The following letter to the editor was submitted to the Herald-Times in response to Mike Leonard's column last Sunday. The letter has not run.
Thanks to Mike Leonard for Sunday's column about the role greens played in this year's election. It's an important discussion, but several points in the article require clarification and elaboration.
Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's regional office in Chicago sent comments to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) that are highly critical of INDOT's preferred alternatives for Interstate 69. EPA's letter is significant for three reasons:
The Thursday before the Nov. 5 election, WRTV-Channel 6 broadcast an interview with TeleResearch pollster Jeff Lewis. Lewis had recently completed a poll of likely 7th District voters and found that Congresswoman Julia Carson's challenger Brose McVey, once behind, had now pulled ahead by 3 percentage points. "This race is turning," a solemn Lewis pronounced.
Way back in the 1950's when I first tasted politics and journalism, Republicans briefly controlled the White House and Congress. With the exception of Joseph McCarthy and his vicious ilk, they were a reasonable lot, presided over by that giant war hero, Dwight Eisenhower, who was conservative by temperament and moderate in the use of power.
That brand of Republican is gone. And for the first time in the memory of anyone alive, the entire federal government -- the Congress, the Executive, the Judiciary -- is united behind a right-wing agenda for which George W. Bush believes he now has a mandate.
News release: Environmental Law & Policy Center of the Midwest
In a potentially major setback for INDOT, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has formally objected to INDOT's draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the I-69 highway project.
John Moore, attorney with the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC), said that "INDOT is caught between the rock of common sense and the hard place of the law. EPA's comments show that the law requires INDOT to choose Alternative 1 - the I-70/US 41 route - because it both meets the project's core goals and it would cause far less environmental damage, especially to aquatic resources, than INDOT's preferred new-terrain routes."
News release: American Lands, Indiana Forest Alliance, Heartwood, IU Student Environmental Action Coalition
After feeling pressure from more than 600 protests at Staples stores nationwide, tens of thousands of letters and calls to the company’s CEO, and news coverage across the country, office supply giant Staples announced Tuesday that it will meet the Paper Campaign’s demands to move towards forest-friendly paper sales. The Paper Campaign applauds Staples’ move to set the standard in the office supply industry and is now looking to other paper retailers such as Office Max, Office Depot and Corporate Express to follow Staples’ lead.
Bloomington City Councilman Andy Ruff called on citizens to boycott the Herald-Times during a speech at last Thursday's I-69 benefit. He accused the paper of bias in its coverage of the highway.
On Friday, H-T publisher E. Mayer Maloney Jr. made Ruff's case for him. In a publisher's note in Saturday's paper, Maloney not only confirmed that the paper is a tool used by those with money to influence important public policy decisions in our community, he gave readers a crash course in one way it's done.
The following items were posted by Bloomington Alternative Editor Steven Higgs on the Sierra Club's Hoosier Topics online environmental discussion list in response to various posts in the days after Tuesday's election.
Euphoria swept the Fountain Square Ballroom on Election Night '98 once it became obvious we Democrats had a good day. Among the victories, the electorate chose a dynamic, progressive Democrat for county commissioner, Brian O'Neill, and three Democrats for county council. One of the council candidates, Mark Stoops, was even a progressive and an environmental stalwart.
On Election Night '02, however, euphoric was not the condition of Democrats - well, at least not for most. The electorate reselected the progressive and environmental Democratic council incumbent, but removed the progressive Democratic commissioner and rejected three Democratic council candidates.
So, the Democrats have paid the price for a cowardly, halfhearted, inept campaign, and they didn't even see it coming. The party used to be handy with campaign mechanics: good polling, energetic at the precinct level in getting out the vote. This time around they had nothing much at the base and at the top end of the Democratic National Committee, chairman Terry McAuliffe, flush with millions minted from Global Crossing, a prime symbol of the burst bubble of the Clinton years.