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Sierra Club Announces Endorsements for State Legislature


Date : Tue, 08 Sep 2009 16:45:10 -0400

For Immediate Release
September 2, 2009 Contact: Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100, Richard Isaac, Political Chair, 973-985-6306 (Day), 973-716-0297 (Evening)
 

Sierra Club Announces Endorsements for State Legislature

The Sierra Club has announced its endorsements for New Jersey State Assembly candidates running in the Nov. 3, 2009 election.

"With uncontrolled sprawl, water quality problems, and air quality problems - as well as other environmental issues - it's more important than ever for voters to make their voices heard at the polls regarding the environment," said Richard Isaac, New Jersey Sierra Club Political Chair.

"The Sierra Club endorsement is like the good housekeeping seal of approval. It's the green seal of approval showing that the candidates care about the environment," said NJ Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel.

The New Jersey Sierra Club's endorsement process involves mailing questionnaires to candidates of both major parties, an interview process, and voting by two different deliberative bodies within the Club to determine which candidates best meet their environmental standards. In particular, the Club looked at support for the following issues this year:

- Providing a stable source of funding for preserving open space and farmland

- Implementing the state's Global Warming Response Act

- Fighting uncontrolled sprawl

- Protecting the state's water resources

- Fighting litter by establishing refundable deposits on beverage containers

- Lowering the incidence of unplanned pregnancy

Additionally, the Sierra Club considered other issues, including the candidate's position on the recently-enacted Licensed Site Professional
(LSP) bill, which will restructure the system used to clean up toxic sites by replacing DEP professionals with licensed site professionals employed by polluters.

The Sierra Club also weighed the candidate's position on the environmentally-dangerous Delaware Deepening project and the concept of replacing current COAH rules with ones that promote the conservation and preservation of New Jersey's rural and environmentally sensitive areas while encouraging affordable housing in already densely populated locations.

"This has been a very tough legislative session where we've seen cuts to environmental programs and bad laws like the Permit Extension Act and the LSP bill pushed forward," Tittel said.

"This is a year where there are not as many endorsements as usual. We've endorsed candidates who have shown leadership on issues related to the environment, whether it's eminent domain, expanding the Kiddie Kollege bill, or Encap reform legislation. In many cases these are people who have stood up to leadership to try to do what's right," Tittel said.

For example, the NJ Sierra Club endorsed John Burzichelli for his work on the eminent domain bill that is now stuck in the Senate. Paul Moriarty was endorsed for his work to expand the Kiddie Kollege bill to protect residential housing as well. The Kiddie Kollege bill is supposed to pass in lame duck, but we're waiting.

We're pleased that Linda Greenstein didn't support bills like LSP and Fast Track, while pushing for tougher enforcement against toxic polluters. Peter Barnes was endorsed for his work on the Dismal Swamp and Valerie Huttle for being an advocate of a Bottle Bill.

Gary Schear worked to strengthen the EnCap Reform Bill that we're still waiting on Governor Corzine to sign. Pamela Lampitt has been a consistent voice pushing for legislation promoting green energy and green buildings.

Upendra Chivukula has worked tirelessly to promoting renewable energy and clean energy jobs. Amy Handlin has been one of the most consistent voices for the environment in the legislature. Scott Rumana has been a champion on open space and trying to fix COAH. Newcomer John Amberg has a long family history of environmental activism.

Isaac encouraged voters to take particular notice of the races in Districts 1, 4, 7, 12, 14, and 36, which he predicted were most likely to be close.

In addition to voting for the endorsed candidates, the Chapter urges you to vote yes on the public question appearing on this year's ballot authorizing the issuance of $400 million in bonds to finance the preservation of open space, farmland and historic sites.

"Here in New Jersey, just about all the candidates like to say they care about the environment but the candidates we endorsed actually do," Isaac said. "We know that together, they'd make a big difference for this state if they're elected to the legislature. We strongly encourage all voters to give them their support this November."

The Sierra Club is the nation's oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization with over 700,000 members nationwide and 20,000 members in New Jersey.

2009 LEGISLATIVE ENDORSEMENTS Dist. Party Candidate

01 D Matthew Milam 03 D John Burzichelli 04 D Paul Moriarty

04 D William Collins 06 D Pamela Lampitt 07 D Herb Conaway

07 D Jack Conners

10 R James Holzapfel

10 R David Wolfe

12 D John Amberg

12 D Michelle Roth

13 R Amy Handlin

14 D Linda Greenstein 15 D Reed Gusciora

17 D Upendra Chivukula

18 D Peter Barnes, Jr.

18 D Patrick Diegnan, Jr.

19 D John Wisniewski

20 D Annette Quijano

21 R Jon Bramnick

21 R Nancy Munoz

22 D Linda Stender

27 D John F. McKeon

27 D Mila Jasey

30 D John Kocubinski

34 D Sheila Oliver 36 D Gary Schaer 37 D Valerie Huttle 37 D Gordon Johnson

39 R Charlotte Vandervalk

40 R David Russo

40 R Scott Rumana

Incumbent

Received on 2009-09-08 13:45:10

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at nicole.dallara@sierraclub.org

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