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

News Release from
Michigan Sierra Club

109 East Grand River, Lansing, MI 48906 Phone (517) 484-2372  Fax (517) 484-3108

For immediate release:                     Contact: Alison Horton or Dan Farough
Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000                                          (517) 484-2372


Sierra Club Publicizes Polluter Influence Outside Senate Office
Calls on Senator to Give the Money Back - Start Voting for Environment

LANSING - Gathering outside Senator Spencer Abraham's office in downtown 
Lansing, Sierra Club volunteers dressed in toxic protection suits demanded that 
Senator Abraham return the unrivaled amount of money he has taken from special 
interest polluting industries and that he start voting to protect the 
environment.  Framed by a large $10,000 bill banner, the group handed out
mock currency with a campaign contributor analysis on the back to passers-by.

"While repeatedly trying to pass himself off as an environmentalist, 
Abraham turns around and takes record breaking amounts of money from polluters 
working to roll back clean water, air,and public health protections in 
Michigan," said Alison Horton, Director of the Sierra Club's Mackinac Chapter. 
"Senator Abraham is the #1 recipient of polluter dollars in the U.S. Congress. 
He has taken more polluter money this year than any of his 99 Senate colleagues 
or the 435 U.S. Representatives.  This is totally out of step with the people of
Michigan who care about the Great Lakes, our water quality and the natural 

The Sierra Club figures are based on an analysis, updated July 14, 2000, by
the non-partisan Environmental Working Group (EWG), which tracks campaign 
contributions from polluters to candidates.  The analysis reveals that over 
$490,000 flowed into Abraham's coffers since January 1, 2000.  Of that $490,000,
over $118,000 came from Dirty Water PACs - industries that have a vested 
interest in seeing clean water protections that also protect the Great
Lakes rolled back.  Contributors include Exxon PAC, Mobil Corporation PAC, 
Coalpac, and the Chemical Manufacturers Association.  Abraham was the top 
recipient of polluter PAC support in categories of Dirty Air, Toxics, Global 
Warming and Public Land exploitation PACs. 

Abraham, earlier this year, used the same Environmental Working Group 
analysis to attack his opponent in the Senate race.

"Abraham's record closely reflects the concerns of polluters," said Horton.
"If one were to take the wish list policies of polluting industries and lay them
over top of Abraham's voting record, one would see, despite all Abraham's 
claims, almost complete symmetry."  The non-partisan League of Conservation 
Voters gives Senator Abraham a 0% score for 1999 and a 6% score over his tenure 
in the Senate on its environmental voting scorecard.

"The polluter funding is just further evidence that Sen. Abraham's claims 
to be an environmentalist are as hollow as Humpty Dumpty," said Voter Education 
Coordinator Dan Farough.  "Wrapping himself in a green flag once every six years
and speaking loudly about the environment won't repair his shattered record.  A 
first real step would be to give the money from polluters back and to vote for 
clean water in upcoming budget bills."  

The Sierra Club has produced a vote chart to provide information about the 
environmental voting records of members of the Michigan congressional 
delegation.  It is available from the Michigan Sierra Club office in Lansing at 
(517) 484-2372.


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