Joni Ernst and the Kochs want to dismantle the Clean Water Act

Joni Ernst is preparing for a big debate, but before she takes the stage, let’s take a look at who she would really represent in the Senate.

According to audio released from the Kochs’ secretive donor summit, Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst gushed that the Koch brothers’ donor network is to thank for her political “trajectory.” Ernst went on to attribute the Kochs’ backing to her support for “rolling back… rules and regulations.” It’s an apt observation from Koch Crony Joni, who has gone so far as to oppose the Clean Water Act, a critical environmental protection that Koch Industries and its subsidiaries have run afoul of no less than 18 times in the Hawkeye State alone.

Earlier this year, while campaigning for the Republican party nomination for Iowa’s open Senate seat, Ernst said that she considers the Clean Water Act to be “damaging” to business and that she supports replacing it with “voluntary measures.” The extreme remark even rankled members of her own party, with Republican operatives citing her opposition to the longstanding, successful environmental protection as proof positive that she had tacked too hard to the far right. Despite the push back it received from some establishment Republicans, Ernst’s rant against the Clean Water Act is a perfect example of the type of anti-regulation rhetoric that, as she herself speculated, likely piqued the Kochs’ attention.

Read more after the jump.

Oh Look, Rick Scott Is An Environmentalist Now! (VIDEO)

Rick Scott is traversing the state this week, attempting to convince Floridians that his sudden interest in environmental protection is something more than election-year pandering. It won’t work.

As rising sea levels associated with climate change pose greater and greater threat to the Florida coastline, Rick Scott has only doubled and tripled down on his “I’m not a scientist” buffoonery. But you don’t have to be a scientist to listen to scientific consensus. And you certainly don’t need a science-believing governor to suffer from increased flooding in your hometown.

Read more after the jump.

Rick Scott’s 2014 Budget: A Textbook Case Of Election Year Pandering

As Governor Rick Scott delivers his 2014-2015 budget address, Floridians would do well to see Scott’s budget for what it is: A textbook case of election year pandering. While Scott’s budget plans included hundreds of millions of dollars in vague tax breaks for special interests and dramatic cuts to various revenue sources, the Tea Party governor has also discovered an election year infatuation with spending on Everglades reconstruction, child welfare, and teacher pay raises. Scott’s predilection for election year pandering is nothing new, but the extent of it in his latest budget proposal is staggering.

Scott Has A History Of Election Year Pandering (VIDEO). According to a news segment highlighting clips of Governor Rick Scott, Scott has a history of election-year pandering. In the clip, a FOX reporter states of Scott: “He’s the Tea Party Republican who slashed school funding then raised it as he prepared for re-election, after he tied teacher pay to performance, before giving out raises regardless of performance.”

Read more after the jump.

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Romney And The Environment

Previously said Carbon Was Not A harmful Pollutant And Questioned The EXISTENCE Of Global Warming

July, 2011, Romney Said Carbon Is Not A Harmful Pollutant To Human Bodies. According to Mitt Romney says he doesn’t think carbon pollution threatens human health and would not green-light EPA climate regulations if he were in the White House. The GOP presidential candidate signaled the reversal to one of the Obama administration’s top environmental policies during a town hall meeting Thursday in Derry, N.H. This came about six weeks after he acknowledged during a campaign stop that global warming is real, a statement that won him praise from Al Gore. ‘I think we may have made a mistake,’ Romney said Thursday in response to a voter’s question about EPA regulating air pollution from coal plants under the Clean Air Act. ‘We have made a mistake is what I believe, in saying that the EPA should regulate carbon emissions. I don’t think that was the intent of the original legislation, and I don’t think carbon is a pollutant in the sense of harming our bodies.’” [Politico, 7/18/11]

Read more after the jump.

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Romney And Energy

Romney Opposed Wind Energy Tax Credit Benefitting Iowan Farmers

Romney Opposed Renewing Wind Energy Tax Credits Set To Expire Despite Program’s Popularity In Iowa. According to Talking Points Memo, “The Romney campaign on Monday signaled the Republican nominee is against renewing a tax break for wind energy, a potentially dangerous position since the program is popular in the swing state of Iowa, reports the Des Moines Register. The position distinguishes Romney from President Obama who wishes to extend the tax credit and says it has saved jobs in Iowa. It also puts Romney at odds with some Iowa Republicans who support the tax break. ‘He will allow the wind credit to expire, end the stimulus boondoggles, and create a level playing field on which all sources of energy can compete on their merits,’ Shawn McCoy, a spokesman for Romney’s Iowa campaign, told the Register Monday. ‘Wind energy will thrive wherever it is economically competitive, and wherever private sector competitors with far more experience than the president believe the investment will produce results.’” [Talking Points Memo, 7/31/12]

Gov. Branstad Said Wind Energy Tax Credits Proceeded Obama And The Stimulus And Made A Difference. According to Radio Iowa, “The Romney campaign is running a TV ad in Iowa which suggests part of the 2009 economic stimulus package sent taxpayer dollars to ‘windmills from China.’ ‘I understand why they are very critical of the whole thing that was done by the Obama Administration with regard to the stimulus and some of the money that was wasted on Solyndra and some of these green energy projects didn’t make sense,’ Branstad said. ‘The tax credit, however, is a much different thing and it way proceeded Obama and it was actually something that Senator Grassley authored and has made a real difference over time.’” [Radio Iowa, 8/2/12]

Read more after the jump.

Journal Inquirer: McMahon Has Stake In Oil Pipeline Plan She Supports

On March 31, 2012, the Journal Inquirer reported:

Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Linda McMahon — a champion of the Keystone oil pipeline project — owns shares worth as much as $437,000 in nine of Canada’s largest oil-sands producers and six other Canadian companies that could profit from the business of moving crude from Alberta to U.S. refineries.

Read more after the jump.

Romney Flip-Flops On Domestic Drilling’s Impact On Foreign Oil Dependence

In recent days, Mitt Romney has claimed that domestic drilling would reduce dependency on foreign oil.  It’s probably no surprise that he hasn’t always said so.

On the March 16, 2012 episode of Fox News’ Fox and Friends, Romney responded to a question about gas prices, saying:

“Well, the best thing we can do to get the price of gas to be more moderate and not have to be dependent upon the cartel is drill in the gulf, drill in the outer continent shelf, drill in ANWR, drill in North Dakota, South Dakota, drill in Oklahoma, and Texas.” [Fox and Friends, 3/16/12]

In his 2011 book No Apology, Romney wrote:

“We consume roughly 24 percent of the world’s oil but possess only 2.4 percent of the world’s oil reserves. Even if we were to begin to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and on the continental shelf, it wouldn’t be enough to appreciably have an impact on our dependence on other nations for oil. And if we were to open the domestic oil spigot too wide and drain our last fields, we would risk leaving America even more vulnerable twenty-five years from now than it is today. But there should be no objection to preparing the energy infrastructure to tap known reserves and to discover more reserves: This is a vitally important insurance policy against future energy shocks or threats to national security. And it is always possible that new, very large discoveries could surprise us.”  [No Apology, 2011, Pg. 247]

MEMO: Candidate Romney’s Attack Boomerangs On Governor Romney

Mitt Romney today has adopted the message of former Tea Party candidate Michele Bachmann in a transparent attempt to appeal to her extremist supporters. Romney’s phony outrage about “crony capitalism” is particularly surprising considering Romney’s record in Massachusetts.

When Romney was Governor of Massachusetts, “the state handed out $4.5 million in loans to two firms run by his campaign donors that have since defaulted, leaving taxpayers holding the bag.” Romney lured one of the companies to Massachusetts by offering a direct loan from the state and his Administration bragged about using government loans to attract business.

But, now that Romney is running for President, he claims that government loans to private companies are “crony capitalism.” It’s the worst kind of hypocrisy from a candidate who has proven he will do or say anything to advance his political career.

Full memo after the jump.