by Goldy, 04/30/2008, 4:22 PM

A quick follow-up to my earlier post about the Wild Sky wilderness area, and why when it comes to environmental issues, the only thing you need be concerned with is the little “R” or “D” next to a candidate’s name.

Case in point, Rep. Dave Reichert, who managed to generate paragraphs of positive press for himself through his sponsorship of a bill to expand the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area within his home district. The Seattle P-I’s Joel Connelly and I have a friendly disagreement on this subject. Joel thinks Reichert deserves credit and support for his Alpine Lakes initiative, whereas I think he’s just an insincere poseur, seeking to puff up his environmental credentials in a very green district. But all that’s really beside the point, because when it comes to environmental protection, intentions are much less important than ability.

Reichert sure talks up his environmental credentials, but since introducing his bill back on November 8, 2007, he has managed to secure exactly zero co-sponsors in the House. Zilch. Nada. Bupkis. He hasn’t even persuaded a single Republican colleague to sign on, and it’s not at all clear that he’s even tried. I’d say that speaks volumes both about the seriousness of his efforts to push this bill forward, and his ability to actually do so.

Compare that to Rep. Jay Inslee’s bill to protect roadless areas of our national forests, on which he has managed to garner 149 co-sponsors, including a number of Republicans (not one of which happens to be self-proclaimed environmentalist, Dave Reichert).

Of the 33 bills Reichert has proposed since being elected to the House in 2004, the two-term congressman has managed to pass exactly none; not exactly a record of legislative accomplishment. And as for his supposedly “moderate” voting record on environmental and other issues, Daniel Kirkdorffer at On the Road to 2008 has ably chronicled Reichert’s pattern of joining Republican caucus efforts to block, castrate and scuttle legislation, only to flip his vote once the battle is lost and the local media is paying attention to final passage. (You know, except for ANWR, where Reichert very publicly opposed drilling in numerous procedural votes, and then voted for drilling when it finally mattered.)

But if our local media isn’t reading between the lines of Reichert’s voting record, corporations and special interest PACs are, with oil companies contributing $60,000 to Reichert’s coffers since 2004, and the timber industry giving almost $14,000 this cycle alone. I’m one of those who believe that political money usually follows voting records, not the other way around, but either way it tells you where oil and timber interests think Reichert stands on the environment.

I suppose the best you could say about Reichert’s impact on environmental legislation, serving within a Democratic controlled House, is that he at least appears to be harmless. But if you’re an 8th CD voter who supports a more progressive environmental agenda, you may want to consider electing a representative who is capable of making actual progress.

7 Responses to “Reichert’s real record on the environment”

1. GBS spews:

OK, so if his record of accomplishment is nothing while taking a government pay check please explain to me why Darcy Burner couldn’t do nothing just as well.

Let alone explain how she had so many Democratic challengers sign on to her Responsible Plan to End the War Iraq. Looks like Darcy already has accomplished more in congress than Deputy Doofus has in his two terms.

Somebody do Reichert a favor and send him the want ads and circle the security guard positions for him. He’s gonna need it.

Baaa haaa haaa haaa.

2. michael spews:

The Alpine Lakes thing was a green-wash, it wouldn’t get passed into law and everyone knows it. Connelly needs to pull his head out.

You need to be careful of ALL politicians on this sort of thing, proposing something means little, passing laws and implementing them is everything.

That said: Go Darcy (Inslee too!)!!! She looks like she can get shit done.

3. "Hannah" spews:

Just an FYI the same “timber industry” has given Murray $10,500 and Dicks $12,300.

We all know the only reason Dave’s name is getting ANY credit has nothing to do with him actually doing anything…and Platt river…what is that all about anyway?

4. michael spews:


Dicks and Murray are also big favorites of the environmental community. They do good work.

5. All Facts Support My Positions spews:

I hate (love) to say it, but everything Republicon is fraudulent. From Dave R. pretending to be an environmentalist, to Rossi pretending to be a moderate, and McGavick pretending to be human…..

Since young people are running from the GOP faster than the polar ice is melting, soon every single American will be a Democrat, and the few Republiconvicts remaining will be behind bars where they belong….

6. What'sittoya spews:

Some phoney democrat front group is making anti-Reichert robocalls in the 8th district. Come out, come out, whoever you are…..

7. notaboomer spews:

Right on the mark, Goldy. Thank you. Reichert is greenmail personified. Elect Darcy Burner in 2008.