Friday, July 1, 2011

Climate Change We Can Believe In?: NH candidates blow off Carbon Alliance forum

October 26, 2010 by Amelia Chasse  
Filed under Energy & Environment

The New Hampshire Carbon Action Alliance spent months organizing a daylong conference on October 20th, with the program culminating in a series of candidate debates between the candidates for each federal office. Invitations were issued to the campaigns, moderators were arranged, and the forum was heavily promoted. The problem? Not a single one of the U.S. Congressional or Senate candidates elected to attend.

While skipping a climate-centric event makes obvious sense for Ayotte, Guinta, and Bass, who haven’t exactly made environmental issues central to their campaigns, other than to malign the cap-and-trade legislation pushed by Obama and the Democrats. However, the absence of Hodes, Shea-Porter, and Kuster is a real sign of how desperate Democrat candidates are to distance themselves from the administration’s agenda. While this kind of behavior isn’t surprising coming from Paul “Hot Dog” Hodes, it really says something about the political environment when Carol Shea-Porter runs away from a liberal policy issue.

UNH Survey Center Director Andy Smith sums the dynamic up pretty well in this article, saying “Democrats are trying to appear as moderate as possible, so that’s why they want to stay away from an environmental forum. On the Republican side, they’re not going to do anything to alienate voters who are really motivated.”

With the forum occurring a mere 14 days before Nov. 2nd, candidates on both sides of the aisle clearly made the calculation that not enough Granite State voters care about environmental issues to make the risk of being tarred as a cap-and-trade liberal worthwhile.

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