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Environmentalists sort out ‘champions’ from ‘duds’

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on June 21, 2010 at 12:43 pm with 1 Comment »
June 21, 2010 12:47 pm

An environmental group praises Reps. Skip Priest and Geoff Simpson as “champions” while singling out Reps. Christopher Hurst and Troy Kelley and Sen. Tim Sheldon as “green duds.”

Washington Conservation Voters released its scorecard today, ranking each legislator on their environmental votes in 2009 and 2010 on a scale of 0-100.

South Sound legislators Hurst, Kelley and Sheldon are among five Democrats — the others are Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen and Rep. Tim Probst — who come in for criticism.

Hurst’s and Kelley’s votes in this year’s special session to put energy-efficient upgrades of schools on the ballot weren’t enough to save them from the group’s ire. The Conservation Voters website says Hurst and Kelley earned low 44 percent ratings when they “voted against clean water, against the protection of our shorelines, against energy efficient televisions, and against transit for Pierce County.” They call Hurst’s record “shameful” and “likely (to) backfire on him in the near future” and say Kelley is “severely out of step with both his party and his constituents.”

On the other hand, Republican Priest and Democrat Simpson are among nine legislative “champions.” Priest, who is leaving to run for Federal Way mayor, “continued to be the first Republican sponsor on many environmental priority bills,” while Simpson “is the conscience of his caucus on progressive issues,” the group says.

Rep. Tami Green also gets some love from the Conservation Voters, which says her work as a “behind-the-scenes watchdog” was “perhaps the greatest untold story in 2010.” Legislators “both respect and fear her ability to galvanize broad caucus support for issues that she cares about, including environmental protection.”

Conservation Voters made its endorsements earlier this month. Legislative candidates endorsed include Green, Simpson, Jake Fey, Sumner Schoenike, Stew Henderson, Reps. Dawn Morrell, Pat Sullivan, Sam Hunt, Kathy Haigh and Fred Finn, and Sens. Tracey Eide, Derek Kilmer and Claudia Kauffman. All are Democrats.

While we’re discussing environmentalists keeping track of legislators, the Sierra Club’s endorsements for re-election include Simpson and Green, along with 14 others.

And Fuse, a left-of-center group whose causes include pushing for tough measures to prevent global warming, last week endorsed seven legislative candidates including Green, Simpson and Kauffman.

Leave a comment Comments → 1
  1. Proconsul8 says:

    Chris Hurst voted realistically on the very issues the enviro-wackos rail about. In every case, the bills they supported were ruinously expensive, of little value in the short term to the 31st District, and unlikely to ever go away once enacted. Hurst knows his district is, at best, “purple” – independent, pragmatic, fiscally strained already. The Dems don’t really have a strong candidate aginst him, so they seek to torpedo him for his independent stand.

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