McCormick says Pallone should take no dirty money

Progressive Democrat Lisa McCormick said one of New Jersey’s most powerful congressmen must change his view on campaign finance and reject campaign donations from the fossil fuel industry to establish confidence in his leadership.

“We need a Democratic Party that fights for the people instead of the billionaires and corporate donors that keep getting in the way of progressive policies necessary to transform America,” said McCormick, in an email dispatched to thousands of state residents. “Congressman Frank Pallone, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, says he does not want to stop taking contributions from fossil fuel companies and other industries that oppose any strategy to combat climate change.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is proposing a Green New Deal that would transition America’s economy to clean energy, with at least 43 co-sponsors, compared staffing a climate committee with members who accept fossil fuel money “is akin to letting foxes in the henhouse.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Lisa McCormick, shown here greeting voters together last fall, each campaigned on a massive infrastructure plan aimed at ending the climate crisis.

“Americans are demanding that Democrats in Congress reject contributions from fossil fuel companies but Pallone is stuck in the old paradigm: billionaires and corporations write big checks to politicians. In return, those politicians write legislation to cut taxes for billionaires, deregulate Wall Street, and ensure corporations can keep exploiting workers and polluting the environment,” said McCormick. “Then billionaires and corporations profit from those policies, donate more money and the cycle repeats itself.”

“The ‘No Fossil Fuel Money pledge represents a bright line between candidates who stand for transparency, democracy, and strong climate action, and those who talk about the need for climate action, but take polluters’ money – poisoning our democracy in the process – and allow oil & gas corporations to continue pumping carbon into our atmosphere,” said McCormick, who was among more than 1300 candidates nationally — but only 12 in New Jersey — who have signed the pledge. 

The Green New Deal is a transition to the 21st century economy that addresses the scale and urgency of the problems facing our planet and its population in ways that achieve environmental sustainability, equity, justice, freedom, and happiness, according to McCormick.

“America’s political process has built on past policies, focusing in recent years on incremental rather than wholesale changes,” said
McCormick. “Unfortunately, the degree to which life on Earth is threatened by climate change, nuclear instability and growing economic inequality requires revolutionary solutions.”

“The American people did not organize the biggest midterm election turnout in more than 100 years so the Congress could play politics as usual while the nation wallows in crisis,” said McCormick. “This new Democratic majority was elected to lead differently, to propose bold ideas, and create positive change for all people.”

About 116 million Americans voted in the 2018 midterm elections.  A comparison of midterm turnout as a share of the nation’s voting eligible population shows that 2018’s 49 percent is the highest recorded in the last 25 midterms, dating back to 1914.

The chair of a new global warming committee, Rep. Kathy Castor of Florida, initially questioned the constitutionality of barring committee members from accepting fossil fuel contributions, but she subsequently decided to reject campaign donations from the industry.


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