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environment oregon elections 2006

The article the Sierra Club doesn't want you to read

Big environmental organizations like ONRC, Sierra Club and OLCV will barely acknowledge Joe Keating, Pacific Green Party candidate for Governor, despite being a former chair of the Sierra Club and 19 years of environmental activism in Oregon. These groups care more about money, fiefdom, and political access than they care about the environment.
Dear Friends of the Environment

At this moment in time the Sierra Club, Oregon Natural Resources Council (ONRC), and Oregon League of Conservation Voters (OLCV) have all endorsed the Democratic incumbent. The Oregon Environmental Council (OEC) will hold a gubernatorial debate in September with Kulongoski, Saxton, and Westlund and plans to exclude Joe Keating, the green candidate.

Sounds like business as usual. That's the rub. We have the leadership of the enviro movement in lock step with the Democratic Party. The incumbent Democratic candidate has a horrible environmental record and a dismal overall approval rating of only 36%. His viability as a candidate is doomed.

The bottom line is that all of this is really bad news for the environment of Oregon. The challenge is coming to grips with the reality that as long as the big environmental groups are in lock step with Democratic Party the environmental community will compromise its ability to protect the environment. The rate will vary but the decline of our environment will continue.

To give you a sense of how deeply embedded this problem is in the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Club's 'leadership' very reluctantly provided a candidates questionnaire to the Keating For Governor Campaign staff and refused to interview him. Adding insult to injury the Sierra Club then pulled an accepted article Joe had written for the Summer edition of the Conifer (Sierra Club's quarterly publication) and substituted a late article lauding Kulongoski with their endorsement. Keep in mind that Joe is a forest issues coordinator and a former Chair of the Sierra Club with 19 years of front line environmental activism to his credit.

If we can accept the problem and deal with it objectively, it can be solved.
If you want to stop environmental decline in Oregon, think and vote independently. For Oregon's sake, think and act for yourself. Please check Joe's website today: www.gojoekeating.org

Thank You
Carol Leona

The following is the article by Joe Keating that the Sierra Club doesn't want you to read:

June, 2006

Where is the Environment in the Election 2006?

The answer, unfortunately, is nowhere. I have been out on the campaign trail as the Pacific Green Party's nominee for Governor for three months now. All throughout the state I have talked to hundreds of conservative, progressive and independent Oregonians about what's important to them. I can count on one hand the number of questions I have received about Oregon's environment. A bit shocking, a bit depressing, and a big wake up call.

Have Oregonians forgotten about the environment. No, the fact is most folks have other priorities and attitudes that are crowding out environmental issues. Most Oregonians are still environmentally concerned.
However the environment is much lower down the pecking order of issues than I have found in my 19 years of environmental work.

The areas that are most pressing and hold center stage for most folks are:
Bad Government - People are correctly very distrustful of Government. This leads to disillusionment, powerlessness, a general feeling of malaise, and an attitude of 'throw the the bums out',

Health and Education - Quality education and universal health care are basic rights and the government has failed miserably to provide these rights.
People are correctly very upset. Health and education issues lead into the area of financial mismanagement of the state.

Gas prices/Iraq war ? The escalating price of gas hits people daily in the pocket book and is a daily reminder of the war in Iraq and the general alienation of most of the world to the US and its foreign policy. Where will all this lead? Where's the country going? Are we losing control? People don't exactly know but they are scared.

Weighed against these concerns the environment is taking a back seat. As a result we are not generating people pressure on the gubernatorial candidates to hold them accountable. We are losing our political leverage to protect Oregon's natural wonders. Over 70% of Oregonians consider themselves environmentalists but that statistic is meaningless unless we make our voices heard BEFORE the elections are held in November.

All candidates who are not truly committed to environmental protection can and will hide there intentions and make little if any meaningful environmental commitments. We must hold their feet to the fire.
If this situation continues there will be no standard of political accountability for our next Governor. The guaranteed result will be the continued erosion of Oregon's environmental protection.

With our air and water already considered among the worst in the country, land use regulations in a state of disarray, and the rape of our forests continuing unchecked we have no room for complacency. If we don't do something about it now the situation is about to get a lot worse.

The environmental community needs to take a deep breath and get involved politically. Get involved in this election. Demand that all the candidates define and commit to the environmental protection of Oregon and find out exactly how they intend to do this. I will do my part. On behalf of all the critters, please do yours.
the trees are in danger 28.Jul.2006 17:03

snow

the real Threat to the Mattole
is shunka's profiteering under the guise of NCEF. he has diverted thousands for his own use.
Even setting up a retirement fund for himself.
the rank and file members have to take back financial control to make any kind of change

Environmental Donations VS Vote Fraud 28.Jul.2006 17:04

jc

Vote fraud negates the effect of donations to organizations like Sierra Club. As long as they do not address the issue of election rigging, they are tacit racketeers.

The strongest environmental regulations in history were signed by Nixon.

check out www.blackboxvoting.org
Donating to organizations that try to stop vote fraud is more effective for the environment than rackets like Sierra Club. They make money on the failure of the system.

"Money and Fiefdom" -- I share that opinion 100% 28.Jul.2006 22:40

Myron (Mike) Stagman, PhD artemesium@gmail.com

Large environmental organizations are part of the problem. As the author rightly asserts, they care more about money and fiefdom than the environment. The author also mentions "political access" -- and they only want this to further their priorities of Money and Fiefdom.

I always suggest that well-meaning folk NEVER join or give money to a large environmental organization. What we needare GRASSROOTS PUBLIC INFORMATION CAMPAIGNS to educate and politically ativate the General Public, college/university students in particular, on major environmental (and other) issues.

Inform others by working alone in your sparetime, or in small groups of people you know. NEVER get involved with big organizations. NEVER. They uniformly suck your money and effort, and leave well-intentioned, perceptive people disillusioned and de-moralized.


. 28.Jul.2006 23:28

.

Sierra Club, Oregon Natural Resources Council (ONRC), and Oregon League of Conservation Voters (OLCV)

The environment will be better off if they cease to exist.

The Big Enviros 29.Jul.2006 14:01

Brian the Green

I agree that we'd be better off if these groups didn't exist.

In '98 the Oregon Sierra Club voted to endorse Pacific Green Party candidate Karyn Moskowitz, an Environmental Activist and Economist, for US Senate over Ron Wyden. Wyden has done little for the forests or salmon during his 20 years in office (notice the continual decline) and failed to endorse the Zero-Cut plan (zero cutting in national forests). Moskowitz was an environmentalists dream - a smart, articulate, dedicated woman and was rightly endorsed by the statewide organization.

Right after the vote the national office had a hemorrhage. They were able to have the vote recalled and changed to Wyden. They were scared shitless that they'd lose their access with this supposed slap in the face. Even though the PGP candidate was much more inline with their values, positions and goals, they didn't want to upset the corporate Democrat.

ONRC is even worse. I have known Regna Merrit for many years and respect much of their work over the past 20 years but they will not even talk to Greens. The slimiest thing she and other leaders of the ONRC have done however is to call themselves Greens for Democrats during the Presidential elections to confuse voters and have them not vote for Nader or Cobb. She has been on TV, radio and in print claiming to be a "Green" who is just too scared to 'waste' her vote in that dangerous way. I don't believe she has ever voted Green or given money to Greens yet she portrays herself as a dedicated "Green" then tells people to vote Democrat. I stopped giving money to ONRC many years ago because of her behavior.

The sierra club is a sham! 29.Jul.2006 14:34

Esteban

The best thing about the Keating campaign is that nobody can expose the "Big Green" enviro groups as the sham that they are.

Joe Keating has been a leading environmentalist for 20 years here in Portland and spent time in leadership positions in the big green organizations before getting frustrated with their allegiance to the Democratic party.

The same is true with the labor unions.

How long do the fascists (uh, I mean Democrats) have to prove that they are puppets to the corporate masters before labor and the big greens finally get it?

Extremely Unfortunate and a Shame 29.Jul.2006 16:15

Dr. Know

While the Sierra Club has certainly made great contributions to the environmental movement over time, it is extremely unfortunate and a shame that such an organization will not even interview somebody like Green candidate for Governor, Joe Keating. Less clear is how much of a hearing Keating received from the OLCV and ONRC. From my experience, such a decision is not only a disservice to democracy in Oregon and the environmental movement, but is also out of touch with many of the hardworking volunteers, donors, and staff members of these prolific environmental organizations. The question with regard to such automatic and unqualified support given by groups like the Sierra Club to the Democratic Party, even when it means spiting a smaller party like the Greens which shares many of the same environmental objectives, is at what level in these organizations are these decisions made? Certainly not, I would argue, at the grass roots level. This is a very sad commentary on the state of politics in Oregon and the environmental movement in general, which should by its very importance to humanity, seek to remain above petty partisanship such as this.

Please provide more insight as to the level of fair opportunity for endorsement (interview time, etc) that the OLCV and ONRC gave to Keating. Perhaps somebody affiliated with those organizations can provide more information, or somebody from the Green Party, since I believe both the OLCV and ONRC promise confidentiality in their correspondence with candidates. I think it is only fair that those organizations be judged based on their own dialogue with Keating and the Greens, rather than lumped in with the Sierra Club which was, at least partially, founded with backing from certain Rockefeller Foundations. I'm sure Greens would like to be judged on their own merits, rather than being lumped in with Libertarians and other smaller parties, just as it would not be fair for a Constitution Party member to associate Greens with Dems because they wouldn't support a Republican Candidate. I deeply appreciate your bringing this to my attention, Brian the Green, but lets make sure that we progressives of all stripes not allow ourselves to play the Conservatives wicked game of hyperbole and guilt by association. We are better than that.

The Sierra Club is a Scam 30.Jul.2006 00:05

Tall Tree

The Sierra Club is a dating club for outdoorsy single Democrats. The Democrats and Republicans are the same Corporate Party. The Democrats are the conservative branch, the Republicans are the right wing branch and all their members are fearful, paranoid wage slaves of the Corporate Party. Voting for either one is like a meth addict, knowing that you shouldn't do it, you're tired and disgusted - but what else are you going to do you to keep up? - no matter what it does to your health, family, friends, community, country, or environment. Put the cooks in jail for polluting the environment and addicting the worker and get yourself off the Corporate habit!

Its Kulongoski vs. Saxton, not Kulongoski vs. Keating! 04.Aug.2006 16:44

reposted partly from blueoregon

What an inflammatory string of emails!

You could almost forget Ron Saxton might be our next Governor and is heavily funded by timber money and big developers. This race isn't between Keating and Kulio, its between Saxton and Kulio. One has to wonder if 'Brian the Green' still believes Bush and Gore were no different!

As for the innacurate quote "These groups care more about money, fiefdom, and political access than they care about the environment," wouldn't it have been fair to note that the Sierra Club also came out in support of the campaign finance reform petitions now on the ballot? An entire cover issue of one of their newsletters was devoted to encouraging their members to sign these petitions, just as a cover story was recently devoted to their endorsement of Kulio for implementing California tailpipe emissions standards, fighting for roadless areas, and moving forward with clean energy initiatives to ensure 25% of Oregon's energy is renewable by 2025.

Nobody who is actively involved in environtal issues is deluded into thinking Kulongoski is 100% with us, but he's also quite strong on a few environmental issues and could be persuaded to get better on others. Saxton would completely take the state in the opposite direction, and Oregonian's have a choice much like we did in 2000 with Bush vs. Gore. In hindsight, who would you rather have as President now?

Here's some reposted info from blueoregon.com on Saxton that should make any Green or green scared:

According to campaign finance documents made available last month, during this campaign cycle Swanson Group (one of Oregon's largest timber companies) has given Ron Saxton at least $75,000, Columbia Helicopters (logging roadless areas in southern Oregon this summer) and its Chairman Wes Lematta have given Saxton at least $30,000 worth of cash and 'in-kind' donations such as 'plane and pilot services,' Roseburg Forest Products has given at least $45,000, and Seneca Jones Timber at least $50,000.

In addition to bankrolling Measure 37 two years ago, some of the leaders of these companies (Steve Swanson from Swanson Group and Max Merlich from Columbia Helicopters) also served on the Bush/Cheney Natural Resource Leadership Team for Oregon, a group primarily made of up timber company executives working to spin Bush's horrible environmental record and shape his environmental policies in 2004.

Furthermore, 'Oregonians for Food & Shelter' also loves Ron Saxton. OFS is an unabashed advocate for the pesticide and timber industries and they're the same group who helped channel $5.5 million of mostly out-of-state dollars in 2002 to defeat a state measure that would have required the labeling of genetically modified food products. The American Forest Resource Council, who represent nearly 100 forest product manufacturers and forest landowners in twelve western states, although only 23 in Oregon, also endorse Mr. Saxton. Their stated mission is to create a favorable operating environment for the forest products industry by improving federal laws, regulations, policies and decisions that determine or influence the management of all lands. That's code language, folks. Sourcewatch says the American Forest Resource Council is a timber industry trade association focused on logging old growth forests in the northwest and confounding the science to support business as usual.

Ron Saxton's campaign is being bankrolled by major developers like Jeldwen, and big timber companies like the Swanson Group, Columbia Helicopters, Roseburg Forest Products, and Seneca Jones Timber who have been major loggers of Oregon's last remaining old growth forests and who have pushed hard to open up Oregon's last roadless areas and ancient forests to logging. In the past, these companies have generally only supported candidates who seek to roll back basic environmental protections for salmon, clean water, and Oregon's forests and all were major contributors to Measure 37 in 2004.

So harping on environmental groups for putting their weight behind Kulio this year is completely ridiculous when you really look at it.

GIVE ME A BREAK 06.Aug.2006 19:33

yo

blueoregon forgets to mention Joe Keating has been on the front lines and not sitting in a AIR CONDITIONED office building. He has earned the right to be heard. What are you afaid of, more talk about protecting the envro. GIVE ME A BREAK