Sunday, February 7, 2016

Green grades

By Adam Wisnieski

EPL/Environmental Advocates awarded Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz with a score of 97, the highest possible score in its 2012 voter’s guide, for his voting record on environmental issues. That puts him in first place among New York City Assembly members.

Our local Senators did not fare as well.

State Sen. Jeff Klein received a 35 and state Sen. Adriano Espaillat got an incomplete (he missed a bunch of votes whilst running for Congress). State Sen. Gustavo Rivera scored a 74, down from his 99 last year. Mr. Rivera is far above the Senate average of 45 and Mr. Klein’s score is just about that of the Senate Republicans, who averaged a 33. Senate Democrats averaged 61.

Overall, the EPL was not satisfied with the 2012 legislative session.

“The 2012 session could have been a big year for big issues. From fair redistricting to limits on campaign contributions, we were supposed to see important changes in the way business is conducted in the capitol. But these good government reforms came up short  — much like the environmental agenda,” reads the intro to the EPL voter guide.

The grades are based on how legislators voted on certain bills the EPL believes to be pro- or anti-environment.

Mr. Klein’s voted for a bill that will allow the New York Power Authority to buy up coal plants to help boost the state’s energy and create jobs, significantly lowered his score. That bill passed the Senate with many Democrats voting for it, but was not introduced in the Assembly. Mr. Klein also voted for a bill that expands the definition of “all terrain vehicles,” which the EPL says will allow large environmentally damaging off-road vehicles to be registered in the state as ATVs.

EPL is a nonprofit corporation that has been advocating for environmental issues in New York for more than 40 years.


Missing a right wing

Every one of our local state legislators is facing a challenge from either a Republican or Conservative candidate in the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 6. But is it a challenge?

The short answer is no. There are 448,995 active registered Democrats in the Bronx, compared to 39,336 Republicans and 2,837 Conservatives.

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