Monday, October 21, 2013

Paper tiger

The League of Conservation Voters has made their endorsement for mayor with a curious result.

The records for the candidates speak for themselves:
  • Fletcher has a 48% lifetime score from the California League of Conservation Voters, 36% from the Sierra Club and the mailers from MEA only cite 2 bills to justify his commitment to the environment.
  • Alvarez has an 88% from the San Diego League of Conservation Voters (the highest of any San Diego councilmember), has been endorsed by the Environmental Health Coalition, and is the Chair for the San Diego City Council’s Committee on Natural resources and Culture.

This should have been an easy endorsement for Alvarez had the decision been based on the facts about the environment. Instead, the San Diego League of Conservation Voters voted to endorse Fletcher based on speculation about electability. This decision, especially after giving Alvarez the highest environmental rating last year, immediately calls into question the legitimacy of the LCV.

Their website claims that they engage in election activities on behalf of the environment. The reality has been releasing an annual report card and maybe a single mailing per cycle. The chatter within the progressive communities is that the LCV has become a shell organization that exists to provide environmental credentials to candidates and campaigns that need it whether they deserve it or not.

And the odd thing is that the LCV doesn’t make its decision with the expectation of monies or favors. All it has is its brand. Which is why this de-legitimization is so baffling.

Ignoring their own research, as well as the environment, for political expediency makes sense when you look at who is on the board.  Supporters of Fletcher were successful in adding the LCV name to his mayoral campaign even though his environmental record pales next to Alvarez.

All this does is trash the LCV name within the circles where it would matter but those driving this effort don’t seem to care. What matters is the short term gain (if any) from an organization that’s willing to pay lip service to its cause if it can jumpstart a campaign that is spending money yet can’t get off the launching pad.

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