicans like Duncan Hunter, David Dreier, Jerry Lewis and Dan Lungren have almost identically hideous environmental voting records and John Doolittle's is even worse than Pombo's, probably the worst of any congressman in the history of California.

Although Californians concerned about the quality of the air we breath and the water we drink and about our environment in general won't have a chance to do anything about it (at the voting box) until November, there is an important congressional special election in San Diego County in April. This is the race to replace Randy "Duke" Cunningham-- another anti-environmental extremist-- who will be spending the next decade in prison for accepting millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for his congressional influence. The gaggle of right-wing Republicans in the race are by and large all anti-environment nut-cases who can be counted on to follow Pombo's lead over the environmental cliff. The pro-environment candidate is Francine Busby, the Democrat. She makes a point of going into some detail in her campaign about protecting the environment that is being raped and pillaged by the GOP.

Meanwhile, today's NORTH COUNTY TIMES, the local newspaper for the 50th Congressional District, has a pathetic report on the environmental records of the Republicans in the area. Conservationists in California are particularly unhappy with the extreme right-wing state senator from Oceanside, Bill Morrow, who is running against Busby. He had a grade of just 4 out of 100-- even worse than Pombo's!!! According to Rico Mastrodonato of the California League of Conservation Voters, "from an environmental perspective, we get very little support from representatives in that area."

There are a lot of reasons it is crucial for citizens of the 50th CD, for Californians and for Americans to elect Francine Busby in April. The contrast between her environmental stands and those of Morrow and the other Republicans running to replace Cunningham is just another in a long list. If you would like to lend a hand to Busby's efforts, I have an ACT BLUE Page where 100% of donations -- no middleman-- go directly to her grassroots, progressive campaign. Even small donations are very much appreciated. And SAY NO TO POMBO has an ACT BLUE page dedicated solely to retiring Richard Pombo and I heartily recommend you give them a visit too.


At 9:24 AM, Blogger macromayhem said...

Great story!


At 8:27 PM, Anonymous Jim C. said...

Of course, Global warming denial (and ozone hole denial before that) is just another facet of anti-environmentalism. These people think nature is worthless unless people can manipulate it somehow. Every parcel of land needs an extractive or recreational activity to justify its existence, like logging, mining, drilling, hunting, fishing or ATV riding.

Christian fundamentalism is at the core of many nature-haters' beliefs. They see nature as a dirty, unruly thing that needs to be tamed or beaten back, i.e. Manifest Destiny. They view nature as solely owned by Man and expendable at Man's whim, whereas scientific evidence shows nature is the only reason people are alive in the first place.

Republican nature-haters have backwards priorities, and it translates into their selfish, crummy attitudes on many other issues.


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