Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Big Oil, Brian, Clay and Dave

Out in California, where we're represented so nicely by two immensely qualified Senators, we don't get a lot of love from east coast legislators. But since John Kerry is sort of a Senator to the world, we can count on him to chime in every now and again to help us vote for folks who support our Democratic values.

Yesterday in my inbox I found an email from my favorite out-of-state Senator, encouraging support of pro-environmental Democratic candidates. Here are the highlights for those of you in the other 49:

We know that the last thing we need in Congress is more Republican energy company lobbyists. So, let's say no to Brian Bilbray. And let's say goodbye to Clay Shaw and Dave Reichert. They're a couple of Republican congressmen with absurdly bad environmental voting records and connections to big oil that would make Dick Cheney blush, and their Democratic opponents are closing in on them every day. If we give these pro-environment Democrats the immediate help they need, we can win three of the most environmentally critical elections in the country....

Every day I become more hopeful that, thanks to you, our hard-driving efforts to deliver unprecedented levels of grassroots support to key Democratic candidates can turn the tide in 2006.

I'm tired of being forced to spend so much of our time just trying to stop bad things from happening in Washington.

If we can take back Congress in November, we can stop anti-environment Republicans from threatening the Arctic Refuge, selling off our national forests, weakening environmental standards, and we can finally do right by our national security by putting America on a path to genuine energy independence.

You and I both know that the best way to protect our environment is to throw ourselves heart and soul into winning these elections.

Think we can't do it? Think again. I believe in this cause with all my heart and gut. I know it's not easy, but I remember when you couldn't even mention environmental issues without a snicker. But then in the 1970's people got tired of seeing the Cuyahoga River catch on fire from all the chemicals. So one day millions of Americans marched. Politicians had no choice but to take notice. Twelve Congressmen were dubbed the Dirty Dozen, and soon after seven were kicked out of office. The floodgates were opened. We got the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act. We created the EPA. The quality of life improved because concerned citizens made their issues matter in elections.

We need to do this all over again.


Now, lovely as that was, I'm just going to be honest and say that my favorite part of the whole email was the subject line: "Big Oil, Brian, Clay and Dave."

You had better believe that if I didn't have this blog to help keep up, "Big Oil, Brian, Clay and Dave" would be half a folk song by now - perhaps quite a good one. By November 7, it could be the biggest hit written on the autoharp since "Ring of Fire."

But, since we can't take back Congress with hit songs, I will refrain from launching my music career, and instead encourage everyone to head over to Keeping America's Promise to see how you can help create an environmentally friendly Congress in 2006.

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