As a key part of its electoral work this year, Washington Conservation Voters announced today they named Steve McLaughlin, running for Commissioner of Public Lands, to the League of Conservation Voters “Dirty Dozen in the States.” Modeled after LCV’s trademark federal “Dirty Dozen,” the state version highlights 12 of the most anti-environment state-level candidates from around the country.
“It’s bad enough that Steve McLaughlin takes money from the very industry he would regulate in office,” said Shannon Murphy, President of Washington Conservation Voters. “But his ties to anti-public lands and anti-government groups should downright disqualify him from running for statewide office. Any Washington voter who believes in access to the outdoors and wants clean air and water for their communities and kids should worry about Steve McLaughlin.”
Reasons McLaughlin was named to the Dirty Dozen:
- McLaughlin signed onto a letter proclaiming his full support for two convicted arsonists that set fire to public lands and sparked the takeover of the Malheur Oregon Wildlife Refuge earlier this year.
- He belonged to the anti-public lands, anti-government group Coalition of Western States. While he’s recently tried to distance himself from this affiliation, McLaughlin continues to enlist leaders of COWS for support in his campaign for Commissioner.
- Southern Poverty Law Center named McLaughlin on their list of “elected officials and candidates who embrace Extremist ‘Patriot’ Agenda on Federal Lands”.
- McLaughlin has taken thousands of dollars from timber interests; this is the same industry that the Commissioner of Public Lands would regulate.
- He openly questions human caused climate change and has expressed interest in reopening permits for a coal export terminal in Whatcom County, WA.
Thirty state Conservation Voter partners worked to determine this election cycle’s “Dirty Dozen in the States.” The candidates named are some of the most anti-environment politicians running in competitive state-level races for governor, state senate, or state house this cycle.
The “Dirty Dozen in the States” is modeled after LCV’s “Dirty Dozen,” which has targeted candidates for federal office (with occasional exceptions)— regardless of party affiliation — who consistently side against the environment, and are running in races in which LCV has a serious chance to affect the outcome. LCV has named candidates to the Dirty Dozen for twenty years.