Saturday, August 30, 2014

Opinion: Conservation Group Fails Fairness Test

The following was submitted to The Eye by Molly Salafia. The Eye welcomes all signed articles.
To the Editor,

I was troubled to learn of the "bipartisan" Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) endorsements of local candidates for the State Senate and House.The issue is that not one of the local Republican candidates received the League's questionnaire. Specifically those representing districts which include Middletown, Angel Fernandez (R-100th District), Linda Syznkowicz (R-33rd District), and Len Suzio (R-13th District) did not receive CTLCV's survey; a fact confirmed by campaign representatives upon my inquiry.

When I heard about the endorsement I called CTLCV and asked why some candidates, specifically the above, didn't receive the survey. A representative told me that CTLCV didn't have Fernandez, Syznkowicz, or Suzio’s e-mail addresses and that is the only way they distributed the survey! This is a poor excuse; physical addresses for all candidates are on file with the State Elections Enforcement Commission & a simple internet search yields plethora of was to contact all candidates.

According to CTLCV's "scorecard" candidate Len Suzio had a 100% pro-environment voting record during his two years in the state senate. Suzio was the only senator with a 100% perfect record during those 2 years! Furthermore, Suzio was an outspoken opponent of the Haddam Land swap which the CTLCV was very opposed to. Ironically, Suzio is a dues paying member of the League and also is active and a dues paying member with the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association; both credible environmentally conscientious bodies.

It is obvious to me CTLCV was looking for an excuse not to endorse Suzio and other local Republican candidates. According CLCV, their Board is 50/50 Democrat/Republican and a candidate needs a 65% vote from the Board to get endorsed. This year to date, CTLCV has endorsed 2 Republican candidates and 13 Democrats; how many actual candidates of both parties received the qualifying survey is unclear. Only after the endorsements were given is the annually revised survey available on the group’s website. But it is stunning that the League would not endorse Suzio, a candidate with a perfect environmental voting record and who also is a dues-paying member of the League and another pro-environment group.

It is all too convenient for CTCV to play the “ actus me invite pactus, non es meus actus” card, in other words the dog ate my homework, or in this case didn’t email it - when it comes to endorsements. Simply said, the process in which this so-called credible & “bipartisan” body reached its conclusions of whom to endorse appears more polluted than the environment they vow to protect.


Anonymous said...

Suzio's business record does not suggest that the environment (or personal responsibility), are very important to him, according to this article from 2012:

Bill Flood said...

Regardless of Suzio or anyone else's record, the League of Conservation Voters should have done their due diligence in reaching out to all candidates on the ballot.

I don't agree that they were working to avoid endorsing GOP candidates. They've always supported people like John McKinney and, for instance, Tony Hwang:

Sounds more like laziness. At least I hope so. But that's inexcusable. I'll be writing them.