11 October, 2006

Dueling Endorsements; Kelly, Hall Each Win The Nod From Environmentalist Groups

Both John Hall and Sue Kelly have announced the endorsement of environmental groups today.

Kelly, the incumbent Congresswoman from New York's 19th Distict, announced the backing of Republicans for Environmental Protection. REP describes itself as "a 10-year-old Republican conservation organization with a nationwide grassroots membership."

"Sue Kelly is a faithful steward of our nation's natural resources," said REP President Martha Marks. "She has been a true leader in pushing Congress to responsibly and prudently address the energy and natural resource challenges facing our nation."

Democrat Hall, meanwhile, got the backing of the Atlantic Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Ken Baer, the chapter chairman, said the group is backing Hall because of his long-term history in the environmentalist movement and the Republicans' "failure" to protect the environment, particularly on the issue of global warming.


At 7:29 AM, Anonymous Sam said...

I had no idea there was such a group as "Republicans for Environmental Protection." I have to ask: Are they serious? The Republican Party has, for more than 35 years, done everything it could to undermine environmental protection, which they see as harmful to the business interests that are their real concern. I don't see R.E.P. as anything more than a P.R. attempt to cover what is a disgraceful record for the party.

At 8:06 AM, Blogger Ron Vallo said...


Your point is well taken. Here is the group's response (taken from its Web site). I guess they get that kind of response alot:

How does REP answer those who believe that no "real Republican" wants to protect the environment or believes in conservation? How do we respond to those who insist that regulatory reform and property rights are more vital than laws to prevent the extinction of species?

We point with pride to the great GOP leaders of the past who fought to save natural treasures, signed landmark environmental-protection laws, and established many of the policies we take for granted today. We remember Teddy Roosevelt, who established our unmatched system of wildlife refuges and national parks. We remind people that Barry Goldwater, the father of conservatism, was a lifelong conservationist (and also a REP America member). We recall that Richard Nixon signed the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and also established the Environmental Protection Agency.

We talk of the bi-partisan efforts of previous decades, which eliminated burning rivers, toxic waste dumps, DDT and other environmental horrors. Republicans had no special exemption from polluted air and contaminated water, so they made sure their leaders heeded their concerns.

We remind skeptics that nothing is more conservative than conservation. True conservatives should safeguard the resources on which the health, recreation, and economic prosperity of present and future Americans depend. There is nothing conservative, and certainly nothing wise, in squandering our wildlife, wilderness, wetlands, and other natural treasures.

At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Sam said...

To their response, I have to ask:
What have you done for me lately? What have the Republicans done for the environment in the 35+ years of the environmental movement? No credible person would claim the G.O.P. are champions of the environment.

At 2:37 PM, Anonymous james said...

The vast majority of today's GOP has a complete disregard of the environment - I completely agree with you - but saying that there is no such thing as an environmentally conscious Republican is like saying there is no such thing as a pro-life Democrat. I think the REP deserves a voice as there are indeed congresscritters like Chafee, Collins, Snowe, and *gasp* Kelly who have indeed fought to preserve the environment in many (and in some of their cases, most) of the time.

I include Kelly there because she *is* a defender of the environment. Her 17% that she got from the LCV was an anomoly last year largely because she missed many of those LCV votes for whatever reason or another - I'm not saying that's an excuse, but she probably would've voted the right way if she were there. Hence why she just got a 90%+ in the latest LCV scorecard.

And for those of you quick to say I'm a Republican apologist, make no mistake that I'm a die in the wool Democrat. I'm a realistic Democrat who can see both sides of an issue though.

At 8:28 AM, Anonymous Sam said...

I don't doubt that there are Republicans who are genuinely concerned with the environment. But by electing them to Congress, you give a majority to a party in which the majority won't act to protect environmental concerns. So, pro-environment Republicans and groups like R.E.P. are simply a way for Republicans to say "See, we do care" without actually doing anything positive. It's illusory, and as such, is dangerous.

As for those Republicans who care about the environment: Someone ought to tell them they're in the wrong party. The leadership in the G.O.P. will never allow the kind of regulation that protecting the environment calls for. Never.


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