August 28, 2008

Sierra Club flunks Vos, Gunderson and Kerkman

The John Muir Chapter of the Sierra Club today released its Environmental Scorecard for the 2007-08 Wisconsin Legislature.

Racine and Kenosha legislators were among the best, and worst, according to the Sierra Club's tracking of legislative votes on ten environmental issues.

Among the best are Reps. Cory Mason and Bob Turner, both D-Racine, and Sen. John Lehman, D-Racine, all with scores of 100%, and Rep. Jim Kreuser, D-Kenosha, with 90%.

Among the worst are Reps. Scott Gunderson, R-Waterford, Samantha Kerkman, R-Burlington, and Rep. Robin Vos, R-Racine, all of whom had 10% ratings.

And, yes, we did notice that the Sierra Club's tree-hugging favorites here are all Democrats, and the environmental dunces it would send to the corner are all Republicans. Those three 10-per-centers, by the way, were spared the ignominy of 0% environmental ratings only by their vote in favor of the Great Lakes Compact.

Complete Scorecard results, vote by vote, legislator by legislator.

“The Sierra Club Scorecard illustrates which lawmakers are committed to protecting Wisconsin’s environment,” said Shahla M. Werner, PhD., John Muir Chapter Director. “The Scorecard also shows us which lawmakers consistently protect the interests of polluters.”

Thirty-nine state lawmakers scored 100% on the Scorecard. On the opposite end of the scale were Representatives Mark Gundrum, Mark Gottlieb, and Sheryl Albers, all of whom earned the score of zero. An additional forty-five members of the Assembly garnered a 10% score, meaning they voted against the environment nine times out of ten.

“Our Assembly has a core of legislators who consistently vote for more pollution,” said Dave Blouin, John Muir Chapter Political Committee Chair. “There is a very stark and partisan difference between legislators who consistently strive to protect and conserve Wisconsin’s air, drinking water, lakes and streams and legislators who do not.”

Forty-six Representatives received a passing grade for their votes in the last session by voting at least 80% pro-environment including twenty-one who scored a perfect 100%. Eighteen State Senators compiled 100% positive scores. Failing grades were given to fifty Representatives and two Senators who consistently vote pro-polluter and anti-environment (scores of 20% or less in
the Assembly, 29% or less in the Senate where few environmental votes were taken).

“The agenda of this Legislature was to roll back basic services and environmental protection while shifting costs to taxpayers,” said Legislative Coordinator Caryl Terrell. By voting to pass AB 163, Wetlands, Assembly proponents gave a developer a special favor to allow a road through a specific wetland, ignoring the science-based permit process and degrading Nature’s flood mitigation systems. Votes to repeal the Nuclear Moratorium, AB 346, erased the commonsense requirement that the Public Service Commission ensure that secure nuclear waste facilities are identified and all financial costs of life cycle operation are considered against all other alternatives before new nuclear power plants are constructed in Wisconsin Votes to pass three bills, AB 543 Ordinary High Water Mark, AB 718 Delay Implementation Date of Smart Growth Law and AB 805 Takings, undermined land use regulations designed to protect the value of private property and instead allow for irresponsible, unsafe development.

“Efforts to remove politics from the DNR, AB 504, and to deal pro-actively with greenhouse gases, AB 157, and hazardous electronic waste, SB 397, were turned down,” said Terrell. “The major bright spot was the adoption of the Great Lakes Water Resources Compact, SB1, in the April Special Session.”

Senate and Assembly scores were based on different measures, so comparisons between the two houses are not valid.

1 comment:

  1. Hawkeyecheesehead8/29/2008 9:40 AM

    Bob Turner hasn't cast an independent vote in his lifetime.