Tue 26 Aug 2008
Politics are a funny business. Even after falling head over heals in love with Michelle Obama during her speech last night, I still got to wake up today to read article after article about McCain’s spots claiming Hillary was robbed (so nice of him to care!) and about legal action taken against a crazy right wing group for running a disgusting ad about Obama accusing him of being a terrorist. (Ironically, the legal action being taken against the spot is under the McCain/Feingold law that Poppa Mac passed back in the day. Where O Where has that McCain gone?)
Its gotten so that the 24 hour news cycle is obsolete, and we can’t even enjoy a good speech for more then ten minutes after its over! Gross.
So, instead, today we are traveling to a quieter place. A more civilized local where people only have one type of cheese on their pizza, and maybe enjoy some good old American pepperoni as well. But two toppings. That’s it. This place is, of course, Buffalo New York, home of one Alice Kryzan, who is running for the 26th congressional district of New York.
The American Green wants you to support Kryzan for congress, and after a short disclaimer and the break, we will tell you why.
(Full disclosure: I am close friends with the son of Kryzan, one Sam Berger. However, his say so has only gotten me interested in the election. Since that point, I decided to actually research the election, as well as Kryzan’s stance on the issue of merit: the environment.)
If you thought the Dems’ presidential nomination was nasty, imagine if Hillary and Obama were still going at it. And if, say, Edwards had stayed in the race, and was polling well. (Hard to imagine, I know, given… Ahem… recent revelations.) But that’s whats happening up there in Buffalo: its still a three person race and the PRIMARY is still two weeks away. (Yes, we acknowledge that there is much lacking in this analogy. Money. Anger. Huge amounts of press. But bare with with me here…)
Absurd as that sounds, it gets even crazier when you look at the other two dudes in the race. Both of them are former republicans, which has got to help them out once they move to the general election, but doesn’t do a lot for me personally. One of them, Jon Powers, is a former republican who has seen some sort of light. He’s also an Iraq war vet. The other, Jack Davis, is a more dyed in the wool former republican, a business man who’s website (unfortunately for him on this blog) doesn’t list an opinion on the environment at all.
I’m not going to get into the ups and downs of the election too much, but its fraught with excitement and you should all check it out. (It looks like both people NOT named Alice Kryzan have some sort of scandal’s arrayed against them, though they both come off as a lot of background noise to me after the Obama is a terrorist stuff)
No, more important for me is to talk about Environmental plans. And I’m not just talking about the importance of having one, and vaguely acknowledging that the environment exists. I’m talking about the importance of having an in-depth policy plan that the candidate actually knows and cares about. Kryzan is an environmental lawyer, (she has the back-round knowledge) and she wrote her entire policy which you can check out here.
Its an impressive document, both for its concise logical points and for its clear and unapologetic positions. For example:
Long term, I support legislation to address climate change which would reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent (compared to 1990 levels) by 2050. This is the level of reductions that must be achieved to stabilize atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations at 450 parts per million, a critical level for climate stabilization according to leading climatologists. Also, any cap and trade program should have 100% auction of the permits and we should use some of that money to help offset increasing energy costs for low and moderate income Americans.
Logical and pointed. Something we can hold her too in office. She also clearly sees the need for long term investment into the logic of a Green economy. If there were ever a location that real green jobs could help, Buffalo’s blue collar labor crew in this time of economic struggle would be it.
Too often these days, politicians are interested in Green for the bump that it gives them in the polls, not because they understand the social significance or the potential social gain. Kryzan, like others on the real front lines of the green movement, really seems to get it.
One final point to make on the Environmental thing. Kryzan was involved in the aftermath of one of the largest Environmental disasters in New York History: the Love Canal clusterf*%&. She was on what many call the wrong side of that issue, acting as legal defense for the chemical company responsible. This is viewed by some, especially those posting away on places like DailyKos, as proof that she doesn’t really believe what she has to say about the environment.
I had my doubts. Love Canal hits all the wrong emo notes for me too. But after reading about and listing to Alice speak on the subject, I think that nothing is further from the truth. Despite the fact that her opponents trot out “Love Canal” as a final blow, she worked to resolve the case quickly and efficiently in a way that helped the residents receive real compensation after years of back-push. She was not the person burying barrels of toxic waste, she was the person responsible for assembling scientific experts to testify on the effects of the solution. What I find telling at the end of the day is that her opponents in the Love Canal case (environmentalists all) have endorsed her run for congress. The lead counsel for the plaintiffs, another lawyer and the judge’s law clerk have all said that she worked hard to make sure that a real solution was reached in a terrible and emotional tragedy.
Let me dwell for one moment on that last point. Solutions. Actually getting things done, regardless of the press, the spin, or the way that people might use it later as a bludgeon. Look: at this point, go ahead and drill off shore. Go ahead and do whatever you want. Because right now, unless there’s a full court press, those little things are garnish on the huge disaster that this country seems to be diving headlong into. We need people at every level of government who get it, and Alice Kryzan gets it.
And now, a little more politics at the end. AK’s new add is up:
Who wrote this one? TheAmericanGreen - The founding member of the American Green institute, and a New York based producer and writer hoping to make the jump from "freelancer" to "documentary producer". Read more from this author