Frank O’Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, is complaining that we’ve criticized his comments and those of California Attorney General Jerry Brown on EPA’s decision to not grant a waiver to California so the state could regulate vehicle emissions. In a post on ozone regulation, O’Donnell writes:
The big polluter lobby, the National Association of Manufacturers (which, as a diversionary tactic, appears to have declared war on Clean Air Watch along with other progressives like California AG Jerry Brown http://blog.nam.org/archives/2008/01/the_rhetoric_of.php), has been stirring up various governors against tougher standards.
Declare war? Diversionary tactic? No, we’ve written several blog posts (here, here and here) taking O’Donnell and Jerry Brown to task for ugly, outrageous rhetoric for which they should be held accountable.
These are not just some loony lefty commenters spewing out the usual ugliness and epithets in the blogosphere. Frank O’Donnell heads what is purportedly a mainstream environmental organization; he testifies before Congress and is widely quoted in the media. And yet he considers religious bigotry a legitimate political tactic.
Jerry Brown is a statewide elected public official, the head of California’s legal branch of government, yet he’s perfectly willing to use a Congressional setting to make reckless accusations of criminality and to call a high-ranking federal official a “stooge.” Do voters consider that acceptable discourse from their state leaders?
Condemning the injection of bigotry and wild charges of criminality into policy disputes is not a diversion, and it’s not declaring war. It’s a demand for accountability…and a little bit of decency.
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