Environmentalist Money Buys Elections


Greens showering greenbacks on green-leaning pols

OK, the headline is a bit snarky. But the Washington Post is reporting that various environmentalist lobbying groups spent tens of millions on campaigns to help elect candidates that they liked and defeat some that they didn't. From the Post:

For years, environmentalists have been seen as marginal players in presidential and congressional elections.

That may have changed this week.

The environmental community scored a string of successes Tuesday in states ranging from New Mexico to Montana to Texas, winning seven out of eight targeted Senate races and at least three, and possibly four, of their targeted House races. Although plenty of outside groups poured money into these contests, even some fossil fuel industry representatives said environmentalists invested their resources wisely in 2012….

The League of Conservation Voters spent more than $14?million this year, more than it had in the past three election cycles combined, and groups including the Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation Action Fund, Defenders of Wildlife Action Committee, Environment America and Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund also devoted money and volunteers to key contests.

Among other races, the Post credits millions in campaign funding from environmentalist lobbying groups for helping re-elect Democrat Sen. Jon Tester in Montana, and defeating GOP climate change skeptics Reps. Reps. Francisco "Quico" Canseco (Tex.) and Ann Marie Buerkle (N.Y.).

Earlier this year, the League of Conservation Voters (remember $14 million) ran a campaign to try to get the Citizens United ruling that took off the political restraints against free speech overturned. The LCV asserted:

The Supreme Court's disastrous ruling in the Citizens United case opened the flood gates for corporations to spend vast sums of money in support of candidates who stand with them and against the public interest.

Now some people (unnamed) might think that the Citizens United decision "opened the flood gates for environmentalist lobbyists to spend vast sums," etc. Actually the decision simply opened the flood gates to free speech. Given their successes, perhaps the Green lobby will now stop trying to stifle other people's free speech. OK, OK, I'm a cock-eyed optimist, but one can hope anyway.