Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A New Low for Big Green: Environmental Defense Fund PAC Fundraising for Lindsey Graham

Earlier this week, I criticized Big Green groups like NRDC and the Sierra Club for endorsing Keystone XL supporters. I don't think that environmental groups should be running ads and raising money for Democrats like Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Mark Begich (D-AK) because one should have far stronger dealbreakers when considering endorsements. (Running ads against their opponents, rather than for them, is another story, though.)

That, although problematic, wasn't as bad as when the Environmental Defense Fund and its subsidiary Moms Clean Air Force decided to back Republican Susan Collins against her progressive Democratic challenger, Shenna Bellows. Never mind that Susan Collins has only a D on the League of Conservation Voters scorecard, or that a vote for Susan Collins is a vote for Mitch McConnell as Majority Leader and Jim Inhofe as EPW chair.

However, EDF, commonly viewed as the corporatist wing of the environmental community, has hit a new low: fundraising for Lindsey Graham.
WASHINGTON -– Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will attend a fundraiser co-hosted by one of the nation’s top environmental advocates on Thursday, according to an invitation of the event obtained by The Huffington Post.
Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, is co-hosting the fundraiser for Graham in New York at the home of Julian Robertson, a retired hedge fund manager.

Graham’s Senate office did not return a request for comment. In a statement to The Huffington Post, Krupp called the senator a “friend of mine.”
"I don’t always agree with him on every issue,” Krupp said, “but the Senator cares deeply about South Carolina and the future of our country."
Krupp is one of 18 co-hosts of the Thursday event. Co-chairs are asked to donate $5,200, vice-chairs are asked to give $2,600, and attendees are asked for $1,000 donations. The Environmental Defense Fund said Krupp is representing the Environmental Defense Action Fund, the group's 501(c)(4) arm, in co-hosting the event.
Back in 2009 and 2010, Lindsey Graham pretended to care about climate change and dragged the Senate bill rightward by demanding numerous concessions before ultimately backing out. Last year, he voted to block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. He is a co-sponsor of Mitch McConnell's Senate resolution disapproving of the EPA's recent rule regulating emissions from power plants.

His 2013 LCV score was 31%, his highest ever. His lifetime score is 12%. What an environmental champion that Graham is.

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