As y’all are no doubt aware, the mid-term elections are rapidly approaching. For the big-picture state of the election, I refer you to insider’s insider Charlie Cook:
With the election just eight days away, there are no signs that this wave is abating. Barring a dramatic event, we are looking at the prospect of GOP losses in the House of at least 20 to 35 seats, possibly more, and at least four in the Senate, with five or six most likely.
Of particular interest to us green types is the unusual prominence of eco-issues in a variety of campaigns, from the obvious (Calif. gubernatorial) to the not-so-obvious (Nevada senate).
Typically green issues are buried at the bottom of a list, or ignored altogether, but on energy, alternative fuels, climate, and clean air and water, this year politicians are proudly touting their environmental bona fides in campaign ads. We’ll find out in a few weeks whether these issues tip any races (though, let’s be honest, the defining issue of almost all these campaigns is disillusionment with the national Republican leadership and the Iraq War).
Here, California gubernatorial candidate (and dead man walking) Phil Angelides touts his endorsement from the Sierra Club:
Of course, Arnie — whose campaign keeps its videos safely isolated on its own website, which is kind of misguided, but why would you care when you’re going to win in a walk? — also touts his eco-credentials. This one is all about keeping California clean; this one calls out the message that a booming economy can go hand in hand with a clean environment; this one bashes Angelides over the “destroying wetlands” thing.
Arnie’s going to win California by going green, and like all things Californian, this is a preview of what’s to come for the rest of the nation.
In Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee is running as fast as his li’l feet can carry him from President Bush, touting among other things his successful attempt to rebuff Bush’s attempt to lower air-quality standards:
(PS, Sheldon Whitehouse is ahead in all the polls, so it looks like this is the second Sierra Club endorsement going to someone who’s gonna lose. See here, here, and here for some Chafee blogging and "The Fraud Caucus" for insight on the dying breed of moderate Republicans.)
Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm — a savvy pol who’s managed to navigate a swing state dominated by auto manufacturing with some fairly progressive policies — is all about alternative fuels (read: biofuels):
And here she is with everyone’s off-the-shelf populist issue — oil-company price gouging:
In Montana, Senate candidate Jon Tester is busting all sorts of stereotypes, putting an unpolished, burly, good-old-boy face on privacy rights, war opposition, and environmentalism. Here’s incumbent Conrad Burns‘ attempt to smear him by associating him with “environmental extremists” (that is, the milquetoasts at the League of Conservation Voters):
Reeks of desperation, no? It was unthinkable even three or four months ago, but Burns might actually go down this year. That will truly be the end of an era. An era of graft and sleaze, that is.
Here, Tester touts his support for renewable energy:
Here’s Jack Carter (son of Jimmy), who’s running for Senate in Nevada, bashing Cheney’s notorious energy task force — ’bout time somebody got some political mileage out of that fiasco:
And this one touts his work setting up a coal-to-liquid fuel plant:
Washington’s Maria Cantwell is well-known as a crucial vote on environmental issues. Here she is on protecting Puget Sound for oil tankers:
And here she is hyping alternative energies (and not just ethanol!):
If you know of other races or ads featuring environmental issues, let us know in comments.