Peak & Prairie

Rocky Mountain Chapter's
Online Newsletter
October / November 1998

 

 

CRITICAL ELECTION FACING COLORADO

By Dave Fisher, Chapter Political Chair, & Tina Arapkiles, Sierra Club SW Representative

 

The election this year is especially critical for Colorado's environment. As Sierra Club members, we need to vote and encourage our family members and neighbors to vote, as well!

The Senate race, at the top of the ticket, between Dottie Lamm and current Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell offers environmentalists a clear choice. Campbell has a 22% voting record on environmental issues and has the dubious distinction of casting the deciding vote to allow the "logging without laws" rider to become law. This law has resulted in thousands on thousands of acres of ancient forests in the U.S. being logged without regard to existing environmental laws. Dottie Lamm, on the other hand, is a dedicated environmentalist endorsed by the Sierra Club. She has vowed to champion our wild places and fight any attempts to weaken existing environmental laws. Lamm deserves your vote!

In the First Congressional District (Denver), Sierra Club has again endorsed Diana DeGette. She has lived up to her promises and as a freshman in the minority party has managed to make a difference on the important House Commerce Committee. DeGette has promised to lead the fight to protect BLM wilderness in Colorado once she is reelected to Congress.

State Rep. Mark Udall, Sierra Club-endorsed candidate for the Second Congressional district (Boulder, Adams, Jefferson, Gilpin and Clear Creek counties), is an ardent environmentalist and avid outdoorsman. His environmental voting record in the state legislature is an impressive 97% pro-environment. He is a life member of the Sierra Club. His race against self-proclaimed "moderate" (his record belies this claim) Bob Greenlee is shaping up to be one of the most important races in the nation. The Republican party has targeted this race because the demographics in the 2nd CD have changed dramatically and they think they can take this normally Democratic seat. Udall needs the support of every Sierra Club member, since he will surely be a champion of the environment for us all!

The Fourth Congressional District (Ft. Collins north to the state line and east and south to the state line) race pits freshman House member Bob Schaffer, who has a pitiful 6% environmental voting record, against former Ft. Collins Mayor Susan Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick earned the Sierra Club endorsement because of her strong environmental record as mayor and her commitment to the environment generally. This race is also highly visible nationwide. Schaffer's poor environmental record plus his generally ineffective constituent service renders him vulnerable to Kirkpatrick's well-organized campaign.

On the state front, the governor's race between Lt. Gov. Gail Schoettler, who is endorsed by the Sierra Club, and Bill Owens is another one where the choice is clear for environmentalists. With the state legislature dominated by anti-environmental representatives, it is imperative that we elect Schoettler.

Elsewhere in this issue of Peak & Prairie are statements from and about our endorsed candidates. We encourage you to read through them carefully and put your time, energy and money to help elect these pro-environment candidates. Colorado's future depends on it!

 

Mark Udall for Congress - 2d CD

Mark Udall is a native Westerner with an abiding love of the West's environment and quality of life. His family has deep roots in Colorado and the West; his grandfather was the first outfitter in Rocky Mountain National Park. Mark and his wife Maggie Fox, a senior member of the Sierra Club's regional staff, have hiked, skied, climbed and run many of Colorado's wild lands and rivers.

An avid mountaineer, Mark Udall has climbed all but two of Colorado's Fourteeners, and he has led expeditions on the world's highest mountains. He attempted to climb Mt. Everest against 120 mph winds and soloed 28,208-foot Mt. Kanchenjunga, the world's third-highest peak. Many years Mark spent more nights sleeping under the stars than under a roof.

Mark Udall spent more than 20 years working for the Colorado Outward Bound School, the last 10 as executive director. He integrated a sense of environmental stewardship into the organization and fostered a life-long appreciation of the natural world in thousands of graduates. Mark believes the values of Outward Bound represent the best of society: taking personal responsibility, working together to get things done and respect for each other and the natural world.

As a state legislator Udall has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the environment. His first year in office he introduced five bills on the environment, three on "green" energy issues. He obtained passage of legislation increasing fines for poaching wildlife and strengthening the state's oversight of radioactive waste. By building coalitions, Udall was able to pass strong environmental legislation as a freshman member of the minority party. His environmental voting record and leadership earned him the "Green Sense Award" from a coalition of environmental organizations and a legislative award from the Sierra Club. He earned a reputation as an effective legislator. One newspaper rated him the "Best Rookie Legislator" of 1997 and gave him its "People's Choice Award for Best Colorado Lawmaker" of 1998.

Mark Udall's commitment to the natural world is part of his family legacy. His father Morris (Mo) Udall, chair of the House Interior Committee for 20 years, and his uncle Stewart, Secretary of the Interior under President Kennedy, were both champions of the environment, credited with doubling the size of our national parks. Mark often says, "In our family we were taught that stewardship of the natural world is one of the Ten Commandments."

Udall has made protecting the environment a cornerstone of his campaign. He has proposed a plan for the federal government to assist Colorado in managing growth and urban sprawl, a top concern for the citizens of the Second Congressional District. As a member of Congress, Udall will work tirelessly to protect wild places in Colorado, southern Utah, Alaska and across the West and will be a vocal supporter of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act.

Mark Udall has lived his commitment to protecting the environment for decades. As one of his supporters in the environmental community explains it, "Mark's love for the environment is in his bones and his very cell structure."

Mark Udall for Congress 303-245-8005 Campaign Headquarters 303-245-8916 Campaign Fax Number udallforcongress@indra.com

 

 

Susan Kirkpatrick - 4th CD

The Sierra Club has endorsed Susan Kirkpatrick in her bid to unseat Bob Schaffer in the U.S. House of Representatives from Colorado's 4th District, the first candidate to be endorsed in this district in many years.

As the first publicly elected mayor of Fort Collins, Kirkpatrick sponsored a resolution opposing a controversial incinerator project north of Fort Collins, helped establish local recycling programs and won passage of the first requirement for water meters in the city.

As chair of Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), Kirkpatrick oversaw the spending of about $20 million a year on open space, natural areas, wildlife habitat, environmental education and outdoor recreation around the state and created a Legacy Grant program to protect important land in Colorado for future generations.

"Bob Schaffer has one of the worst environmental records in Congress, but that isn't enough to endorse his opponent. We are endorsing Kirkpatrick because she will be a leader in efforts to protect Colorado's air, water and public lands," said Dave Fisher, the Sierra Club's Rocky Mountain Chapter political chair. Kirkpatrick supports maintaining the strong health-based standards of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. She supports wilderness designations in Colorado, favors eliminating environmentally damaging public subsidies and advocates reform of public lands management agencies.

The Fourth Congressional District has world-renowned natural treasures, including Rocky Mountain National Park, and one of the world's premier natural resource universities in CSU. The district's representative should lead on environmental issues, not stand in the way. Incumbent Bob Schaffer is one of the worst members of Congress on environmental issues, with a 6% score from the League of Conservation Voters for 1997.

He is on track for a zero score for 1998. Schaffer blocked efforts to end timber subsidies, voted against funding international family planning, voted to weaken the Endangered Species Act and co-sponsored legislation to rescind new EPA smog and soot regulations that would save 15,000 lives a year.

After receiving a $2,000 campaign contribution from the National Association of Homebuilders, Schaffer voted for a bill they authored to weaken local control over land use by allowing developers to go straight to federal court in disputes over developments deemed harmful to the environment or to neighboring homeowners. Among Schaffer's contributors are Shell Oil, Phillips Petroleum, ConAgra, the National Mining Association, RJ Reynolds, Philip Morris and dozens more polluting corporations and their political action committees. Schaffer tried to sue President Clinton over the American Heritage Rivers Initiative, which would have allowed local communities to apply for federal funds to help in river restoration efforts. Yet he recently had a booth at Fort Collins's New West Fest proclaiming himself a friend of the environment. Local Sierra Club members caught wind of it and spent the weekend passing out leaflets on his actual voting record to passersby. The Poudre Canyon Group is birddogging Schaffer at every opportunity, distributing information on his voting record and the LCV scorecard. More help is needed between now and election day.

To help with our efforts to replace Schaffer with someone who recognizes quality of life as more than the corporate bottom line, contact Jan Duvall, Poudre Canyon Group Political Chair, 970-484-8757, jduvall@info2000.net, or Susan Kirkpatrick's campaign, PO Box 9628, Fort Collins, CO 80525, 970-407-9498, kirkp98@aol.com.

 

 

Diana DeGette - 1st CD

Diana DeGette's 1997 League of Conservation Voters score of 94% in her first year in the U.S. House of Representatives was the highest score of any representative of either party in the Rocky Mountain West.

This score is more than enough reason to support DeGette for reelection. However, beyond her voting record, she has been a leader for the environment. She pushed the General Accounting Office to hold hearings on urban sprawl's impact on our quality of life and won passage of an amendment to the EPA appropriations bill to fund cleanup of brownfields, abandoned toxic waste sites. She is leading in designing a Colorado BLM Wilderness proposal for introduction in the next Congress. DeGette is fighting the Yucca Mountain nuclear disposal project, which would involve transporting nuclear waste through Denver and other major urban areas to western Nevada. As a member of the House Commerce Committee, she fought to eliminate federal crop insurance for tobacco, failing in that effort by just seven votes on the floor of the House. She has worked on legislation on Medicaid and other health care issues.

These positions are compatible with DeGette's persistent pro-environment (and pro- consumer and pro-woman) positions in the Colorado state legislature from 1993 to 1996, where she wrote and obtained passage of the "Bubble Bill" protecting abortion clinics and other health care facilities and the Voluntary Cleanup and Redevelopment Act. As a legislator, DeGette earned consistently high scores from the Sierra Club. Before that, she championed environmental causes as a lawyer in private practice.

To volunteer for DeGette's campaign, call Beth Ganz, 832-1925, or visit the campaign office at 770 Grant Street, Ste. 238, Denver 80203. Contributions are needed. Or visit on the Web at http://www.DeGette.com/ or email campaign@DeGette.com.

 

 

Dottie Lamm for U.S. Senate

A great deal is at stake in this election. If the low turnouts we witnessed in primaries this year, including Colorado's, continue through the general election, a relatively small number of voters will determine the outcome of important races. Anti-environmental and ultra-conservative forces are mobilizing their bases to make further political gains, while many voters who care about the environment may sit out the election.

We have an opportunity to elect a senator who can be trusted to protect our environment.

The choice is clear: Re-elect Ben Campbell, who consistently votes with polluters (29% LCV rating in 1997) or replace him with someone with years of commitment to our environment and concern for the future.

I have been an outdoor enthusiast for decades, climbing 35 of Colorado's 54 fourteeners. For 17 years I wrote a column for the Denver Post where I weighed in on behalf of the Clean Air Act, population stabilization and other environmental issues. I worked with the Colorado Population Coalition and was a delegate to the U.N. Conference on Population and Development in Cairo.

I entered the Senate race partly out of a deep concern about the environmental and fiscal future our grandchildren will inherit. Ben Campbell, who was elected on a pro-environment agenda, has voted over and over to protect polluters, especially since he switched parties.

In 1992 candidate Campbell published a position paper touting his environmental record.

His environmental record today, however, tells a different story: Voted twice in favor of the "timber salvage" rider; Voted to weaken the Endangered Species Act and is co-sponsoring the Kempthorne bill to gut the Endangered Species Act); Voted twice in favor of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Many of these measures succeeded by just one or two votes. When I am in the Senate, my one vote will be cast to protect our environment, not polluters. I vow to oppose attempts to weaken the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act, which stand at the foundation of this nation's commitment to a clean environment. I will support continued congressional funding for towns and cities to protect drinking water and reduce pollution from sewage.

The Clean Air Act has significantly reduced air pollution, but we need to continue working to control the Brown Cloud and reduce air pollution. It is imperative for a state that relies on the beauty of its natural resources to protect the air quality in our national parks and wilderness areas.

I support protection of at least 1 million acres of Colorado's BLM lands as wilderness and protection of their wilderness values until Congress has a chance to act on this legislation.

I believe that we must reform the 1872 Mining Act to prevent degradation of our public lands.

Rocky Flats and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal are two of the most polluted areas in the nation. A thorough clean-up is vital to protect the health of workers and of residents of surrounding communities.

We need to protect habitat on federal lands. I am committed to helping Colorado's communities deal with the effects of growth on habitat. As our next United States Senator I will vote to reauthorize the Endangered Species Act and to give the Land and Water Conservation Fund appropriations to acquire critical open space and wildlife habitat. I will vote against "takings" bills that would tie the hands of local governments working to manage new development.

I will use the leadership and coalition-building skills I developed over the years, at U.N. conferences in Beijing and Cairo or in my own neighborhood, to secure the votes necessary to protect our environment and our health for Coloradans and for the future.

- Dottie Lamm

 

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