When things don’t look as good for Mikey Fitzpatrick as he would like (that is, Mikey's recent flip-flop on supporting Dubya and his Iraq war and the subsequent hit he took over it, and rightly so), he always falls back on the two issues where he seems to have a modest amount of credibility, and that would be energy policy and the environment. And this is what he touted for himself in his most recent correspondence, as follows.
Mike has been, and will remain, opposed to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Mike has argued consistently that we cannot drill our way to energy independence – we must change our habits and explore new technology.I won’t comment on that second sentence, but regarding the first, did you know that Mikey voted for a conference report that would have allowed drilling in the ANWR (Roll Call #149 per this link)? Sounds like another “flip-flop” to me.
As noted here, Fitzpatrick did vote against repealing the authority to designate an area as “critical habitat” for an endangered species. Also, as a member of the Open Space caucus, Fitzpatrick did support increased funding for the environment over the pittance proposed by Bushco. Both of these items are noted on Fitzpatrick’s mailer of course, and it’s good stuff, I’ll admit.
However, when it comes to “New Energy Solutions,” the next topic Fitzpatrick mentions (global warming requires more conservation and new ideas, blah blah blah), did you know that he voted against greater investment in cleaner energy? (Roll Call #118).
Fitzpatrick also touts his vote to require greater Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFÉ) standards for automakers. This was added as an amendment to the House energy bill (HR 6) by Repug Rep. Sherwood Boehlert of New York and Dem Edward Markey of Massachusetts in April 2005. I wasn’t able to verify Fitzpatrick’s vote on this, but it doesn’t matter as far as I’m concerned, because the amendment was defeated by a vote of 254-177 (Roll Call #121).
Another piece of legislation that Fitzpatrick lets us know about in the mailer is something called the Reduce Individuals Dependency on Energy (RIDE) Act a few weeks ago (so clever with acronyms Mikey is, right?). Basically, what this amounts to is a tax credit to encourage people to use public transit (and Fitzpatrick has supported AMTRAK funding, which is damn nice of him, seeing as how it affects so many of his constituents). This, as far as I’m concerned, is better than nothing, but not by much.
And of course, as the MyDD link notes:
Fitzpatrick voted to fundamentally rewrite our national mining policy by ending a decade-long congressional ban on the sale of public lands to mining companies. These lands, which are currently used for recreation, wildlife, fisheries or regional drinking water, could now be sold without public input or environmental review, and Americans who now enjoy them could see them privatized and closed. The lands could even be used for real estate development or other purposes (Roll Call #601).There’s much more from the MyDD link that pretty much obliterates Mikey’s record on the environment, by the way (also, as one commenter noted, couldn’t Mikey help his environmental “cred” by not killing so many trees in the process of creating these mailers of his?).
Fitzpatrick voted against requiring federal agencies to identify the environmental impacts of their programs on minority and low-income populations and to develop policies for implementing their programs in a nondiscriminatory manner (Roll Call #130).
Fitzpatrick voted to cut discretionary spending on the environment and natural resources by $2.85 billion, more than 9 percent below the previous year's levels. By 2010, funding levels for these programs would be 21 percent below the level needed to maintain current activities. Among the hardest hit are the Land and Water Conservation Fund, as well as programs to invest in clean water infrastructure, protect oceans and coasts, and conserve agricultural lands. The resolution also allowed the Arctic Refuge to be opened up for drilling through a fast track budget reconciliation bill (Roll Call #88).
Fitzpatrick voted to waive any federal or state law in building roads, walls, fences and other barriers along U.S. borders. In addition to jeopardizing a wide array of protected federal lands, the waiver provision would deny citizens the right to appeal (Roll Call #29).
But believe it or not, I have not mentioned yet my biggest gripe with Mikey’s recent campaign correspondence, and here it is.
The words “Republican party” are absolutely NOWHERE to be found. What IS included is a photo of President John F. Kennedy and this typically inspiring quote:
“Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future.”This is sickening, appalling, and ultimately disgusting (indicating that Mikey is more “yellow” than “green”).
I’ll plan to have more to say on our illustrious U.S. House representative a bit later.