Latest “Dirty Dozen” Inductees in Good Position to Win Senate Seats

Angle, Buck and Johnson called a “triple threat to a clean energy economy” by League of Conservation Voters

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WASHINGTON—All three of the newest Republican inductees into the League of Conservation Voters’ 2010 Dirty Dozen list are either leading or running neck and neck with their Democratic opponents for U.S. Senate seats.

The advocacy organization labeled Tea Party candidates Sharron Angle of Nevada, Ken Buck of Colorado and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin as a “triple threat to a clean energy economy” in a statement sent to reporters this week.

During the campaign season, all three candidates have made statements during public appearances or interviews that question the science of global warming.

“Their extremist views on climate change put them far outside the mainstream, while their support for the failed energy polices of the past make them unfit for the U.S. Senate,” said Tony Massaro, the league’s senior vice president for political affairs. “These ‘Flat Earthers’ are parroting the lies and misinformation of corporate polluters and as senators would side with Big Oil over American families at every opportunity.”

Angle is challenging Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, now serving his fourth term; county prosecutor Buck is up against Michael Bennet, the Denver school superintendent who was appointed to his first term after President Obama named Ken Salazar to head up the Department of Interior; and Johnson is putting up a surprisingly strong fight against three-term Sen. Russ Feingold.

Poll numbers released this week by Rasmussen Reports, a political handicapper, show Angle and Reid deadlocked, so the Nevada race remains too close to pick a clear winner.

However, Rasmussen has moved the Colorado and Wisconsin contests from “toss-up” to “leans GOP” status. Numbers from a September 27 telephone survey of likely voters in Colorado shows Buck capturing more than 50 percent of the vote for the first time. Numbers from a similar telephone survey in Wisconsin on September 29 indicate Johnson has jumped to a 12 percent lead yet over Feingold—his highest one yet. The statewide survey shows Johnson picking up support of 54 percent of likely voters, compared to 42 percent for Feingold.

Angle has called for the elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and referred to the BP escrow account set up after the oil spill as a “slush fund,” according to LCV research. As a member of the Nevada State Assembly, she received environmental scores of 17 percent in 2003 and 14 percent in 2005 from the Nevada Conservation League.

Johnson is open to drilling in the Great Lakes, has consistently defended BP in the aftermath of the Gulf Coast oil spill and owns significant stock in BP, Exxon Mobil and Occidental Petroleum, according to LCV research.

LCV president Gene Karpinski has relentessly lambasted the trio and several other Republican Senate candidates as “Flat Earthers.” The organization has tied that message into its Flat Earth TV production called “Tea Time with Sarah Palin.” The satirical video lampoons the animated host and Senate candidates for their views on climate change.

With the addition of Angle, Buck and Johnson, the total for this year’s Dirty Dozen now stands at 11. The trademark list targets candidates for Congress who consistently vote against clean energy and conservation.

The environmental advocacy group claims that more than 60 percent of the Dirty Dozen have been defeated since 1996.

Republican Richard Pombo was the first candidate named to the 2010 Dirty Dozen list to lose a race this year. In California’s June primary, the former representative lost to State Sen. Jeff Denham for the chance to compete for the 19th Congressional District seat.

Just one Democrat, Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, has been named to the list this year. Other Republican Senate candidates earning the “honors” include Roy Blunt of Missouri, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Carly Fiorina of California.

On the House side, incumbent Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota made the list. She is joined by two Republican candidates who are trying to reclaim their former House seats.

Steve Pearce is attempting to once again represent New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District after failing to win a U.S. Senate seat a few years ago. Former Michigan Rep. Tim Walberg is back on the ballot after Democrat Rep. Mark Schauer beat him out for the 7th Congressional District seat two years ago.