Monday, October 24, 2005
Winning for Earth
The midterm elections in 2006 will be crucial in efforts to construct a sensible and visionary Energy and Environmental Policy for the United States. Right now, we are only about thirty votes away from that kind of policy in the House of Representatives. Let me explain. Right now the same thirty moderate Republicans consistently oppose their party line and vote the right way on environmental issues. The problem is that there are about the same number of not so moderate Democratic members who vote against these issues. This trade means that most environmental votes lose in the house by a margin of thirty to forty votes. So, what reasonable people should work towards in this next election is finding and supporting fifteen to twenty pro conservation candidates who can win, whether they are Republicans or Democrats. That is all we need!
Nationally, despite most peoples concern for our environment, climate change and energy policy, they don't translate their concerns into demanding their delegations vote the correct way. The reason for that is that, although they are concerned about these issues, only about a quarter of people list these as a major factor in the way they vote. Only about 10% of voters say that this is their top issue and only about 36% say these issues are in their top three reasons for voting for or against a candidate.(Duke University Poll released 9/20/2005)
The good news is that people are much more tuned in and sensitive to local environmental issues. Water quality, open space, and land use issues do get people voting correctly much of the time.
My advice now, unsolicited, to Patsy Madrid as she starts her race against Heather Wilson is to work hard at getting support from the conservationist community. She can take a lesson from Governor Bill Richardson on how he reached out to this constituency. This is a two way street however and the enviros should be on the phone today getting her lined up on the issues, both local and national, and then offering to help her campaign if they feel they can support her. I know I will raise money for her and work hard for her.
These issues should not be partisan. They are moderate issues that just about everyone can embrace as being important to America's future. Most Americans describe themselves as moderate and we need to elect moderate candidates to mirror the voters. Now we must face the reality of this. We need to raise lots of money to elect these moderates.