Kulongoski Earns Major Enviro Endorsement

From OLCV:

“We’ve reached a tipping point in history when bold action is needed to promote renewable, clean energy,” said Jonathan Poisner, Executive Director of OLCV. “Ted Kulongoski is the only candidate for Governor with a bold plan and a strong record supporting significant efforts to clean our air, develop alternative energy sources, and combat global warming.”

In 2005, the auto industry and Republican legislators tried to prevent Oregon from adopting stronger tailpipe emissions standards for new cars, but were blocked by the Governor’s veto pen. Governor Kulongoski’s leadership means less reliance on foreign oil, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and most importantly, cleaner air for Oregon children.


  • jesse O (unverified)

    God, I hate that we have to back a person who tried to make Measure 37 rights transferrable as the pro-environment candidate. But he has done some good things, and he's a hell of a lot better than Ben or Ron or Joe or Mary or anyone else in the race. Sometimes the lukewarm feels awfully nice in a world of cold.

  • JHL (unverified)

    Well, the OLCV shoulda withheld their endorsement. They just sent a message that it's okay to be lukewarm on the environment... because so long as you're a Democrat, they'll pull out all the stops to make sure you're re-elected... even if you're lukewarm.

  • Don Smith (unverified)

    I hate to say this, but unless DEQ does something about all the old beaters that are polluting our air, his California emissions is going to do nothing but drive up costs for Oregonians buying new cars. He's a governor. I get the think globally thing, but I'm afraid that Ted's tilting at some pretty big windmills.

    Speaking of windmills, this kind of renewable energy is more within the governor's scope or authority to promote. So why not quit trying to score political points with useless - yes, useless - regulation on cars that are already pretty darn clean.

    Speaking of clean, why aren't we allowing more diesel cars, like in Europe? They can run on biodiesel without modification and diesel burns cleaner and much more efficiently than gas.

    Let's have some real environmentally friendly policies set forth rather than this eco-blather that sounds good but won't solve any real problems nearly as effectively as going after the low-hanging fruit.

    It just makes sense to tackle the problems that will have the greatest impact for the least cost rather than the other way around. Don't you think?

  • myranda (unverified)

    Kulongoski isn't "lukewarm" on the environment. He's done a lot, including suing the Bush administration on the roadless rules, promoting wave energy research, and so on. Most important, his action with regard to auto pollution standards has highlighted the issue of global warming and what we in Oregon can do about it (because the administration in DC does nothing). If we all tilt at the same windmills, maybe we can get them moving. The OLCV is absolutely right to endorse Kulongoski. This early endorsement will help assure that another candidate--who is not attuned to environmental issues--won't end up in Salem in January. Ron Saxton, for example, is heavily funded by timber interests. Last but not least, Mr. Smith, I suggest that you send a letter or e-mail message to Kulongoski's environmental policy person and your legislators about your concern with "beater cars." It's a good idea and maybe you can get som elegislation moving to, e.g., buy back those cars.

  • JHL (unverified)

    He's dona "a lot," has he? 1) a possibly-pointless request to the Bush administration, 2) promoting wave research (???), 3) "and so on"

    Wow. Looks like we've got a regular John Muir on our hands.

    Reminds me of an article I saw in the Oregonian in 2004... seems Kulongoski was going on plenty of nature hikes for photo ops, but Senator Charlie Ringo (D - enviro) explained quite clearly to the O that he was disappointed that those photo ops hadn't translated into legislative support for his bills. (Does anyone remember that story... I think it was August '04)

    With an approval rating of 32%, I think it's going to take a lot more than an OLCV endorsement to keep Kulo in Mahonia Hall.

    Sending Kulo back (if that's possible) sends a message to Democrats that lip service is A-OK if it's loud enough.

  • (Show?)

    Folks who're suggesting Kulongoski has a "lukewarm" environmental record, have relied too much on the mainstream press and not enough on what's happened behind the scenes. The press tends to focus on our disagreements, not our agreements with the Governor.

    He's been leading strongly on our issues many other times. Here's just a sampling of his leadership.

    He's strongly supported the creation of marine reserves to protect and restore fish populations and helped push the process to create them.

    He's pushing for a National Marine Sanctuary, which would provide even more protection.

    He's fighting the Bush administration's assault on federal wild forests through the courts, administratively, and the press.

    He directed the State Forester to ignore a 2005 legislative budget note that would have increased timber harvests on our state forests. (Budget notes have no force of law, so that was legally appropriate).

    He's provided firm and consistent Department of Energy support for an array of conservation measures advocated and adopted by the 2003 and 2005 Legislatures.

    He's launched a plan to commit the state to getting 25% of its energy from renewable energy by 2025, which would dramatically increase solar and wind power production in the state.

    His Global Warming Task Force developed a set of recommendations he's implementing administratively that individually don't seem significant, but add up to significant energy conservation.

    His leadership on auto emission standard improvements, which contrary to what was suggested in another comment, will have sigificant positive impacts on our air quality and in reducing greenhouse gas emissions starting in 2009 when new cars must comply.

    He has directed significant state and federal dollars towards cleanup of the Willamette River, with particular focus on watershed restoration. Helped get a significant increase in funding for DEQ to deal with its backlog of expired wastewater permits.

    He helped quash the idea of ship-breaking in Yaquina Bay.

    He advocated and supported an excellent increase in the budget for the Columbia Gorge Commission.

    His 2005-2007 Budget proposal for Measure 66 funds was a good step in the right direction to undo the backfilling that’s been taking place that has hurt funding for parks & salmon.

    He took very strong stances in support of Columbia River salmon recovery by having Oregon join lawsuits against the federal agencies operating the hydro system.

    He's been very helpful in supporting funding for removal of Savage Rapids Dam, delivered results in the President's proposed 2007 budget ($13,000,000 in BORs budget for the project). Savage Rapids is the number one fish-killing dam on the Rogue.

    He has been openly and vocally opposed to federal proposals to gut the endangered Species Act.

    He worked hard in the unsuccessful effort to pass a bio-fuels package out of the 2005 Legislature. He's committed to it in passing in 2007.

    In the end, what matters most to me personally is the boldness of his vision on renewable energy, as the nation is at a tipping point and Governor's can have a significant impact in what happens here and nationally.

    Ted has earned my vote and he earned OLCV's endorsement.

  • (Show?)

    FYI - a full disclosure moment: Jonathan, immediately above, is the executive director of OLCV.

  • JHL (unverified)

    Poisner --

    Setting up task forces, coming up with plans after session, and holding stances that don't turn into results... I think OLCV's case would be stronger if you could answer me one question:

    If Ted had such a spectacular session, how come OLCV waited until almost July to endorse? (Was there some hesitation or just run-of-the-mill lack of enthusiasm?)

  • (Show?)


    Jonathan's response included a lot more than just task forces and hollow words, as anyone who rereads it can see. OLCV's endorsement process is membership driven -- if there was an earlier endorsement that circumvented their normal process, that too I'm sure would have been criticized.

  • JHL (unverified)

    What do you mean by "membership driven"? Was there a convention of smoe sort or a mail-in ballot sent to all members? (Seriously -- I don't know; I'm not an OLCV member.)

    What interests me isn't the process, but the fact that OLCV has apparently decided that their choice of endorsement warrants a written defense and/or explanation here. Seems it wasn't readily apparent as the prudent choice.

  • (Show?)

    There's nothing remarkable about responding to a comment about why Kulongoski is the strongest environmental candidate in this race. He's got the strongest record; talking about that record isn't a sign of weakness.

  • anon (unverified)

    Next we voters need 10 specific reasons OLCV didn't go with a Ron Saxton endorsement.

    If OLCV is exacting with Kulongoski positives (see above post with about 15-18 positives), as informed citizens we need to see precise Saxton negatives as identified by OLCV. Helps us make judgements but if Saxton gets elected we'll know more about his negatives.

  • askquestions1st (unverified)

    The statement of purpose from the OLCV website pretty much illustrates why it really is hard to take their rather cartoonish environmental politics, much less their endorsements, too seriously:

    Electing Pro-environment Leaders

    OLCV works to elect pro-environment candidates.

    I'm still trying to find the "anti-environment" candidate who is running on a platform of outlawing, exiling, or otherwise abolishing the environment.

  • (Show?)

    More on OLCV stuff. And as Kari pointed out, I work for OLCV.

    Just a few responses to those above.

    First, I'm not sure what CB meant in saying OLCV's endorsement process is membership driven. We made our endorsement based on questionnaires, a thorough look at the record, and a series of interviews.

    Second, for the person who wanted specifics on Ron Saxton's views/record on the environment, that will be coming to a blog-screen near you at the proper time. Hint -- there's a reason big timber, developers, and Oregon's largest emitters of toxic chemicals into our air and water have been financing his campaign from the very beginning.

    Third, for the person who suggests that OLCV is cartoonish because we want to elect pro-environment leaders, because this person can't find an anti-environment candidate, all I can ask is: what planet do you live on?

    If you can't tell that George Bush's administration has systematically sought to unravel existing environmental safeguards and forestall the adoption of other necessary ones that threaten our children's future -- and by any reasonable definintion that makes his record "anti-environment" and "anti-people" for that matter -- then I guess we're living on different planets.

    And the dirty secret here in Oregon is that there are way too many Oregon legislators and local government officials who, when you look at their records, are indistinguishable from George Bush other than the fact that they're a lot less powerful (and hence somewhat less dangerous).

  • (Show?)

    I canvassed for OLCV last year in Gresham and Tigard against Measure 37 and for the State Senate candidates in those areas. It was a very professional operation, and I'm glad for the chance to have worked with them.

    As far as Ted goes, the Gorge Casino issue still bugs me. I was surprised at all the good news that Jonathan brings up, and that makes Ted seem a little less bad, but sheesh, I guess we're all wishing he was more... bold ?

  • Disgruntled (unverified)

    Nice Jonathan.

    Read Jessica's talking points and give Ted credit for things the AG's office has done.

    In the end, what matters is that the Governor has done little, which is even less than he could have done. OLCV didn't help with that in the last legislative session and continues to use a rating scale that alientates legislators on the basis of votes rather than intentions.

    Ted hasn't earned any environmental votes and he didn't earn OLCV's endorsement. Ted simply remains the the lesser of the evils. He received environmental votes and OLCV's endorsement by default.

  • askquestions1st (unverified)

    Jonathan Poisner -

    First, I'm well aware of the record of the right with regard to not protecting the quality of the environment, you clueless idiot. Second, to many of us on the same side as the OLCV on many genuine environmental protection battles, your predilection for thinking and communicating with average folks (frequently in a smug condescending way that hides a certain very unattractive self-centeredness), in language heavy on semantically vacuous, propagandistic cliches like "pro-environment" and "anti-environment" is part of the problem rather than the solution. And quite arguably, we just have to look at the Measure 37 fiasco, it costs us far more votes than it gains in the struggle to take our country back from the radical right-wing.

  • Brian (unverified)

    I'll bet you $$$ OLCV didn't even speak to the GREEN candidate. It's a closed process. OLCV is basically a Democratic front organization.

  • JHL (unverified)

    Well, if they kept on endorsing candidates with no shot, their endorsement wouldn't be worth much...

    Of course, this move begs the question: What would a Democrat have to do to not get the endorsement?

    The bar is set so low that the message is that Dems will always get the endorsement so long as they talk tough and don't have to go out on a limb.

  • (Show?)

    Brian wrote:

    I'll bet you $$$ OLCV didn't even speak to the GREEN candidate. It's a closed process.

    You lose the bet, sorry. Does $$$ = $3, $30, or $300? ;-)

    We did interview and read questionnaires submitted by Joe Keating (and Ben Westlund for that matter).

    You can send the check to:

    OLCV 320 SW Stark #530 Portland, OR 97204

in the news 2006

connect with blueoregon