The Austin Chronicle

The Green Voting Guide

By Lee Nichols, October 31, 2006, 1:21pm, Newsdesk

This article about the League of Conservation Voters was previously published in our paper version of the paper, but it bears repeating here as you head for the voting booth. If environmental issues are key in helping you make picks for Congress and Senate, the LCV scorecard is mighty illuminating.:

Enviros Say Doggett Shines, Others ... Stink
Just in time for the November elections, the League of Conservation Voters has issued its voting scorecard for the second session of the 109th Congress (that is, the 2006 session). Unfortunately for environment-minded Texans, it is depressingly similar to previous scorecards.

The LCV selects key congressional votes on environmental issues (e.g., Arctic National Wildlife Refuge oil drilling, increasing offshore drilling, strengthening food safety) and tracks whether each member voted pro- or anti-environment, according to the LCV's take on each bill. For 2006, the Washington-based group gave zeroes to Texas' two senators, Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, for anti-environment votes on all seven Senate bills tracked by the LCV. Texas' House delegation was hardly better – our 32 reps averaged only a 22% pro-environment score on 12 monitored votes.

On the upside, Austin Democrat Lloyd Doggett (District 25) was the only Texan to get a perfect 100% score; his average over his 12-year congressional tenure is 98%. The Republicans who represent other parts of Austin didn't rate nearly as well – Round Rock's John Carter (District 31) scored 0%, while Austin's Michael McCaul (District 10) and San Antonio's Lamar Smith (District 21) both scored 17%. At least the latter two improved on their zeroes from 2005.

Of course, the LCV issues the scorecards to guide green-minded voters at the ballot box. On Nov. 7, Hutchison faces Democrat Barbara Ann Radnofsky and Libertarian Scott Lanier Jameson, and McCaul is challenged by Democrat Ted Ankrum and Libertarian Michael Badnarik; Doggett and Smith both face special elections with multiple opponents, the latter challenged by Democrat John Courage, among others.

To download a PDF of the 2006 scorecard, click here.

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