The Sierra Club endorses Jim Davis & Charlie Crist for Governor by Mitch E. Perry

07/07/06

In the Democratic race for Governor, State Senator Rod Smith has made strong gains in recent weeks on Tampa Area Congressman Jim Davis, and trails Davis by only 6 percentage points in one recent poll.

So the Davis camp is celebrating today’s endorsement today by one of the nation’s leading environmental groups, the Sierra Club. (roll tape#1 o.q.�it wasn’t a hard call at all�) Curt Levine is the Political Chair for the Sierra Club’s Florida Chapter. He said that the environmental records of the two men made it clear who is the stronger candidate (roll tape#2 o.q.� frankly, has not�)

For proof, Levine referenced the Florida League of Conservation Voters ranking of State Senators last year…..Only 1 member in the State Senate scored lower than Rod Smith.

Critics have also said that 3 years ago, Smith backed postponing the deadline for Everglades Cleanup. And the year before that, his District office in Gainsville was picketed after he supported a measure restricting citizens' ability to challenge development permits.

The Environment has consistently turned up in polls as one of the most important issues for Democratic Voters. And the Jim Davis team say their man is far and away the better candidate on that issue ….Josh Earnest is a campaign spokesman for Jim Davis (roll tape#3 o.q.� in the next 8 weeks�)

The Sierra Club’s Curt Levine says both candidates were impressive in face to face interviews as they sought the Club’s endorsement, but he says it’s important to look at what they have DONE while in office, not what they say they’ll do (roll tape#4 o.q.�has our support�)

The Sierra Club’s endorsement of Davis is for the Democratic nomination only…But for the first time in 12 years, the Sierra Club is also endorsing somebody in the Republican ranks. Again, the Sierra Club’s Curt Levine (roll tape#5 o.q.�as Attorney General�)

And Levine said that his group sent its questionnaire to Tom Gallagher's campaign three times, but never received a response.

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