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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus

Sierra Club
     Statewide candidates
by Bill Magavern, Sierra Club California Senior Legislative Representative

Gray Davis
| Cruz Bustamante | Kevin Shelly | Bill Lockyer | Steve Westly
Phil Angelides | John Garamendi | Jack O'Connell

Gray Davis Gray Davis | Governor

Since governor is the office with the most influence on California’s environment, Sierra Club conducted a comprehensive and deliberate endorsement process.

In July, an interview team of six volunteers and three staff met with Governor Gray Davis (who had already returned a 21-page questionnaire) for two hours, covering a variety of vital issues his administration has addressed and needs to address, including forestry, growth management, coastal protection, global warming, air and water quality, endangered species, toxic and radioactive waste, wilderness, and campaign finance reform. Over the next two months we followed up with an extensive dialogue with the state’s top environmental officials.

Having gone through this exhaustive process of assessing the governor’s record and agenda, the interview team recommended endorsing Davis for a second term. After weighing the pros and cons, the Political Committee, Regional Conservation Committees, and Executive Committee all voted overwhelmingly to endorse Davis, the Democratic nominee.

Among Davis’ many environmental accomplishments are: signing a bill making California the first state in the nation to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles; campaigning for two major environmental bond measures; launching a huge energy conservation campaign in 2001 that successfully averted blackouts and improved air quality; and appointing accomplished environmentalists like Mike Paparian (Integrated Waste Management Board), Bob Hattoy (Fish and Game Commission) and Sue Britting (Board of Forestry) to key regulatory bodies.

Sierra Club California plans to work with Gov. Davis during his second term to improve his environmental record and, among other things, reduce clearcutting of forests, establish effective smart growth measures, implement the new global warming law, protect the coast from over-development, and safeguard our air and water from toxins such as diesel exhaust, mercury, lead and radiation.

Republican candidate Bill Simon declined to return our questionnaire, which indicates that his sporadic noises about protecting the coast are merely a facade for his deregulatory agenda. Green Party candidate Peter Camejo did return our questionnaire, and we interviewed him on July 3. Although he sounded generally sympathetic to ecological protection, he did not demonstrate in-depth knowledge about environmental issues, aside from his well-informed support for solar energy. .

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Cruz Bustamante Cruz Bustamante | Lt. Governor

Sierra Club endorses Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante (Dem.) for re-election, based on his record of environmental advocacy in office.

Bustamante has used his position to champion environmental causes in two ways: through the specific duties delegated to him, and generally by taking advantage of his bully pulpit as a constitutional officer.

The Lt. Governor is a member, and sometimes chair, of the State Lands Commission, which regulates the use of millions of acres of state lands and waterways. Bustamante has used his role to strengthen the Commission’s commitment to ecological protection.

Although he hails from Fresno, Bustamante has made coastal protection a special priority, opposing offshore oil drilling and over-development of the coast and making excellent appointments to the Coastal Commission. When the Legislature was considering important and controversial legislation, he not only took pro-coast positions, he also actively used his influence to sway key legislators.

Bustamante has also supported other important environmental causes such as parks bonds and energy conservation. He earned Sierra Club’s endorsement when he ran for the job in 1998, based in part on his record as Assembly Speaker.

Kevin Shelly Kevin Shelly | Secretary of State

Sierra Club endorses Assembly Member Kevin Shelley (Dem. - San Francisco) for Secretary of State. First elected to the Assembly in 1996, Shelley rose to the position of Majority Leader in 1998.

Shelley authored the Healthy Schools Act of 2000 to protect children from toxins and persisted until the bill was signed into law. His other legislative accomplishments include bills to fund environmental programs and to protect marine life. He scored perfect 100s on the California League of Conservation Voter (CLCV) scorecards for the last four years.

Voting modernization is the central plank in Shelley’s platform for the Secretary of State job. The Secretary of State’s office is important for political reform and corporate accountability, two Sierra Club goals. The Republican nominee, former Assembly Member Keith Olberg, had CLCV scores of 8, 7, and 0 during his final three years.

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Bill Lockyer Bill Lockyer | Attorney General

Sierra Club endorses Attorney General Bill Lockyer (Dem.) for re-election, based on his fine performance in office. Lockyer has shown a strong interest in environmental protection, as reflected especially
by his positions in litigation where the Attorney General has represented the people of the State, independent of any state agency.

The Office of Attorney General has brought several Prop. 65 right-to-know suits, including one involving diesel trucks at grocery distribution centers. One area where Lockyer has been active, and has taken positions very different than those advocated by his predecessor, is in the area of takings litigation. He has been an outspoken critic of efforts to limit environmental protection through expansion of the takings doctrine, and has filed briefs in support of state regulation in important takings cases.

Lockyer has also revitalized the role of the Attorney General in seeking to assure compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The Office of the Attorney General has brought cases challenging the adequacy of the environmental documentation used for the Newhall Ranch development, and challenging local governments’ failure to comply with CEQA in approving Central Valley dairies.

One of the Attorney General’s first environmental cases involved intervention in support of restrictions on jet skis at Lake Tahoe, a case Lockyer argued himself. The Office of the Attorney General has intervened or filed briefs amicus curiae in support of inclusionary zoning, national energy standards, and the Giant Sequoia National Monument.

Sierra Club endorsed Lockyer for Attorney General in 1998, based, in part, on his environmental record as Senate President Pro Tempore and as a longtime Bay Area legislator.
Steve Westly Steve Westly | State Controller

Sierra Club endorses Steve Westly (Dem.) for Controller. The Controller is one of three members of the State Lands Commission, which regulates the use of millions of acres of statelands and waterways,
and also serves on several state finance committees that oversee the implementation of environmental bond measures. The Controller can affect environmental policy in other ways through involvement in a number of taxing and spending decisions.

Westly promises to promote environmentally-friendly energy development, oppose any offshore drilling, keep our air and water clean, spend bond money on the most effective environmental projects, and promote smart growth and regional planning. As a specific example of how he will use his office to help the environment, Westly pledges to extend and refine the State Lands Commission’s “Ballast Water Management” program, which curbs the introduction of alien plant and animal species to California’s bays and harbors.

Tom McClintock, the Republican nominee, has compiled an extremely anti-environment record with CLCV scores of 13, 0, and 0 over the last three years, often casting the only “no” vote on environmental bills in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee.

Phil Angelides Phil Angelides | State Treasurer

Sierra Club endorses Treasurer Phil Angelides (Dem.) for re-election based on his impressive performance in office, his grasp of key environmental issues, and his commitment to promotion of smart growth, energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Putting his background as a suburban Sacramento developer behind him, Angelides has been one of the most visible proponents of smart growth in California state government. As a member of the boards of the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) and the State Teachers’ Retirement System (STRS), he has promoted investment in development within urban boundaries, which helps to mitigate sprawl on the fringes. He has also revamped how affordable housing developers qualify for tax credits: instead of a lottery, credits are now awarded for adhering to sustainable growth policies such as proximity to transit, retail shops, and schools.

An original sponsor of the legislation creating the California Consumer Power and Conservation Financing Authority, on which he now sits, Angelides clearly affirms that the Authority’s mission is to promote investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

John Garamendi John Garamendi | Insurance Commissioner

Sierra Club endorses John Garamendi (Dem.), the first elected Insurance Commissioner. During his sixteen years in the Legislature, Garamendi’s environmental successes included laws to protect
Lake Tahoe and Mono Lake, hold polluters responsible for their contamination, and promote energy efficiency, renewable energy and nuclear safety.

As Deputy Secretary of the Interior in the Clinton Administration, Garamendi was deeply involved in saving the Headwaters redwood forest, negotiating on water issues, and blocking the Wilson Administration’s attempt to open a radioactive waste dump at Ward Valley.

Although Insurance Commissioner is not central to environmental protection, Garamendi points out that “the commissioner can assure that insurance policies cover environmental damage, and the commissioner can force companies to honor the contractual commitments for environmental damage that exist in their policies.” Garamendi has demonstrated that he is willing to take on the big insurance companies

Jack O'Connel Jack O'Connell
Superintendent of Public Instruction

Sierra Club endorses Senator Jack O’Connell (Dem. - San Luis Obispo) for Superintendent of Public Instruction. O’Connell has served in the Legislature for almost 20 years, as an Assembly Member from 1982 to 1994 and as a senator since then.

A longtime Sierra Club member, O’Connell has authored major environmental bills, including the 1994 Statewide Offshore Coastal Sanctuary law and Natural Heritage Preservation Tax Credit Act in 2000. He has supported cleanup of underground toxics and

vigorously opposed offshore oil drilling.
A reliable pro-environment vote on the Environmental Quality Committee, O’Connell scored perfect 100s on the CLCV scorecards for the last four years. The Superintendent plays an important role in environmental education.

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