Muckraker: Grist on Politics

The League of Conservation Voters made a late endorsement in the Georgia Senate race last week, backing Democrat Jim Martin against incumbent Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R).

This is another race that Democrats are hoping to win as they pursue a 60-vote majority, but greens are particularly keen on a Martin win. Chambliss earned a tiny 8 percent on the LCV scorecard this year; he maintains a lifetime score of just 5. Martin has also been endorsed by Sierra Club.

Martin — a lawyer, Vietnam veteran, and 18-year member of the Georgia House of Representatives — is bullish on green energy. He’s talked about smarter urban planning for Georgia, higher energy-efficiency standards for buildings and automobiles, and more green jobs. He’s also called for greenhouse-gas emissions reductions of 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

“Jim Martin is an experienced public servant who will fight for the interests of Georgians,” said LCV President Gene Karpinski in the group’s endorsement. “He understands that investing in a clean energy future will not only protect the environment, but also ensure our national security and create good jobs in Georgia.”

In early June, Chambliss was ahead 52 percent to 36. But in the past week, Martin has surged ahead, with last week’s polls showing a 5-point spread between the two. Anticipated high voter turnout for Obama in Georgia is expected to buoy Martin’s prospects as well.