Our guest blogger is Clean Water’s Michigan Director, Cyndi Roper, who wrote this post:
If you were a Lansing lawmaker with a perfect environmental voting record in 2011, you were voting no. With a state House majority firmly in control of the legislative agenda, the opportunity to support good environmental protections simply didn’t happen last year.
So the ticket to getting 100% on Clean Water Action’s Midterm Scorecard released this week was opposing bad environmental legislation, which is what dominated the Republican majority’s policy agenda.
A majority of Michigan’s State Representatives voted repeatedly in 2011 to whittle away at our water protections, using phony job creation arguments as political cover. That’s right. They argue that weakening protections on Michigan’s lifeblood – its water – will create jobs. (What kind of water are they drinking?!) Not surprisingly, their votes have done nothing to create jobs. Zip. Nada.
On the other hand, protecting our Great Lakes and Michigan’s other water treasures creates jobs for today and for our future.
As the House majority fired away at Michigan’s environmental protections, a small but devoted contingent of lawmakers stood their ground in the wake of these attacks.
Clean Water Action honored 13 Clean Water Heroes and 10 other House members were recognized for their voting records in defense of clean water protections at a Lansing press conference.
Michigan politicians know the state’s voters care about our water so their campaign messages usually include a focus on Great Lakes protection and other water themes. The distinction between campaign rhetoric and lawmaker voting records tells the real story and, unfortunately, most state lawmakers last year turned their backs on strengthening water protections.
Those absent from this week’s press conference were the majority of lawmakers who received a failing grade. Out of the 67 legislators who scored below 60%, a startling 58 received 0% scores.
I received a call this week from a lawmaker who scored south of 50%. He made the case for why he should have received a higher score based on work he’s done in his district – far from the madness in Lansing. I respect him for calling me and for making his case. The problem is that we need lawmakers in Lansing who will stand up to those special interests seeking to undo our water protections. That’s leadership and that’s what’s lacking in the Michigan House.
If any lawmakers need a roadmap for doing the right thing, last January Clean Water Action released its Clean Water Action’s Water Protection Agenda, which provides a clear pathway for strengthening Michigan’s water protections and securing our water future.