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E-M:/ Republicans battle it out



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Enviro-Mich message from "T. H. Sanderson" <sirdufus@freeway.net>
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Sorry I missed the WKAR interview, I am looking forward to being able to
share REP America's view with you all.  I know many were skeptical we are
for real. I hope this article helps clear all this up.  Thanks for listening.

(c) Copyright 1997, 1998 The Christian Science Publishing
           Society. All rights reserved. 


FRIDAY, JULY 31, 1998 


GOP Feuds Over What It Means to Be 'Green'

Factions look to take up mantle of Theodore Roosevelt: Republican and 
conservationist.

Brad Knickerbocker
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
Send e-mail to: bradknick@aol.com

If Teddy Roosevelt were around today, where would he stand on the 
environment?

As a good Republican, would the former president side with the current 
congressional leadership? Or as a leading conservationist who set up 50 
wildlife refuges, would TR be more likely to sign up with the Sierra Club 
and the League of Conservation Voters - groups that generally oppose GOP 
lawmakers?

The question is more than academic, and it's one that is causing a family 
feud among Republicans around the United States seeking to improve the 
party's environmental image.

On one side is a grass-roots organization made up of several thousand 
local officials and other card-carrying Republicans in 47 states. Begun 
in 1995, it's called Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP). 
Group leaders have been invited to address party organizations around the 
country, and they've met with top officials at the Republican National 
Committee.

They've also acted as party gadflies, frequently criticizing some 
fellow-Republicans while voicing support for the minority of GOP 
lawmakers who tend to vote in what is generally perceived to be a 
"greener" manner. "We're definitely a presence," says REP co-founder 
Martha Marks.

On the other side is a just-formed group called Coalition of Republican 
Environmental
Advocates. CREA's stated goals are "local solutions over Washington 
mandates, sound
science over emotionalism, and common sense over extremism."

A different model

In addressing the group's kick-off fund-raising dinner last month, House 
Speaker Newt Gingrich called for a "conservative, practical, cooperative, 
high-tech, volunteeristic method" of environmental protection in contrast 
to "the Al Gore left-wing model [that] is centralized, bureaucratic, 
adversarial, litigious, noneconomic, [and] antitechnology."

CREA has begun awarding Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Awards -dubbed 
"Teddies" - to fellow Republicans who do something noteworthy to protect
the environment.
But critics say this new group is more image than substance. They note, 
for example, that CREA's steering committee includes registered lobbyists 
for the petroleum, mining, automaking, firearms, and alcoholic-beverage 
industries. The host committee for the group's fund-raiser included Reps. 
Helen Chenoweth of Idaho, Richard Pombo of California, and Don Young of 
Alaska - lawmakers who consistently score near the bottom of the League 
of Conservation Voters' environmental ratings.

Battle over riders

Recently, the feud has focused on legislative riders - last-minute 
amendments to appropriations and other bills - that could reduce federal 
spending on environmental protection while increasing such things as 
logging in national forests.

Writing in The Washington Post this week, Republican Sens. Slade Gorton 
of Washington
and Larry Craig of Idaho argue that "these amendments are an important 
way for Congress to
save taxpayers from wasteful agency spending." Senators Gorton and Craig 
assert that legislative riders "enjoy a long-standing precedent because 
of their use by Republican and Democratic Congresses alike to rein in the 
excesses of Republican and Democratic administrations alike."
Ms. Marks of REP, on the other hand, says this is "essentially an attempt 
to sneak through under cover things they know wouldn't pass in the light 
of day."

"I think most people would prefer their legislation to be cooked up 
front," she says.

Apparently, so do most Republicans. According to a recent survey 
conducted by pollster Celinda Lake, 69 percent of respondents - including 
68 percent of those who identified themselves as Republicans - said 
President Clinton should veto any legislation that includes "riders which 
relax environmental legislation." Even among Republicans, only 16 percent 
said Mr. Clinton should sign such bills.

Ms. Lake generally works for Democrats, and this survey was commissioned 
by the Wilderness
Society. But Republican pollsters are getting similar results. A national 
survey by Republican pollster Richard Wirthlin last fall found that 
two-thirds of those questioned "place themselves squarely in the 
pro-environmental camp."

"Since its extremist beginnings 30 years ago, environmentalism has 
matured, gaining popular
support and becoming part of the mainstream," Mr. Wirthlin reported. So 
mainstream, in fact, that Republicans now head both the Sierra Club and 
the League of Conservation Voters.

"I know firsthand how important and publicly popular it is to be a 
Republican and a good
conservationist," says Mike Hayden, the head of the League of 
Conservation Voters. "Outside of Washington, the environment is not a 
partisan issue - it's a quality-of-life issue."

Tapping Teddy's legacy

This is no doubt why Republicans across the GOP spectrum are trying to 
assume the mantle of Teddy Roosevelt.

No one knows for sure where TR would fit into Republican politics on the 
environment today, but the position of his great-grandson and namesake is 
quite clear. When Theodore Roosevelt IV is not busy as managing director 
of Lehman Brothers in New York, he's active as a board member of the 
Wilderness Society and the League of Conservation Voters.

Friends say Mr. Roosevelt is "not amused" that his great-grandfather is 
being cited by the CREA as its hero.



   The URL for this page is:
http://www.csmonitor.com/durable/1998/07/31/fp3s1-csm.htm

   For further information:

       Republicans for Environmental Protection-  www.repamerica.org
       Coalition Of Republican Enviromental     -   www.gop4environment.org
       Advocates 
       League of Conservation Voters

Please Note: The Monitor does not endorse the
sites behind these links. We offer them for your
additional research. 


 




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