WASHINGTON, D.C.: The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) today announced the first members of its trademark Dirty Dozen program for the 2016 cycle: Joe Heck in Nevada, Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, and Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania. All three are running for U.S. Senate. For 20 years, the Dirty Dozen has targeted candidates— regardless of party affiliation — who consistently side against the environment and are running in races in which LCV has a serious chance to affect the outcome. Last cycle, LCV defeated seven of the 12 Dirty Dozen candidates. In the last presidential year of 2012, LCV defeated 11 of 12.
“Johnson, Toomey and Heck are fitting debut members of our 2016 Dirty Dozen as all have obstinately opposed environmental protections and consistently sided with the big polluters who have contributed nearly $2.4 million to their campaigns, a staggering total,” said LCV President Gene Karpinski. “Their refusal to accept the settled science regarding humans’ role in the warming of our planet, combined with their refusal to take any action to curb the impact of climate change, is sadly only the tip of the iceberg. Each one has earned this dubious distinction by consistently voting against clean air and water protections, to block the Clean Power Plan, and to protect polluters’ interests instead of the health of our families. Their places on the Dirty Dozen mean we are ready to communicate just how dangerously out of step they are with voters in their states.”
Senator Ron Johnson is a returning member of the Dirty Dozen with a 4 percent lifetime LCV score and one of the most reliable anti-climate votes in the Senate. He has repeatedly tried to block the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, and in 2015, he voted against every single pro-environment action on the National Environmental Scorecard. He has received nearly $500,000 from big polluters.
Johnson is being challenged for his Senate seat in Wisconsin by environmental champion and former Senator Russ Feingold, who has a 95 percent lifetime LCV score.
Senator Pat Toomey is another repeat Dirty Dozen offender, who has led the Senate charge against the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which he called “out of bounds.” His 7 percent lifetime score on the National Environmental Scorecard sank to 0 percent in 2015, and he consistently votes to prop up dirty fossil fuels. He has received nearly $1.5 million from big polluters.
Toomey is being challenged for his Senate seat in Pennsylvania by longtime environmental leader Katie McGinty.
Representative Joe Heck is a climate change denier with an abysmal lifetime score of just 8 percent on LCV’s National Environmental Scorecard. He has opposed cutting carbon pollution from power plants, attacked the EPA as “gutless and incompetent”, and repeatedly voted for tax breaks to Big Oil. He has received over $400,000 from big polluters.
Heck is running for the open Senate seat in Nevada against clean energy leader Catherine Cortez Masto. LCV launched its first Senate independent expenditure in the 2016 cycle with a persuasion canvass campaign in support of Cortez Masto in April.
Paid for by the League of Conservation Voters, www.lcv.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.