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.

OC Endorses Maryland’s champion for the Eastern Shore

Posted by: Mike Dunmyer


Today we announced our endorsement of incumbent Frank Kratovil for Maryland’s first district seat in the House of Representatives.  While this is just one of the 30 or 40 races we’ll engage on in 2010, it is shaping up to be one of the most interesting, and is important for a number of reasons.  To begin with, has many diverse interests.  It includes Ocean City and Maryland’s beaches, as well as the Eastern Shore that abuts the Chesapeake Bay.  It includes parts of Anne Arundel County on the Western Shore of the Bay and also stretches up into Baltimore county.  In an overwhelmingly “blue” state, the first district is a traditional Republican stronghold.  Conservative tenets like lower taxes and small government are important here, but there is also a strong conservationist ethos amongst many who depend upon the Bay for their livelihood and others who simply have a strong emotional connection to it.

In MD-1 in 2008, John McCain beat Barack Obama by 18 percentage points.  At the same time, Frank Kratovil stormed from behind to beat Andy Harris by less than 3,000 votes.  Harris’ broader message appealed to many of the district’s voters, but Kratovil was able to connect to many, and his environmental stance helped sway fence sitters.  The victory wasn’t declared for several days after the election, and was considered a major upset at the time.

In 2010, will again be competing against Andy Harris, but in a very different political environment.  In 2010, partisan rancor has grown far beyond where it stood two years ago, and the first district includes many who are rallying against the Majority’s legislative agenda.  As a result, this race will again be challenging, and will again come down to the wire.  Who ultimately wins will be very important for the future of the Chesapeake Bay.  Here’s why:

In his first term, Congressman Kratovil took decisive action to support ocean and Chesapeake Bay health:

  • He was an original co-sponsor and leader on the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act, which just passed the House.  Mr. Kratovil also gave an energetic speech supporting this bill on the House Floor.
  • He co-sponsored several bills focused on Bay health, including the Chesapeake Bay Science, Education and Ecosystem Enhancement Act, and the Chesapeake Bay Accountability and Recovery Act.
  • At a critical point he signed on to a letter supporting the work of the Interagency Task Force on the first ever .
  • Despite political risk, he voted in favor of the Waxman-Markey climate bill.

By contrast, his opponent Andy Harris has compiled one of the worst records on the Chesapeake Bay in the Maryland Senate.   includes recent votes against reducing stormwater pollution and reducing nitrogen runoff.  He also voted in favor of a delay on the ban of phosphorus in detergent.  Harris voted this way, despite the fact that these are all major contributors to the dead zones and general water quality problems plaguing the Chesapeake Bay.

If he were to beat Congressman Kratovil in the upcoming election, Andy Harris would have the chance to become the next Richard Pombo.  We simply can’t let that happen.  Congressman Kratovil is a strong ocean and Bay advocate and independent thinker who works hard to represent the diverse interests in his district. He believes those interests include a healthy Chesapeake Bay and healthy oceans, and his commitment has earned him the title of ocean champion.

Date Posted: April 6, 2010 @ 7:28 am


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