Republicans Putting on Airs
A mysterious group calling itself Republicans for Clean Air is spending nearly $2 million to run a TV ad in big primary states that blasts Sen. John McCain’s environmental record and claims that Texas Gov. George W. Bush has notable green achievements. The organization is unknown to political professionals, environmentalists, and the Federal Elections Commission. Enviros and other critics say the ad’s claims are spurious. The ad says that McCain voted against solar and renewable energy last year, but the vote to which the ad referred was one of many that he has cast against spending bills to object to the way they were approved rather than to their content. The ad also says that Bush has “clamp[ed] down on old coal-burning electric power plants” in Texas, while in fact he merely instituted a voluntary program that enviros and other Texans say is doing very little to clean the air. Enviros say that neither McCain nor Bush has a particularly good environmental record, but they are more critical of Bush.