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Environmental Groups Announce Top 2008 Electoral Targets

Contact: Joshua McNeil, (202) 785-8683 or April 24, 2008  

Washington, DC – Building on the success of 2006, particularly the defeat of Richard Pombo, a coalition of leading environmental organizations led by the League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, Environment America, and Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund today announced its top collaborative election targets in 2008.   These organizations will work together to elect pro-environment champions in the Senate races in New Mexico, Colorado, and New Hampshire.
“The greatest obstacle to meaningful legislative action on global warming and other environmental priorities lies in the Senate,” Rodger Schlickeisen of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund said. “A minority of out-of-touch Senators has repeatedly undermined important bills that would have helped to end our dependence on foreign oil, reverse global warming, and chart America’s course to a clean, renewable energy future.’
“Passing vital global warming legislation will require a 60 vote pro-environment majority in the Senate,” LCV President Gene Karpinski said. “And so we have dedicated ourselves to electing new environmental champions in three key states.”
Mark Udall has been a leader on renewable energy since his time in the Colorado State House, and as Co-Chair of the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus, he fights to expand America’s commitment to renewable energy every day.  His lifetime LCV score is 99%.  Tom Udall has fought to defend America’s wild spaces and led the first successful effort to pass meaningful renewable electricity standards in the House in 2007. His lifetime LCV score is 96%.  Former Governor Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire worked with members of both parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants and has pledged to fight for clean energy as a US Senator.
“Together, these three will represent a new generation of leadership in the Senate,” said Cathy Duvall of the Sierra Club. “They understand the urgency of global warming and will bring other Senators together to find and pass real solutions.” 
This coalition of environmental organizations worked together in 2006 to defeat Representative Richard Pombo, investing more than $1.7 million to replace the implacable anti-environment Chairman of the House Resources Committee.  Pombo, whose lifetime LCV score was 7%, was defeated by Jerry McNerney, who earned a 90% LCV score in 2007.  
“The environmental groups’ collaborative efforts in 2006 to defeat Pombo in CA-11 showed the strength of our membership and proved our ability to successfully educate and engage voters face-to-face on environmental issues,” said John DeCock of Clean Water Action. 
 In 2008, these groups will invest a significant amount of money into each of these vital Senate races, while working individually on other races throughout the country. Other organizations are expected to join this effort later this year.  Coalition efforts will include:
- Statewide polling and research to identify key voter targets and refine messaging
- Targeted voter contact, including door-to-door canvassing, phones and mail
- Grassroots organizing and member-to-member communications
- Integrated paid media strategy involving television, radio and Internet
- Aggressive earned media tactics with local and national surrogates
“We are committed to providing voters of New Mexico, Colorado and New Hampshire the information they need to elect the Senators who will shape our country’s future,” Ivan Frishberg, National Political Director for Environment America said. “There is broad public support in these states for investments in the clean energy economy and science based solutions to global warming.  Elected officials who stand on the wrong side of protecting the environment make the choices for voters very easy.” 

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