Tuesday, November 08, 2005

My Last Steering Committee Meeting

Last night was my final Steering Committee Meeting with the Committee for Fair Elections. I didn't really want to go, seeing as I'm moving to Japan in 10 days (gulp), but Shirin made me go so that I could update the blog and collect any incoming petitions.

She totally tricked me. She only made me come so that they could give me a cake and wish me well. Thanks, Everybody. It was a great six months.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

One year ago today....

If the election were held today instead of one year ago John F. Kerry would have trounced George W. Bush. What a difference a year makes. If only....

Sunday, October 30, 2005

16 Days Left

I'm leaving for Japan on November 18. My last day at LCV is going to be November 15. It looks like my involvement with Florida politics is coming to an end.

I promise I'll come back in 2008 to help get Hilary elected to the White House.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

LTE by Deb Callahan


Re: Bush defends gulf drilling compromise, Oct. 7.

I'm truly sorry that Gov. Jeb Bush, who recently said, "I don't know who the League of Conservation Voters are," has missed the great work that we have been doing for the past 35 years on behalf of candidates all over America - candidates who consistently support our environment. In Florida, we have 16,000 supporters and an Orlando office with a full-time staff working every day to inform the public about environmental issues and the voting records of their elected officials.

While we understand 2004 was a busy year for the governor, allow me to give a glimpse of what the league was able to accomplish in the Sunshine State:

284,383 doors knocked on.

110,459 contacts made.

Bolstered by a multimillion-dollar TV ad campaign the last two weeks of the campaign, the largest single state ad buy in the history of the environmental movement, 800 league volunteers knocked on 83,000 doors the final weekend of the campaign. Who noticed?

". . . the League of Conservation Voters . . . launched . . . a $3-million TV ad buy in Florida, attacking oil drilling off the state's coast." - Wall Street Journal, Oct. 21, 2004.

"But the Democrats are bolstered by tens of thousands of paid staffers and volunteers working with a coalition of organizations formed to unseat (President) Bush . . . The League of Conservation Voters is one of the better known." - Orlando Sentinel, Oct. 25, 2004.

We're truly sorry that Gov. Bush did not have the opportunity to observe our work on behalf of pro-environment candidates.

-- Deb Callahan, president, League of Conservation Voters, Washington, D.C.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Press Release: October 6, 2005


Gov. Bush Joins Rep. Katherine Harris On Florida Varsity Flip-Flop Team

The Flip-Flops On Offshore Oil Drilling Keep Coming

WASHINGTON - The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) today announced that Gov. Jeb Bush has joined Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL) on the Florida Varsity Flip-Flop Team with his sudden reversal on coastal drilling. Now a supporter of drilling rigs off Florida beaches, Gov. Bush had in the past said "there will be no drilling in the Lease Sale 181 Area off the coast of Florida under my watch." ("Gov. Bush reverses stance, now supports oil drilling rigs in eastern Gulf of Mexico," Orlando Sentinel, 10/5/05).

With a possible vote in the House on new energy legislation in the coming weeks, LCV also calls on Rep. Harris to clarify her own inconsistent position on drilling for oil off the Sunshine State coast.

This past April, Rep. Harris voted for an energy bill that could have paved the way for drilling off Florida's coast by weakening an important safeguard against new drilling projects, the Coastal Zone Management Act. Then, in a political makeover after deciding to seek higher office, she introduced a largely symbolic bill to ban drilling off Florida's coasts and voted against the final energy bill.

Most recently Rep. Harris contradicted herself when her spokesperson said that "the congresswoman's position is firm [against drilling]." In the next paragraph of the same news story, Rep. Harris left open the door to allowing oil drilling just over 100 miles from Florida's coastlines, when she said she was "willing to listen" to arguments by drilling proponents ("Florida could bow to drilling," Orlando Sentinel, 9/19/05).

"With yesterday's comments, Gov. Bush joins Rep. Katherine Harris on the Florida varsity flip-flop team," said LCV Florida Campaign Manager Shirin Bidel-Niyat. "As the debate about a new energy bill moves forward in Congress in the coming weeks, the question for Rep. Harris is: will you side with Florida families who want to protect the state's coasts or with the oil industry and Gov. Bush who would rather erect drilling rigs?"

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Veg Fest

LCV had a very successful day at Veg Fest 2005. The event looked like it might be a washout when it started pouring at 11 AM. Lucky for us, the rain only lasted about 20 minutes.

The tent kept us mostly dry, but my beautiful LCV display got ruined. It was too windy to stand it on the table, so I had hung it from the tent. The rain and wind split it into three pieces.

Like I said, the rain eventually stopped and we started drawing people into our tent in no time. As is usual when LCV has a table, our tent wasn't big enough to fit all of the people trying to get in. We couldn't hand out the sign up sheets fast enough.

We also had several people sign redistricting petitions. It was great. I would pass out a clipboard to three or four people at once and then they would all sign as I told them about the petition.