Teresa Heinz Kerry Critical of Bush Environmental Record

Teresa Heinz Kerry slammed the Bush administration’s efforts to change clean-air and clean-water rules as “inexcusable and unforgivable” in a speech in Manhattan on Saturday. This may seem a predictable partisan jab coming from the wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, but there’s more to Heinz Kerry’s eco-crusading than meets the eye. She was a registered Republican until shortly before Kerry began his presidential run. When her first husband, Sen. H. John Heinz III (R-Penn.), died in a plane crash in 1991, she was left to run his family’s philanthropic organizations — the boards of which were also largely Republican. Since taking over, she has funneled millions from the Heinz Endowments and the Heinz Family Philanthropies to a variety of eco-friendly projects, including many in Pittsburgh, Penn., where the foundations are located. Thanks in large part to her efforts, the city now boasts a vibrant waterfront and leads the nation in the number of certified green buildings. Some conservative groups have criticized Heinz Kerry’s environmental giving.