The Sierra Club
did undecided Democratic voters no favors today by issuing a joint endorsement
[PDF] to former Gov. John Kitzhaber
and former Secretary of State Bill Bradbury
in the Dems' gubernatorial primary.
The organization, which claims nearly 20,000 members in Oregon, does some great work and justifiably thinks its backing means something to voters as evidenced by this discussion of the Republican gubernatorial candidates in a statement from Sierra Club conservation program director Ivan Maluski:
On the Republican side, the Sierra Club also assessed the candidacies of Allen Alley and Chris Dudley. While Alley deserves credit for participating in the gubernatorial debate sponsored by the Sierra Club, he failed to fill out a written questionnaire. His answers in the debate revealed too much reliance on market forces to create new technologies to address environmental problems, while offering few real-world policy solutions to address these challenges, or measures to encourage or push the market to develop solutions over the next four to eight years.
Meanwhile, Chris Dudley's absence from the debate and failure to fill out a questionnaire demonstrated both an apparent lack of ideas on the types of environmental policies he would support or oppose, and a lack of interest in talking to conservation organizations about the future of Oregon. Dudley appears not to grasp that environmental protection is a mainstream Oregon value shared by voters across the political spectrum. To borrow a quote from Allen Alley: “If you're not willing to defend your positions… in front of the Sierra Club, then you don't deserve to be governor.”
But if you do defend your positions in front of the Sierra Club in a way that is acceptable to club members, you still only get the electoral equivalent of kissing your great aunt:
“The Sierra Club rarely makes dual endorsements, but in this case it was particularly appropriate. Oregon, the public at large, and Sierra Club members who want to see environmental leaders in Salem will all be well served by either John Kitzhaber or Bill Bradbury as Oregon's next governor,” stated Ivan Maluski, Conservation Program Coordinator for the Oregon Chapter Sierra Club.
We'll translate: throughout the campaign at the recent Sierra Club/Oregon League of Conservation voters environmental summit, Bradbury told enviros
exactly what they wanted to hear. Kitzhaber did not. But Kitzhaber is way ahead in the polls; hence (so like OLCV
), a joint endorsement.