Bill Clinton
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:14:48 -0500

Thank you Lynn, Dave, and Bill for your comments on the piece about what
a lousy environmentalist Bill Clinton is. (Their comments are at the end of
this piece.)
After watching the "Federal Debate" gang toss Ross Perot (no friend of
mine) out of the debates because "he couldn't win", it really began to sink
in to me that my old paranoid "Republicrats" notion might not be so far off.
I am frequently told "that we live in a democrasy" in arguments over who
should control what. I'd like to remind people that we do NOT live in a
democrasy but a representative government. We elect people to represent us
in government, and the way they get elected requires enourmous amounts of
money which they have to raise. This leads to a situation where our
representatives are in fact rather beholden to those who paid for their
election, which in turn leads to a situation where our elected officials say
one thing for public consumption and do something quite different for their
moneyed constituency. Both Democrates and Republicans suffer from this
Environmental issues tend to have popular support, but not nearly so
much moneyed support. (Much of this has to do with how money gets made in
our society, and could be changed in more environmental manners ala Hawkens -
perhaps he is right when he says only business can save the world.) This
leads to a government that pretends to be green, but really is not! In my
opinion the Democrates are better pretenders than the Republicans and thus
have the support of all those naive environmentalist out there who don't get
And as to you Bill - My Wilson supporting friends spent a lot of time
telling me how environmental Gov. Wilson was: Well he just ain't!
So now where? I'm not sure.....but I know that I've voted the "best of
two evils" for long enough. Frankly I don't think going to hell at twenty
miles per hour is much of an improvement over fifty miles per hour! I for
one will vote for neither parties this time around! I know that there are
more Americans who feel neither party is doing a good job for many reasons,
which is why a nut like Perot got 19% in the last election, and why Powell
was so appealing! America is ready for a new party, and the two grand old
parties know this, which is why they are now making it so hard for anyone new
to come along and share the stage! Kind of like the PRI in Mexico!
I guess this is not even a republic any longer now that the Federal
Debate Commission gets to decide who is "reasonable" and who is not!

Comments anyone????

>Steve: I tend to agree with the author, to a degree. PA is a good >example
of a state whose environmental record was never good. However, under the
Ridge Administration (R) is has become a killing ground for the
environment. Clinton has been awful. The question remains; how much worse
would a Republican president have been? The message for enviros is to be
AGGRESSIVE, focus on the issues, target the responsible parties, and
promote SOLUTIONS.
Lynn Landes

>Well Steve, you opened the can, and I am glad you did. As one of the
>Board's registered Republicans, I have been saying for over a year that
>the environmental movement has continued its support of the DNC and the
President with a mind-number obediency . Its no secret that Bill Clinton
and Al Gore THINK that they are for the environment, and that their words
should be enough to serve as proof. Their record, as Mr. Cockburn (who
is no friend of the GOP) points out, is less than satisfactory.

Environmental groups like ours should need something more than words to
convince us that the Man at the Top is indeed what he says he is--but I
am sure that regardless of his environmental records in Little Rock, as
well as D.C., many environmentalists will be voting for him in November.
What happens to the environment if he is re-elected is anyone's
guess--he has made no statement about his future environmental policy.

As far as his oppoenent, Mr. Dole, I would only say that despite the
rehtoric, the Republicans are no more interested in polluting our water,
destroying our forests, or dirtying our air as are Democrats. As I
pointed out to Rick Best in one of the policy roundtables at the last
conference, with a single excepotion, every bill opposed by California
Against Waste were sponsored by Democrats--and the same is true at the
national level.

What would Bob Dole's environmental policy be--well, he has't said
anything specific, but I do take solace in the fact that the Republican
congress, headed in both houses by men from agricultural states, was the
first in 40 years to cut back subsidies to farmers. Anyone who argues
that logging and other virgin product processors have more money than Ag
is seriously underestimating the size, power, and organization of the
country's Agribusiness sector, which leads me to my final point. With
Dole's plan to cut government spending by an additional $700billion, can
an end to subsidies to the forest products industry be far behind?

Bill McGowan
Rincon Recycling

I didn't think much of the opinion piece by Cockburn. Clinton's
environmental track record hasn't been stellar, but I don't think he has
been as bad as that piece makes him out to be. And if he is elected to a
second term, there will be less need for him to compromise tough issues
with an eye on the polls and next election.

But we should all work to make the environment a motherhood issue,
something that all parties see as important. If we can agree that
protecting the environment is good, then the arguments are about how best
to achieve desired goals.

Dave Wade
Recycling Coordinator