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E-M:/ "Why I'm Voting for ------"

Enviro-Mich message from Terry Lodge <tjlodge50@yahoo.com>

     Mark Winstein's sappy cheerleading for Gore is
disingenuous. So he was a John Anderson voter in 1980,
not realizing that President Carter had reduced
federal-lands logging to a near-historic low? I
wasn't. I gave enough of a damn in 1980 to educate
myself to learn who was the most
environmentally-sensitive candidate, on logging and
other controversies. In 1980, my choice was Jimmy
Carter, hands down (unless you count Barry Commoner,
who ran a symbolic candidacy and wasn't on the ballot
where I voted). My choice now is Ralph Nader, who is
more than a symbolic candidate, since he is helping
pull together a continuing Green movement.

    I voted for Carter in 1980 in part because of his
relatively more enlightened approach to managing
national forest resources than his predecessors, but
also because Carter had flatly prohibited the
reprocessing of plutonium into mixed-oxide fuel
("MOX"). He had taken that stand because he wanted to
project an important message internationally against
the proliferation of nuclear weapons. That
quarter-century-old no-reprocessing policy is now
being reversed, not by a Republican Congress, but by
the Clinton administration, with the highly-visible
and vocal support of Al Gore.

    Folks, there is a Clinton-Gore plan to build a MOX
plant in South Carolina to make commercial fuel. The
U.S. is monetarily sponsoring a joint experiment to
test-fission Russian MOX in Canadian nuclear reactors
as a "nonproliferation" measure; it actually will 
send exactly the opposite message to CANDU-style
reactor owners in six or seven countries, including
India and Pakistan, who are waiting for just such a
green light to separate their plutonium for bombs. We
litigated Parallex Project U.S. shipment of MOX to
Canada in Kalamazoo earlier this year, trying to stop
the U.S. MOX shipment across Michigan and to halt the
insane drift toward the international spread of
nuclear weapons which MOX trafficking will induce.

     Al Gore is signatory to some of the agreements
with Russia. He absolutely supports the MOX approach,
keeping plutonium circulating in the international
economy for centuries to come instead of immobilizing
and entombing it under the supervision of an
international military guard.

    Carter believed in a strong regulatory-oriented
Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Under Clinton, the
commercial nuclear power industry became arguably  the
fastest-deregged industry of the 1990's. The NRC is in
tatters; it will not longer respond to the dramatic
changes in structure of the electric industry, nor
seriously oversee mushrooming technical problems
within the aging reactor pool. The dereg evolution
will absolutely continue in a Gore presidency.

    I've been practicing law in federal courts for
nearly 20 years. By far the most sympathetic and
discerning judges on cases I've litigated and handled
on appeal - including environmental issues, worker and
organized labor issues, First Amendment, Family
Medical Leave Act and ERISA matters - are Carter
appointees. Conversely, I find no discernible
improvement in receptivity of Clinton appointees over
Republican appointees. One-third of Clinton judicial
appointees, adjusted for inflation, were millionaire
corporate lawyers at the time of their appointment;
fewer than 5% of Carter's appointees were. It is
dangerously naive to think that Gore will counter this
trend, much less to use that belief as a reason to
vote for Gore. Remember, the most "liberal" Supreme
Court justices today, David Souter and John Paul
Stevens, were appointed by Republicans.

    I familiarized myself with Jimmy Carter in 1980,
and I've surely done that with Al Gore, and Al Gore is
no Jimmy Carter. Would that he were. And Mark
Winstein, who couldn't recognize Jimmy Carter's
considerably more impressive enviro track record in
1980, surely isn't going to convince me about
corporate sycophant Albert-come-lately in 2000.

    It is foolish, misleading and naive to talk of Al
Gore as "his own man" and speculate how we must
respectfully defer to the future to find out what kind
of president he will be. The best predicter of future
behavior of politicians is the past. Al Gore was never
a "liberal," in the New Deal sense of the term. Al
Gore wrote a really nice book and then broke his
high-profile promise to the residents of East
Liverpool, Ohio over the WTI incinerator. In just the
past few weeks, the USEPA ombudsman after a careful
study has recommended closing the plant for 6 months
to undertake critical emissions tests, and the
Gore/Clinton campaign/administration opposes the
recommendation - hence the WTI opponents demonstrated
the other day in D.C., in a protest that has been so
casually derided on this list.

    Ralph Nader isn't a third party candidate. He is
the candidate of the Second Party. The Democrats and
Republicans are one party, divided by abortion. And,
oh yeah, drilling in the ANWR.

    MSNBC is showing that the Dems are poised to take
back the House of Representatives.


    And Debbie Stabenow just might unseat Spencer in
Michigan. If they do (whether or not they admit it),
those victories will be directly attributable to
Nader's galvanization of voters (that's if we Greens
are such "spoilers" as all our accusers now maintain,
after denying our existence for months and months).
I'll settle for gridlock in Congress if Gore doesn't
win; we enviros can influence our Representatives more
directly and we have some genuine allies there. 

    Dubya can forget the ANWR. Al Gore's election will
not be key to that fight, nor to any of the others. If
anything, environmentalists will continue to have to
make their own way, pounding on the duopoly to even
get a seat at the table, under either Al or Dubya.
When did the environmental movement not have to serve
as "watchdogs?" Winstein sounds like we've been on
some kind of honeymoon the last 8 years. More like we
need to get a divorce.

    At the presidential level, it's better that the
Democrats either recognize that they're Republicans
and give up the facade, or that the non-DLC elements
of the party take back its direction. Either way, I
will vote Green. All the accusations and blame-placing
and finger-pointing and grow-up homilies by Gore
supporters pale when the guys's record is examined. 

    A vote for Gore is a vote for Bush. A vote for
Nader is a vote for Green.

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