The other day Bill McKibben from 350.org came here to raise money for a campaign based on the outrageous denial of their new Senator Brown ad campaign that they wanted to run on the Boston area MBTA. Outrage I say! Send money to counter this outrage!
We were told that the ad was, and I quote, "too controversial", and that is what had people all aerated. But nobody will tell me who said "too controversial". I have asked Bill for clarification, and have checked back repeatedly, but he's not responding. I don't think this was what the MBTA said, based on what I read at BlueMassGroup. It looked to me like a pretty standard rejection of a politician-based ad. Which is their policy:
MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo pointed to the agency's policy which bars ads that refer to any candidate for public office.
As I looked into this story more, it seemed to me the outrage was a bit...affected. As Boston area residents relayed in that diary--and every local I've spoken too since--we can't remember having seen a politician-specific ad on the T.
But as I researched it more, the story got even more twisted. Turns out this 350.org campaign is also going after the other Senator Brown--Sherrod Brown. I checked Bill's other diaries and I don't see any mention of that since the effort seems to have launched. I also checked the Sherrod Brown tag to see if anyone came by to tell this community. Huh. Nothin'. Well, not on this matter. Seems there was a recent diary suggesting Sherrod Brown's chances are looking better than they were at some prior point. So now would be a good time to go after him, I guess.
According to their website, 350.org is going after Sherrod Brown for his vote on the Clean Air Act, and on the fact that he took over $100,000 from dirty energy since 1999, data as provided by Dirty Energy Money. Let's look at the worst offenders over at Dirty Energy:
For the record, Dirty Money says Sherrod Brown took $105,000.
I tried to find a downloadable list of the data to sort and rank, but I couldn't find one. It may exist, but I ended up just using the Wikipedia list of current US Senators and searched for each one's contributions since 1999. It's possible I have an error of transcription here or there, but on the whole I think I copied the data right. Anyone is free to check my work by doing the same thing with their data. I sorted by dollar amount since 1999 (their metric at 350.org). Sherrod Brown came in at number 71. That's right, 70 more Senators took "Dirty Energy Money" since 1999.
But ok--350.org is particularly dismayed by the EPA vote. They didn't link to it, so I'm entirely sure of the vote they refer to. Does anyone have the text of that and the roll call? I'm disappointed if he really is on the wrong side of this. But it turns out even my favorite pols are not always voting the way I want.
But let's not confuse that vote with the one where Sherrod Brown voted against barring the EPA's regulation of greenhouse gasses. (Scott Brown voted for that, with some Dems not named Brown--including some who took WAY more of that dirty money).
Did you know the other day when Bill came by asking for money that this campaign also targeted a Dem? I didn't. I had to find out from my local newspaper. MBTA rejects anti-Brown ad from environmental group
The organization will instead hire bicyclists to ride around town with the ad on the July Fourth weekend, Haigh said. It is lodging a similar campaign that takes aim at Senator Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat.Would you have been so
I think this 350.org campaign is deceptive and nasty, and really not defensible. It is not a constructive use of the money donated to their organization. And it's certainly not what I signed up for at this site.
Which side are you on? I'm certainly not on the side that does Republican work for them, by taking out ads in states like Ohio that assault progressive politicians. I don't think that's constructive.
You are free to give your money to this campaign, of course. Do you think going after a vulnerable Dem in Ohio is the best use of your donation dollars? Someone who voted for the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gasses?
If you have to target Dems, how about the ones that took way more money since 1999, and voted to block the EPA's regulation of greenhouse gasses? Is this really the best use of our time and money?
I know this isn't new. I once did a diary called STFW, Stop the Fucking Witch-hunt, after the front page and Slinkerwink had their anti-Capuano campaigns going. (By the way--Mike Capuano lost that race to Martha Coakley--how's that working for us now?) And maybe they really believed you can get more progressive candidates by...er...taking out progressives. But it's really not something I'm finding effective. YMMV.