Wednesday, December 19, 2007

League of Conservation Voters

When someone forwarded me the press release through which the League of Conservation Voters announced the availability of their "Primaries Voter's Guide", I was not surprised to see it did not include any but Republicans to find fault with and Democrats to praise.

The Voter Guide, which takes a critical look at candidates’ plans for dealing with global climate change, makes clear that collectively, the Democratic candidates have outlined more comprehensive and aggressive plans than any presidential candidates in history and have made a point of telling primary voters that combating global warming is a top priority. Among Republicans running for president, the guide says, “Sen. McCain holds the distinction of being the only candidate to make global warming a part of his campaign agenda and to regularly address it on the campaign trail.”
There was a missing column on the site... the one headed Green Candidates. That is the one most frequently missing from LCV activity, even though many Greens are members of that organization.

My reaction was to write a response, sent first to the LCV's campaign manager, Kerry Dugan, and then posted at Op Ed News as an Open Letter to the League of Conservation Votes. I challenged them to live up to the words of their own press release, that "No matter who is nominated by each political party, LCV plans to work to elect the candidate best qualified to take on the issue of global warming as president."

There are many reasons that the candidate they seek would be the Green Party Candidate, especially as that candidate would not be beholden to corporate special lobbies.

I also challenged them to support Science Debate 2008, an effort that now has support from thirteen Nobel Laureates and at least two University Presidents (Princeton, Duke). With the challenges of Global Warming as primary, and with many other issues such as stem cell research going to be a factor, we need to have a true debate over questions of science. It would underscore that it is no longer possible to override scientific considerations to achieve partisan political ends in the manner of the Bush / Cheney Administration, as illustrated by this recent report from Rep. Waxman's Government Oversight Committee.

We have to learn better how to win before the LCV and other organizations will begin to even give us a courtesy call. We have to continue challenging these organizations to give full consideration to our policy positions.

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