Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Local Pols Beat Averages for Eco Scorecard

Most legislators posture themselves as being green, but Environment New Jersey, a state-wide citizen-based advocacy group, decided to find out just who was walking the environmental walk -- and who wasn't. In a recently released "scorecard," each member of the state's 213th legislature received a grade from ENJ. "It's important for voters to know where their elected officials stand on the environment. We want to make it easier for them to decide how much the green rhetoric of legislators is matched by their voting record," explained Doug O'Malley, the organization's field director.

The good news from O'Malley is that our local legislators scored pretty well.
While none of them hit the 100% mark (maybe next year?), all but one ranked above average; Senator Kevin O'Toole, (R ), scored a failing 50% in both 2009 an 2010.
Snaps go to our political green champs -- especially the two top scorers -- Ronald Rice and John McKeon. Keep up the good work, fellas.

Ralph Caputo(D), 63%
Joseph Cryan(D) 63%
Sheila Oliver(D) 63%
Dick Codey(D) 63/75%
Ronald Rice(D) 75/75%
John McKeon(D) 88%.

The bad news: The average score for both the State Senate and the State Assembly took a big dip from 70% and 75% respectively to 55%. O'Malley, noted that "this drop reflects an increase in attempts - some successful - to rollback existing environmental protections." He adds that despite this decline in green performance, "there were some stand-outs who were willing to defend the environment time and again, who scored 100% on the scorecard; Asm. Peter Barnes (18), Asw. Linda Greenstein (14), Sen. Bob Smith (17) and Sen. Shirley Turner (15)." Another significant factor in the downward trend are 4 Republican Assembly members -- Asw. Allison Littell McHose (24), Asm. Gary Chiusano (24), Asm. Jay Webber (26) and now retired Asm. Rick Merkt (25), who scored big zeros, bringing the average down considerably.

No scores here for Governor Christie, although he has undertaken several actions that are seen as a step backward by other environmental groups.

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