To: Carol Browner, Chair, League of Conservation Voters

Tell LCV: I'm a Climate Voter, and You Don't Speak For Me

I’m a climate voter. The candidates need to earn my vote. I do not agree with the decision by the LCV board to endorse Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee before any vote has been cast.

Why is this important?

The board of the League of Conservation Voters has taken the unprecedented step of endorsing Hillary Clinton for president, after only one debate between the Democratic candidates and months before the first vote in the Democratic primaries will be cast.

It’s far too early in this primary to endorse. In 2004, LCV’s endorsement of John Kerry before the New Hampshire primary was unprecedented, but at least came after Kerry’s strong victory in the Iowa caucuses. There is no such defense today.

By LCV’s own metrics, Clinton has the weakest environmental record of the Democratic candidates. Bernie Sanders is the highest rated candidate in the League of Conservation Voters scorecard. Martin O’Malley was the first, and so far the only candidate to release a comprehensive presidential climate agenda. Sanders led the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline while Clinton's State Department was recommending its construction.

In these opening days of the Democratic primary, it's been exciting to see Clinton take stronger stands on behalf of the climate, coming closer to where Sanders and O’Malley already are. Her call for a solar revolution, exceeding previous Sanders legislation, is inspiring and greatly needed. The agreement of the candidates on the need for a federal investigation of ExxonMobil’s climate deception—an issue on which O’Malley led—is electrifying. This primary is teaching millions of Americans the urgency of the climate crisis and the grand possibilities of a true clean-energy revolution. Competitive primaries work!

LCV is a very good political organization—one the best in the country working on any issue. The millions of dollars they raise and spend each year, the millions of voters they reach with a pro-climate message are a crucial bulwark against the radical Republican agenda. We know that their board, their staff and their volunteers care deeply about environmental issues and solutions. Nine times out of ten, they do great work, but this time they grossly miscalculated.

Obviously, any of the Democratic candidates will be far better than the Koch-soaked Republican climate conspiracy theories, and I'm committed to electing the eventual Democratic nominee on a strong climate platform and crushing the GOP in November. But first, that Democrat - be it Clinton, Sanders, or O'Malley - needs to deserve my vote.

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