STATE — The Sierra Club has announced its endorsements for New Jersey State Legislature candidates running in the Nov. 8 election.
“We believe the legislators we endorsed for re-election have done more to help protect New Jersey’s air water and land than any other legislators. They have at times stood up to tremendous political pressure and special interests and have worked very hard to move forward important legislation, whether it is on green jobs and fracking or standing up to environmental rollbacks by the Christie administration,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.
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:
- Protecting water supplies through regional planning in the Highlands, Pinelands, and Meadowlands
- Promoting New Jersey’s clean energy future by supporting legislation to bolster the renewable energy sector
- Fighting environmental rollbacks including a bill that calls for no state law stricter than federal standards
- Restoring funding for family planning services
- Strengthening regulations to prevent the diversion of Green Acres public lands
- Protecting our coast
- Preventing hydraulic fracturing or fracking from impacting our state by supporting a ban on the practice in New Jersey
- Strengthening New Jersey’s recycling program and fighting litter by establishing refundable deposits on beverage containers
- Implementing the Global Warming Response Act and support for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
The Sierra Club endorsed several candidates that have been leaders on clean energy across the state. Senator Jim Whelan sponsored legislation to allow for windmills on our piers, helping make offshore wind a reality, and turning landfills into solar farms. Senator Bob Smith, Assemblymen John F. McKeon, Upendra Chivukula, Peter Barnes, Jr., Reed Gusciora, and Assemblywomen Valerie Huttle and Linda Stender have led the fight to clean up our air pollution by prime sponsoring legislation to keep New Jersey in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
“We’re pleased that Senators Bob Gordon and Linda Greenstein, Assemblywomen [Connie] Wagner and Huttle, and Assemblymen Gusciora, [Herb] Conaway, and [Ruben] Ramos, [Jr.] championed protection of our drinking water by prime sponsoring the fracking ban bill which would have prevented the dangerous natural gas drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing from being used in New Jersey,” said Tittel
Senator Loretta Weinberg has been a champion on women’s health funding. Gordon Johnson has fought to keep environmental programs funded on the Assembly budget committee. Senator Barabara Buono has led the fight against the administration’s DEP waiver rule which would allow developers and special interests to apply for exemptions from close to 100 DEP rules.
“There are some legislators that have really been champions for the people and environment of New Jersey and we are proud to endorse them to recognize them for the great work they have done,” said Tittel.
“It is very unfortunate that many legislators who were once environmental champions are now trying to weaken environmental protections or block progress on important issues. They are standing with special interests and the Governor over green jobs, public health, and protecting New Jersey’s environment. It’s a shame that the only thing green about some in our Legislature is the money they take from special interests,” he continued.
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.
2011 LEGISLATIVE ENDORSEMENTS
Dist. House Party Candidate
02 S D* Jim Whelan
07 S D* Herb Conaway
07 A D Troy Singleton
07 A D Gail Cook
11 S D Raymond Santiago
11 A D Vin Gopal
12 A D Bill Spedding
14 S D* Linda Greenstein
14 A D* Dan Benson
15 S D* Shirley Turner
15 A D* Reed Gusciora
15 A D* Bonnie Watson Coleman
16 S R* Christopher “Kip” Bateman
16 A D Marie Corfield
17 S D* Bob Smith
17 A D* Upendra Chivukula
18 S D* Barbara Buono
18 A D* Peter Barnes, Jr.
18 A D* Patrick Diegnan, Jr.
19 S D* Joseph Vitale
19 A D* John Wisniewski
19 A D* Craig Coughlin
22 A D* Linda Stender
23 A D Karen Carroll
27 A D* John F. McKeon
27 A D* Mila Jasey
30 A R* Sean Kean
33 A D* Ruben Ramos, Jr.
36 A D* Gary Schaer
37 S D* Loretta Weinberg
37 A D* Valerie Huttle
37 A D* Gordon Johnson
38 S D* Bob Gordon
38 A D* Connie Wagner
38 A D Tim Eustace
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