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League of Conservation Voters

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) is an American non-profit, non-partisan political advocacy organization that supports a pro-environment agenda. LCV states that it "advocates for sound environmental laws and policies, holds elected officials accountable for their votes and actions, and elects pro-environment candidates."[2] The organization pursues its goals through voter education, voter mobilization, and direct contributions to political candidates. LCV includes 30 state affiliates.

League of Conservation Voters
Formation 1969[1]
Founder David Brower[1]
Type 501(c)(4) with associated political action committee and super PAC[1]
Purpose Environmental advocacy
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
President
Gene Karpinski
Mission "To turn environmental values into national, state and local priorities."[2]
Website www.lcv.org

LCV was founded in 1969 by environmentalist David Brower. The group's president is Gene Karpinski. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C. [3]

Contents

ActivitiesEdit

The organization's main activities include voter education, voter mobilization, tracking voting records, endorsing or opposing candidates for political office, and financially contributing to political campaigns.

The related League of Conservation Voters Action Fund (LCVAF) financially supports political candidates, most of whom are members of the Democratic Party.[4] According to the Center for Responsive Politics, LCVAF was the top-spending, non-disclosing liberal group in the 2012 election cycle, investing about $11 million in political advertisements.[5] LCV spent a total of $36 million in 2012.[6]

LCV annually names a “Dirty Dozen,” a list of politicians whom the group aims to defeat because of their voting records on conservation issues.[1] The original "Dirty Dozen" list was developed in partnership with Environmental Action in 1970.[7]

LCV strongly opposed many of President George W. Bush's environmental policies.[8]

Green Tech Action Fund and the Advocacy Fund are among LCV's donors.[4]

In 2014, LCV and the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund launched LeadingGreen, a joint initiative to address climate change. In 2015, LeadingGreen was added to the Democracy Alliance's funding portfolio.[9]

National Environmental ScorecardEdit

LCV tracks the voting records of members of Congress on environmental issues in its National Environmental Scorecard, a legislative scorecard. According to the LCV, the key votes selected for scoring represent "the consensus of experts from about 20 respected environmental and conservation organizations" and the Scorecard is "the nationally accepted yardstick used to rate members of Congress on environmental, public health, and energy issues."[10][11]

In 1988, the average score for Senate Democrats was 56%, for Senate Republicans was 37%, for House Democrats 66%, and for House Republicans 35%.[12] In 1990, House Democrats scored an average of 68% and Republicans 40%. In 2014, Democrats scored 87% and Republican 4%.[13] In 2016, the average House Republican score was 5%; the average Senate Republican score was 14%; the average House Democrat score was 94%; and the average Senate Democrat score was 95%.[14] According to ThinkProgress, a very low score on the Scorecard means a member of Congress has not "used their time in Congress to vote with the environment in mind."[15] In 2002 Kimberley Strassel of The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote that "Democratic politics...is what really drives the league's scorecard."[16]

In a 2012 report, the non-profit Rachel's Network examined the Scorecard scores for male and female members of Congress in the 107th through the 111th Congresses (2001 to 2010). The group found that "women in Congress vote for legislation supporting clean air, clean water, renewable energy, climate action, and public health much more often than their male counterparts."[17][18][19] The report found that some of the difference was attributable to the fact that there were "more women Democrats in both houses of Congress than there are women Republicans," and Democrats favor more pro-environmental policies, but also found that "the difference in voting patterns still persists when gender is isolated within each political party."[17] The report also found that "the gap between Republican men and women narrowed after the 2004 election cycle, which could be attributable to increased partisan pressures."[17]

The Scorecard has been cited by major news organizations such as The New York Times,[12] The Washington Post,[20] Bloomberg News,[21][22] U.S. News & World Report,[23] HuffPost,[10][18][19] and Scientific American magazine.[13]

The Scorecard has been cited in peer-reviewed academic research. In 1998 Ilinitch and collaborators used the Scorecard "to identify Senators and Representatives with unsupportive environmental voting records" in evaluated corporate political contributions as a measure of corporate environmental performance.[24] In 2004 researchers at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University averaged Scorecard scores across a state's Congressional delegation as a proxy variable for the "green-ness" of constituents, and found no significant relationship with the number of Endangered Species Act listings in a state.[25] In 2012, Robert Brulle and his collaborators investigated factors affecting U.S. public concern about the threat of climate change and found that "the message sent to the public by the Republican voting record on environmental bills is very influential...This result provides strong confirmation of the role of elite cues and their influence on public concern about climate change. In an extremely partisan environment, Republican votes against environmental bills legitimate public opinion opposed to action on climate change."[26]

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "League of Conservation Voters". FactCheck.org. Annenberg Center for Public Policy. February 13, 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "About Us". League of Conservation Voters. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Sabato, Larry; Ernst, Howard (2009). Encyclopedia of American Political Parties and Elections. Infobase Publishing. p. 201. ISBN 9781438109947. 
  4. ^ a b O'Brien, Reity (October 3, 2012). "Nonprofit profile: League of Conservation Voters Inc". Center for Public Integrity. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "League of Conservation Voters". OpenSecrets.org. Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Beckel, Michael (November 22, 2013). "League of Conservation Voters becoming 'dark money' heavyweight". Center for Public Integrity. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  7. ^ Alligood, Arlene (October 29, 1970). "Two big political issues of Election '70". St. Petersburg Times. Congressional Quarterly. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  8. ^ Pegg, J.R. "League of Conservation Voters Slams Bush Record". Environment News Service. Retrieved 14 March 2012. 
  9. ^ Vogel, Kenneth; Restuccia, Andrew (April 13, 2015). "Tom Steyer stars as liberal donors gather". Politico. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  10. ^ a b "Overview of the National Environmental Scorecard". League of Conservation Voters. Retrieved October 3, 2017. 
  11. ^ "2012 National Environmental Scorecard Ranks Members Of Congress On Green Issues". HuffPost. February 21, 2013. Retrieved October 3, 2017. 
  12. ^ a b Shabecoff, Philip (October 7, 1988). "Quayle is Rated on Environment". The New York Times. Retrieved October 4, 2017. 
  13. ^ a b Otto, Shawn (October 9, 2016). "A Plan to Defend against the War on Science". Scientific American. Retrieved October 3, 2017. 
  14. ^ 2016 NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL SCORECARD REVEALS ASSAULT ON BEDROCK ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTIONS (press release), League of Conservation Voters (February 23, 2017).
  15. ^ Valentine, Katie (October 30, 2015). "These 4 Republican Senators Are Forming A Group To Tackle Climate Change". ThinkProgress. Retrieved October 3, 2017. 
  16. ^ Strassel, Kimberley (September 6, 2002). "The League of Democratic Voters". The Wall Street Journal. 
  17. ^ a b c "When Women Lead". Rachel's Network. 2016. Retrieved October 4, 2017. 
  18. ^ a b Spiegelman, Annie (May 10, 2012). "This Mother's Day, Mother Earth Wants You". HuffPost. Retrieved October 4, 2017. 
  19. ^ a b Michelson, Joan (August 31, 2016). "Happy Anniversary 19th Amendment! How Have Women Voted On Energy And Environment Issues?". HuffPost. Retrieved October 4, 2017. 
  20. ^ Lee, Gary (October 29, 1996). "Environmental Groups Target Candidates; Nominees' Voting Records on Issues Appear to be Hindering some Election Attempts". The Washington Post. 
  21. ^ Dlouhy, Jennifer A (December 15, 2016). "Trump Turns to Hunter and Outdoorsman Zinke to Lead Interior". Bloomberg Politics. Retrieved October 4, 2017. 
  22. ^ Scott, Dean (October 4, 2016). "GOP Senators Battle to Decide Majority, Climate Direction". Environment and Energy Report. Bloomberg BNA. Retrieved October 4, 2017. 
  23. ^ Neuhauser, Alan (February 11, 2014). "Grade F: Environmental Group Flunks House GOP". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved October 4, 2017. 
  24. ^ Ilinitch, Anne Y; Soderstrom, Naomi S; Thomas, Tom E. (1998). "Measuring corporate environmental performance". Journal of Accounting and Public Policy. 17 (4–5): 383–408. doi:10.1016/S0278-4254(98)10012-1. ISSN 0278-4254. 
  25. ^ Rawls, R. Patrick; Laband, David N. (2004). "A Public Choice Analysis of Endangered Species Listings". Public Choice. 121 (3-4): 263-277. doi:10.1007/s11127-004-9784-4. ISSN 0048-5829. 
  26. ^ Brulle, Robert J.; Carmichael, Jason; Jenkins, J. Craig (2012). "Shifting public opinion on climate change: an empirical assessment of factors influencing concern over climate change in the U.S., 2002–2010". Climatic Change. 114 (2): 169–188. doi:10.1007/s10584-012-0403-y. ISSN 0165-0009. 

External linksEdit