Ocean Champions is the only political voice for ocean health. We take a non-partisan approach in working with
the U.S. Congress to ensure ocean health through electoral and legislative action.

Time to Start Talkin’ Elections

Posted by: Mike Dunmyer

At Ocean Champions, we fight hard every day to move good ocean legislation through Congress.  This is important work, and .  One of the reasons we’ve done well, however, is that we also work hard to help good ocean candidates win.  We’re the only ocean-focused group that does this, and we do it because it wouldn’t matter how good we were at advocacy if no one on Capitol Hill cared about the ocean.  Fortunately, we’ve had a lot of success with helping the right guys win - since 2004 we’ve got an 81% winning percentage!  This has helped to create a pro-ocean Congress, which helps all ocean issues on the Hill.  Now, with the 2010 elections approaching, it’s time to start talkin’ electoral politics!

Over the next few months, we’ll be rolling out our endorsements.  These are the people we’ll be supporting and fighting for.  To make these decisions, we dig into each candidate’s historical record on ocean issues.  We then interview every new potential champion and reassess our relationships with existing champions.  At the end of the day, we believe our endorsed champions represent the Members most motivated, able and well positioned to support a healthy oceans agenda.  If you care about the ocean, we hope you’ll factor our endorsement into your voting decision.

The 2010 election will be important for the oceans.  There are a number races that will impact major ocean conservation priorities, such as climate change, fisheries reform and harmful algal blooms, and we’ll have a role in their outcome.  We’ll provide lots of information about these races as our endorsements come out.

One fight we’ve already committed to is in California 11.  Former Congressman and has returned and is running in this race (not even his home district). As chairman of the Natural Resource Committee, Pombo pressed for offshore drilling and for opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He tried to gut the endangered species act, proposed selling national parks, and showered dirty utilities with subsidies. Now he’s back, and he’s promised to “finish the job.”

If Pombo won and the Republicans took back a majority in the House, he would have his seniority restored and could be reestablished as Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee. We WILL NOT let this happen. Ocean Champions played a significant role in defeating Pombo in 2006.  We’re now working once again with our colleagues in the environmental community, we can send him back to his ranch – this time for good!

While our electoral work begins with beating Pombo, it won’t end there.  Keep checking in for new endorsements and updates as the electoral season heats up!

Date Posted: March 6, 2010 @ 8:05 am

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