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    Three CA Environmental Groups Endorse "No on Recall, Yes on Bustamante"

    (Sept. 18, 2003) -- Three CA environmental groups -- the Sierra Club, CA League of Conservation Voters and Vote the Coast -- have endorsed the "No on recall, Yes on Bustamante" position in the gubernatorial recall.

    As reported on the Sierra Club's web site and a related press release, Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope said, "We are urging all Californians to reject the recall and, to protect our leadership vote for Cruz Bustamante on the second part of the ballot."

    Lt. Governor Bustamante, who attended the Sept. 16 news event at the Sierra Club's SF HQ, declared, "California needs a Governor who will make clean California water and clean California air a California priority. My record as Speaker and Lt. Governor speaks for itself. I will defend California against Bush's assault on our environment. I will continue to be aggressive with the polluters and their politicians."

    Mr. Pope said there shouldn't be a recall election in the first place and "we had an election for Governor and the people of California spoke," adding "California leads the nation in environmental protection...That leadership is threatened by a costly recall that could allow anti-environmental forces at the national level imperil California’s air and water quality, open space and wildlands. Could a Governor Schwarzenegger, advised by Pete Wilson, be relied upon to tell the Republican President ‘no’? Could a Governor McClintock? The health and well-being of millions of Californians is at stake."

    Regarding recall candidate state Sen. Tom McClintock (R., Thousand Oaks), Mr. Pope said, "Tom McClintock is on record as saying that we should go back to the bad ol' days, that the course we've been on the for the past 30 years is wrong."

    And of another Republican, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mr. Pope said "[he] doesn't say much you can comment on. He says, 'The environment -- don't worry, I'll take care of it.' In his movies, getting taken care of isn't an enviable place to be."

    State Board of Equalization chair Carole Migden, a former Assemblymember (D., SF), also attended the event and gave a similar endorsement, saying Bustamante's record showed he was uniquely qualified to continue California's leadership on the environment.

    "Lt. Governor Bustamante is a gentleman with acute environmental sensitivities as evidenced by his battle tested record that includes solid coastal commission appointments, vigilant protection of our resources as Chair of the State Lands Commission and venerable support to our clean air and clean water laws," Ms. Migden said.

    Rico Mastrodonato, CA League of Conservation Voters executive director, said the League opposed the recall and added, "Mr. Schwarzenegger has given Californians only promises. California has a Governor and a Lt. Governor with a record of accomplishment on the environment. Californian's can't afford to trade this record of accomplishment for vague promises or a record like that of Mr. McClintock, whose antipathy toward environmental protection is well established."

    Vote the Coast's web site indicates it endorsed the No on Recall, Yes on Bustamante position on Sept. 2, stating in pertinent part:

    Vote the Coast (VTC) was formed in 1996 following an assault on coastal protection policies by former Governor Pete Wilson and former Speaker of the Assembly, right-wing Republican Curt Pringle. Together, their eight appointments to the state Coastal Commission created a majority that attempted to unravel the State’s much heralded coastal protection program. In response, VTC launched grassroots campaigns in key coastal Assembly and Senate districts during the 1996 election and was credited with helping restore a pro-Coastal Act majority to the Commission.

    "It was the swift actions of then Assemblyman Cruz Bustamonte that saved the day," recalled Sara Wan, VTC executive director and co-founder. After the ‘96 election, Bustamante ascended to the Speakership and moved swiftly to restore integrity to the beleaguered Coastal Commission. One of his first official acts was removal of four Republican appointments (including two known Coastal Act violators), replacing them with four pro-environment appointments who made the Commission one of the most pro-environment in its history.

    "Choosing Bustamante over the Republican candidates is critical to coastal protection," said Mark Massara, VTC Board member, "because in their 2003 budget proposal, the GOP included the elimination of the entire Coastal Commission."

    "Since 1996, Lt. Governor Bustamante has demonstrated his unwavering commitment to the coast, and Vote the Coast is thrilled to announce its endorsement of his candidacy," said Garry Brown, Board Chair of VTC.

    "We want a governor who has demonstrated a commitment to the coast and there is no one else on the recall ballot who can point to anything they have done to protect the coast except Lt. Governor Bustamante" said Larry Wan, a VTC Board Member.

    Board Member Bruce Reznik praised Lt. Governor Bustamante’s record on the public’s right to have access to the beach..."Lt. Governor Bustamante has led the charge to preserve public access to the coast by co-sponsoring SB 1962 (Polanco) which required the acceptance of all outstanding access easements to the beach that were in danger of reverting to private ownership. As a sitting member of the State Lands Commission (SLC), he also instituted a program to significantly expand coastal access for all Californians," he said.

    Bustamante has also steadfastly opposed offshore oil drilling by advocating the cancellation of the 36 leases that sit off the Central California Coast, was the first SLC Chair to shut down an oil platform for safety violations, instituted a progressive policy on artificial structures that have an adverse impact on coastal resources, and opposed Rigs to Reef legislation that would have left aging polluted drill rigs in California’s ocean waters.

    The group's web posted mission statement says in pertinent part:

    Vote the Coast is a grassroots, political action organization whose purpose is to achieve coastal protection and conservation through knowledge, public education, a strategic assertion of power, forming alliances with other progressive causes and networking with environmental activists to develop a coordinated policy of coastal protection. Vote the Coast supports those candidates for public office who are guided by the principles of ecological sustainability, environmental justice, public education, participatory governance, commitment and ideological integrity.

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