Sierra Club Members Reject Immigration-Focused Candidates

A record number of Sierra Club members voted in the group’s just-concluded board election and decisively rejected a controversial slate of candidates who had called for curbs on immigration as part of a population-control strategy. With nearly 23 percent of the club’s 757,000 members voting, candidates backed by the club’s old-guard leadership received more than 100,000 votes apiece, while the top insurgent candidate received just under 16,000. The contentious election was marred by personal attacks and back-and-forth lawsuits, with the candidates concerned about immigration accused of being backed by outside racist groups, and the club’s leadership accused of rigging the election in favor of their chosen candidates. Disagreement over how to interpret the election results may be resolved when members vote on an initiative directly addressing immigration next year. While the losing candidates continued to insist that it is “cowardly for any environmental organization to avoid talking about the issue of human overpopulation,” as board member Paul Watson put it, folks on both sides of the dispute agreed that it was important to put the controversy aside and focus on defeating President Bush in the upcoming election.