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Re: E-M:/ Abraham Greenwash press release



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Enviro-Mich message from Thom Peterson <petersont@grps.k12.mi.us>
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A. FRIEND wrote:
>
> PLEASE!  Is it possible that there is more to these bills that make them unattractive or poor policy?  What was the cost, counter arguments, added regulation, expansion of programs involved? Gee, is it possible that a special interest would be selective in deciding what votes to count to skew the report card? Was there only 42 votes relevant to the environment in four years?  If not, is it fair to characterize someone based on a handful of votes selected by a special interest group?
> 

1. I'd like to suggest that the League of Conservation Voters has a
pretty good scorecard system for identifying environmental bills and
sorting the details to determine whether a "Yea" or "Nay" constitutes a
pro-environment or anti-environment vote. Their reporting system does
give you enough information to decide for yourself on a vote-by-vote
basis whether you agree with LCV's conclusions.

2. Do you consider the term "special interest" as interchangeable with
the term "vested interest?" We routinely discount the arguments of those
who stand to gain financial advantage if a decision or policy goes a
certain way. That's vested interest. It's negative conotation comes from
the suspicion that greed often overrules one's concern for the common
good. 

I think environmentalists act out of a concern for the health of the
planet moreso than personal gain. I think of this as enlightened
self-interest, as in: "I'd like to see some of the beauty of the earth
preserved for generations yet to come;" or "the economy is based on a
foundation of resources provided by the environment, so in the long run
it is probably better if we don't kill the goose that laid the golden
egg." 

If this doesn't fit the standard econo/political paradigm, it could be a
considered a kind of special interest. But it certainly isn't the same
as a financially vested interest. 

I think that Sen. Abraham believes in politics as a marketplace and
himself as a merchant of votes. As a former Republican Party State
Chairman, he is no doubt well-versed in the details of campaign finance
law, possesses the skills of political fund-raising, and has learned the
art of influence-peddling. So it comes as no surprise that his defenders
expect all participants in the political marketplace to operate under
the same assumption: you get what you pay for.

Thom Peterson
Grand Haven MI

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