Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Big Oil, Brian, Clay and Dave

Tell Them to Step Aside.

Dear Friend,

How's this for a dubious proposition? Right in your home state of California, Brian Bilbray, a former Republican congressman turned energy company lobbyist, is trying to convince voters that he's the right person to send to Congress to replace Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

Most Republican congressmen just think it's their job to do the bidding of powerful energy companies. Bilbray could have a leg up on them. It really is his job.

I've got a far better idea. Let's send the Democratic candidate Francine Busby to Washington instead; the special election to fill Cunningham's seat is only 3 weeks away. Francine is one of three fast-moving, hard-charging pro-environment Democrats we're focusing our energies on this week.

Support strong pro-environment Democratic candidates right now.

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.

Clay Shaw (Florida) and Dave Reichert (Washington) are from opposite ends of the country. But, they're as close as they could be when it comes to cozying up to polluters and giant oil companies. In fact, they share identical 28% scores on the non-partisan League of Conservation Voters environmental scorecard. That means they vote against the environment 7 out of every 10 chances they get.

They've voted to open up the Arctic Refuge to drilling, gut funding of environmental protections for clean water and environmental conservation, and sell off our public lands to the big mining companies. We can't let this continue.

Support strong pro-environment Democratic candidates right now.

The contrast couldn't be more compelling. Ron Klein, running to unseat Clay Shaw, has been a leader in the Florida State Senate opposing the Bush administration's efforts to open up Florida's coastline to oil drilling. And Darcy Burner, opposing Dave Reichert in Washington, is running because she's fed up with the Bush Republicans paying only lip service to alternative energy and conservation while they give away billions of dollars in tax subsidies to giant oil companies that are already raking in record profits.

Here's how you can help. Make sure the voters in Florida and Washington state reject the 28% voting records of anti-environment Republicans by donating $28 each to the fast-moving campaigns of Ron Klein and Darcy Burner.

Support strong pro-environment Democratic candidates right now.

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.

If possible, I urge you to send $28 to each of the three pro-environment candidates we're focusing on this week. If you can't afford that, I urge you to pick one or two candidates to support. But, whatever you do, don't let pass this opportunity to build strong momentum in must-win races across the nation that will determine who controls Congress for the next two years.

Thanks so much for all of the hard work you're putting into this campaign.


John Kerry

P.S. In addition to providing direct candidate assistance, I hope you'll add a special donation to Keeping America's Promise in support of our broader efforts to help shape the outcome of this November's elections.

Paid for by Friends of John Kerry, Inc.
Authorized by Darcy Burner for Congress
Authorized by Klein for Congress
Authorized by Francine Busby for Congress

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