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E-M:/ Sierra Club Blasts Sen. Abraham at Lake St. Clair

Enviro-Mich message from daniel.farough@sfsierra.sierraclub.org

News from
Michigan Sierra Club
109 East Grand River Ave., Lansing, MI 48906 Ph: 517/484-2372 Fax: 517/484-3108

For Immediate Release                                                   Contact:
Monday, July 24, 2000                                                   Alison 
Horton or                                   


TV and Radio Ads Go Up Throughout Region
Volunteers Take Vote Chart Door to Door in Shoreline Communities

Tell Sen. Abraham to Support Clean Water in Upcoming Budget Bills

Macomb County - At Macomb County's Metro Beach Metro Park, today, Sierra Club, 
Called Sen. Abraham's record on protecting Lake St. Clair and solving the 
region's continuing water quality problems, a "record of neglect."  Sierra Club 
announced a new TV and Radio Ad campaign and the distribution of thousands of 
vote charts to local residents.  The environmental group called the Abraham 
record on the Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair and water protections "abysmal."  The 
Ads and grassroots effort aim to expose the Abraham record and call upon 
Michigan residents to call the Senator at 248-350-0510 and ask him to protect 
embattled clean water laws this fall.  

"When it comes to Lake St Clair and the Great Lakes, Abraham has been a 
'showhorse', taking credit for efforts he had nothing to do with and hiding from
those he did," said Alison Horton, Director of the Mackinac Chapter of the 
Sierra Club.  "While, in D.C., the Senator has been a real workhorse alright, a 
workhorse for polluters and the policies of neglect for the Great Lakes and Lake
St. Clair."

The Sierra Club TV and radio Ads specifically call attention to Senator 
Abraham's votes against programs that would have provided aid to communities, 
like those in Macomb and Oakland Counties, that continue to wrestle with beach 
closures, sewage overflows and water quality problems.  In 1998, Abraham voted 
down the Clean Water Action Plan [S.C.R. 86, April, 1998] that would have 
allocated $1.35 billion to help communities deal with combined sewage overflows,
like those that close beaches along Lake St. Clair and make human contact with 
the water hazardous - in some locations ecoli levels registered over 80 times 
higher than what is safe for human contact.  The Plan also provided funding for 
buffer strips along rivers and streams to combat urban and agricultural runoff 
pollution.  Such funding could have benefited the Clinton River and its 
tributaries throughout Macomb and Oakland County.  The group also cited his 
continual voting to weaken enforcement of clean water laws [H.R. 2099, Sept. 
1995] and attempts to roll back the publics right-to-know about toxins in their 
water and air [S.343, July 1995].  TV ads will be running in prime time slots 
across Southeast Michigan, including Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and 
Livingston Counties.  TV ads run from July 25 through July 31.  The Radio Ads 
run during drive times in the same areas.

The vote chart compares Senator Abraham with Senator Levin and the members of 
the Southeast Michigan delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives and 
examines key votes on topics ranging from water quality to local growth planning
measures. "This shows in black and white that Abraham is weighing down the 
Southeast Michigan delegation, and is way out of step with people's concerns 
about beach closings and water quality problems," said Horton.  The chart is 
equipped with a tear away accountability post card addressed to Senator Abraham 
urging him to support Michigan's "Great Lake Heritage" by voting to protect 
clean water laws in upcoming budget bills.  Volunteers are distributing the vote
chart and tear away post card throughout Macomb County from July 15 - July 29.  
"We're doing this because Macomb County needs help not hindrance from our 
Senators in D.C.," said Steve Walker, Sierra Club, volunteer.  "I've watched 
Abraham try and take credit for the work of state lawmakers and local officials,
while voting against us in D.C. and that's not right."

The Sierra Club says that it is focusing on Macomb County, not only because of 
the need for addressing persistent water quality problems, but also to get the 
truth out about the real environmental records of public officials.  "Macomb 
County was exposed to a real farce when Senator Abraham strolled along Metro 
Beach and showhorsed himself on TV Ads for the Clean Michigan Initiative as an 
environmentalist," said Farough.  "The Senator never told the public that the 
Initiative was made by State lawmakers, not Senators in D.C., nor did he tell 
the truth about his efforts roll back clean water laws and block funding for 
sewer upgrades."  "What has been his record in D.C.?" asked Farough, "Abraham's 
been in lock-step with the polluting interests funding his campaign - almost to 
a vote.  When it comes to the environment, he is a workhorse for the polluters. 
People of Michigan need to know the truth and we urge them to call Sen. Abraham 
at 248-350-0510 and tell him to support clean water in upcoming budget bills to 
protect Michigan's Great Lakes and water."

Contact the Sierra Club at 517-484-2372 for copies of the TV and radio ads, 
documentation and the vote chart.


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