Peak & Prairie
April / May 1998
Letters Needed to Expose Senator Campbell's Environmental Voting Record
by Brian Mohr, SW Office
Throughout this year's Environmental Voter Education Campaign (EVEC) in Colorado, the Sierra Club needs your help to expose Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell's relatively poor environmental voting record. One way in which we can do this is by writing letters to the editor and sending them to the Denver Post, the Rocky Mt. News and your local newspapers. Writing letters to the editor is just one tactic we are encouraging our members to pursue in an effort to raise awareness about how little our Congress is doing to protect Colorado's environment, our families and our future. Senator Campbell's votes in Congress have put Colorado's environment and people at risk. We deserve better. We must hold our elected officials to a higher standard. Each year the League of Conservation Voters scores our members of Congress based on their performance related to a variety of significant issues that Congress voted on. For example, here's how Colorado's members of Congress were rated in 1997:
Ben Nighthorse Campbell 29%
Wayne Allard 0%
Diana DeGette - CD1 94%
David Skaggs - CD2
69% Scott McInnis - CD3 13%
Bob Schaffer - CD4 6%
Joel Hefley - CD5 13%
Dan Schaefer - CD6 6%
For more information about this scorecard, please contact Brian Mohr at the Sierra Club SW Regional Office at (303) 449-5595. What sort of votes have been used in these evaluations? Here is a sample of Senator Campbell's environmental voting record to help you with your letter:
1990 Organic Foods --- Campbell voted against the amendment that established national standards for organic foods, and so voted against expanding the market for farmers who opt to produce crops without pesticides.
1992 Wetlands Destruction --- Campbell cosponsored a bill that would have gutted the Clean Water Act and endanger millions of acres of wetlands across the country.
1995 Right to Know Less --- Campbell supported a amendment that allows industries to conceal toxic chemical release amounts (known as the Toxic Release Inventory or TRI), previously made public under the 1986 Community Right to Know Act.
1995 Crippling the EPA --- Campbell supported a bill which would hamper EPA's ability to carry out environmental protection by eliminating EPA's role in protecting wetlands, prohibiting EPA from regulating arsenic drinking water, and blocking enforcement of clean air regulations.
1996 Endangered Species Standstill --- Campbell voted once again against a moratorium that would restore funds for listing species on the Endangered Species Act.
1996 Logging Without Laws --- Campbell voted against an amendment that would suspend salvage logging provisions, permit environmental challenges to salvage logging and allow the government to buy back timber contracts.
1997 Logging Roads Subsidies --- Campbell voted against an amendment that would have cut the Forests Service's funding of logging roads and a subsidy to loggers.
These examples provide just a small sample of Senator Campbell's extensive anti-environment record. Although he has been supportive of the environment on some issues in the past, his present record is not protective of the natural resources most valued by his constituents.
TIPS for writing letters:
Call the newspaper editor after sending in your letter to ensure that they received
Keep your letter short and concise - 250-300 words
State why the environment is important to you, and why you feel Campbell's record is posing a threat to it.
Sign the letter with your name, address and phone #
Try to incorporate the Sierra Club name into your letter somehow
SAMPLE LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
(please use this only as a model for your own personlized letter)
As a Coloradoan, I place a high value on the preservation of our natural heritage and the health of our communities. The Sierra Club and other environmental groups have been working hard to clean up our community's air and water, to fight urban sprawl and to protect what's left of Colorado's wildplaces. But politicians willing to weaken environmental protections in return for campaign contributions are threatening the progress we've made. In the last two years, Senator Campbell received an "F" on his environmental voting record, according to the League of Conservation Voters. I am deeply concerned about his negative environmental voting record generally, and specifically, his lack of support for the protection of our endangered species and his votes that put our national forests at risk for more roads and logging.
It's time to hold our elected officials accountable -- to expose politicians who put the places we live and the places we love at risk, and to applaud lawmakers who protect Colorado's environment, our families and our future.
Your address and phone
Statewide newspaper contacts: (contact the Sierra Club SW Regional Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (303) 449-5595 for more newspaper contacts)
Rocky Mountain News,400 W Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80204, ph: (303) 892-5000, FAX: (303) 892-2568,email: email@example.com.
Denver Post, 1560 Broadway, Denver, CO 80202, ph: (303) 820-1010, FAX: (303) 820-1369, email:firstname.lastname@example.org