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.
Also, don’t miss our own Amanda’s articles on the elections here, here, and here.
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:
Here he touts his work on brownfields, and here he … touts it again. Lincoln Chafee: he’s not like other Republicans! He cares about brownfields!
(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:
He also cheerleads for renewable energy and energy independence here and here.
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:
But Carter’s opponent, incumbent Republican John Ensign, loooves Nevada’s natural resources.
In New Mexico, challenger Patricia Madrid accuses Republican incumbent Heather Wilson of being in the pocket of Big Oil:
In New York, Eliot Spitzer‘s going to win in a walk. This ad mentions clean air and water.
In Pennsylvania, it looks like the increasingly unhinged Rick Santorum is going to get booted from his seat by Bob Casey, Jr. This goofy ad touts his protection of open space:
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!):
Cantwell is expected to whoop McGavick, who is by all accounts a person-shaped hole where a human being should be.
If you know of other races or ads featuring environmental issues, let us know in comments.