Opinion

League of Conservation Voters behaving like partisan hacks

Ken Tomlinson Contributor

Why in the world is the League of Conservation Voters joining with the far-left Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in a desperate attempt to re-elect one of George Soros’s favorite congressman?

Is this the same League of Conservation Voters whose annual Middleburg fundraising event rakes in big dollars from some of this region’s finest citizens?

One and the same.

And behind all this is a tale of political deception that should change our community’s attitude toward the League — for a close examination of its national political advocacy reveals an organization far more involved in advancing a left-wing economic agenda than in preserving the beauty of our countryside.

The tip of the iceberg is as far away as Google.  Examine the League’s House endorsements for 2010, and you will see list of better than 30 liberal Democrats — and only two Republicans.

Stats from the League’s targeted Congressional Dirty Dozen also tell the story. This year eleven of the dozen are conservative Republicans.  Only one is a Democrat — Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln who is given little chance to win re-election — a target that illustrates the political sophistication of the people who run the League.

The trend has been the same in every recent Congressional cycle.  In 2008 the Dirty Dozen contained eleven Republicans and one Democrat.  In 2006 it was ten to two.  In 2004 it was eleven to one.  When it comes to orchestrating support for liberals — and penalizing conservatives — those who control the League’s political arm know what they are doing.

But the recent press release we received on League of Conservation Voters letterhead takes the organization’s advocacy to an even higher level.  The League joined with the SEIU to do a poll in Virginia’s 5thDistrict that supposedly shows that embattled Rep. Tom Perriello is only one point behind Republican State Sen. Robert Hurt.

Talk about sophisticated political advocacy.  Even the University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato recently listed this race as leaning Republican.  A Survey USA poll showed Hurt with a better than 20-point lead.  Perriello was elected two years ago in a political fluke and virtually every political pro regards him as one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for re-election.

To grasp why the League would join with the SEIU in an attempt to save this near certain loser, you have to understand how important Tom Perriello is to the American left.  He represents a traditionalist district, but he has been a down-the-line vote for the Obama economic agenda.  Voted for ObamaCare, stimulus spending and the job-destroying cap-and-trade bill.  Numerous publications have noted the generous financial support of Perriello from George Soros and political front groups he funds.  MoveOn.org gave him $100,000.  (Remember MoveOn.org’s shameful ad labeling General Petraeus “General Betray US”?)

Again I ask, why in the world is an organization supposedly dedicated to conservation — supported by good, well-meaning preservationists — funding left-wing political causes?

We are facing very real preservation issues in this region.  One only has to look at how developers have paved over magnificent land in western Loudoun Country to realize what is at stake.  At a minimum, preservationists should be organizing to revise Virginia’s antiquated Dillon rule — which effectively blocks local governments from adopting stringent land-use standards to protect our countryside.

So I propose to those who organize the annual Middleburg dinner for the League for Conservation Voters that we stop sending money to this outfit.  We should be raising money to fight for conservation, not left-wing politics.

And while we are at it, we should be uniting liberals AND conservatives behind organizations dedicated to preserving the land that is this region’s most precious heritage.  But let’s not give another penny to a group driven by the preposterous notion that you have to be a socialist to be a conservationist.

Ken Tomlinson, who resides in Northern Virginia, is the former editor-in-chief of Reader’s Digest.