Democratic operatives discussed holding a press event during the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland to tie Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to the burning of the Cuyahoga River in 1969.
“More Ohio ideas: – Hold a presser on the climate change/the environment somewhere near the Cuyahoga River, calling attention to Trump’s vow to dismantle EPA,” Democratic National Committee staffer Shu-Yen Wei wrote to colleagues in a May 5, 2016 email.
Wei’s email was one of several between DNC staffers brainstorming ideas on how to attack Republicans during their convention in July. The emails were part of some 20,000 released by the site Wikileaks.
Wei suggested tying Trump’s plan to dismantle the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the burning of the Cuyahoga River in 1969 — one of the events credited for inspiring the creation of the EPA by President Richard Nixon in 1970.
“The Cuyahoga River has caught on fire at least 13 times,” Wei wrote, “it’s aptly nicknamed ‘The River That Caught Fire.’ The river was one of the most polluted rivers in the country and would catch fire after sparks from the train would fall into the water.”
“After a highly media-covered fire in 1969, Congress was inspired to clean up pollution across the country and established… the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),” Wei wrote.
Democrats and environmentalists have been highly critical of Trump’s anti-EPA stance and his calling global warming a “hoax” created by China. Though, it’s hard to say if the tactic is working or not because global warming and environmental issues consistently rank very low on voters’ top priorities.
Wei also suggested handing out “placards with Trump’s face superimposed on the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock (housed in Sugarcreek, OH)” and somehow incorporating the fact inventor Thomas Edison was born in Ohio to bash Trump.
Democrats were looking for little ways to bash Trump as he accepted the Republican nomination. DNC staffer Rachel Palermo, for example, suggested a happy hour with the theme “need a break from the racism and the misogyny?”
“Hand out masquerade masks for people who don’t want to be seen at the convention,” Palermo suggested in the May email chain. “Meet with the hotel trades, SEIU, and Fight for 15 about staging a strike.”
Palermo even suggested holding “a fake president’s panel: where presidents in movies gather and show they are more qualified than Trump to be president.” She even wanted to hand out “barf bags” and “masquerade masks for people who don’t want to be seen at the convention.”
DNC efforts to take away from Trump’s nomination seem to have fallen flat. The RNC went off largely without any problems and Trump has been gaining in the polls against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
A recent CBS News poll has Trump leading Clinton 44 percent to 43 percent. The Real Clear Politics Average of polls has Trump up by a slim 0.1 percentage point lead.
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