Contact

Heather Leibowitz,
Environment New York

Environment New York Endorses Twelve Candidates for 2014 Elections

For Immediate Release

New York, NY – Environment New York, a statewide environmental organization, announced today the endorsement of twelve candidates for federal office. The candidates are Timothy Bishop (NY-1), Patricia Maher (NY-2), Steve Israel (NY-3), Kathleen Rice (NY-4), Nydia Velasquez (NY-7), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Domenic Recchia (NY-11), Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Sean Eldridge (NY-19), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Dan Maffei (NY-24), and Louise Slaughter (NY-25).

These candidates have demonstrated consistent support for the environment on major issues affecting both New York State and the nation. In particular, support from the candidates on key issues that include open space, clean water, clean air, renewable energy, and objections to hydrofracking led to today’s endorsement.

“To ensure a healthy environment, we need more voices in Congress to fight for action on global warming, measures to clean our air, stop pollution in our waterways and promote clean energy like wind and solar,” said Environment New York’s Director Heather Leibowitz. “These twelve candidates have shown commitments to solving these pressing environmental concerns for New York State and the country.”

INCUMBENTS

In his eleven years serving Congress, candidate Timothy Bishop has voted with Environment New York ninety-eight percent of the time on key environmental issues. These votes included supporting the Open Space Preservation Promotion Act of 2013, and fervent opposition to both fracking and offshore drilling.

First sworn into Congress in 2001, candidate Steve Israel has served New York for thirteen years and has voted with Environment New York ninety-eight percent of that time. These votes included authorizing funds to improve Long Island Sound water quality, and opposing oil and gas drilling on public lands.

Currently in her eleventh term, candidate Nydia Velazquez has earned a perfect, one hundred percent voting record with Environment New York over the course of twenty-one years in office. She has voted to support the revitalization of New York’s waterfronts, opposed fracking, and upheld the importance of regulating methane emissions.

The only microbiologist in Congress, candidate Louis Slaughter has voted with Environment New York ninety-nine percent of the time in her twenty-seven years of serving New York State. Among those votes, Slaughter has advocated for stronger Clean Water Act protections and opposed the de-authorization of “critical habitat” designation, which protects endangered species.

Candidate Dan Maffei has supported NY State’s moratorium on fracking and opposed the construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in Congress. He’s accrued a ninety-six percent voting record with Environment New York during his five years in office.

After twenty-two years representing NY State, candidate Jerrold Nadler still has an impeccable, one hundred percent voting record with Environment New York. Nadler has voted in favor of increased funding for clean energy, and opposed efforts to restrict funding for the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report and associated research on climate change.

Candidate Carolyn Maloney has voted with Environment New York ninety-eight percent of the time during her twenty-one years in Congress. Maloney has voted to increase funding for renewable energy initiatives, has objected to oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and has opposed fracking.

Candidate Paul Tonko has spent five years in Congress, and has voted with Environment New York for an impressive ninety-nine percent of that time. Among his most noteworthy votes, Tonko has supported legislation to uphold strict limits on CO2 emissions, and has opposed legislation to decrease pesticide regulations under the Clean Water Act. 

CHALLENGERS AND OPEN SEATS

Formerly a candidate for the Nassau County Legislator, Patricia Maher seeks election to replace Peter King, the Republican incumbent who maintains strong anti-environmental views. Unlike King, Maher is an active supporter of clean energy. She doesn’t support fracking, and has been adamant about her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.

Democratic candidate Sean Eldridge is running as challenger to Chris Gibson, the Republican incumbent who’s garnered a twenty-nine percent voting scorecard for major environmental issues. In contrast, Eldridge is an active board member of Scenic Hudson, a non-profit organization that works to restore and protect the Hudson River Valley. Eldridge conceives of climate change as urgent, maintains a strong anti-fracking, pro-renewable energy stance, and seeks to increase investment in New York conservation initiatives.

Democratic candidate Kathleen Rice is vying with Republican Bruce Blakeman for an open House seat to replace the retiring Congresswoman, Carolyn McCarthy. Currently the District Attorney of Nassau County, Rice is a longtime advocate of environmental justice in New York State. In 2006, for example, she spearheaded the creation of an environmental crimes unit in the Nassau County DA Office. Since then, she’s filed over a thousand cases prosecuting violations of NY State’s Environmental Conservation Law, particularly in relation to air and water pollution. Already endorsed by the Sierra Club, Rice is running on a platform to curb greenhouse gas emissions and expand investments in renewable energy and climate change mitigation.

Finally, the Democratic candidate Domenic Recchia is a New York State attorney running to challenge incumbent Michael Grimm—a two-term Republican who’s earned a 7 percent scorecard for his unwavering, anti-environmental views. Worth noting, Grimm is scheduled to stand trial this month on twenty counts of fraud, all dating back to a restaurant business he maintained prior to his career in congress. Running to replace Grimm is Recchia, a former representative of New York’s 47th Council District in New York’s City Council. His campaign emphasizes the importance of prioritizing long-term sustainability, and promoting energy efficiency across New York State.                                                                    

“On November 4, voters in New York State will be able to make a clear choice on the ballot for the environment by supporting the twelve candidates we’ve chosen to endorse” said Leibowitz. “To make sure we tackle our climate crisis, make progress on clean air and clean water, support New York’s state parks and bring more wind and solar energy online, the 2014 election is a critical time to exercise our right to vote.”