Environmental groups have the ear of the White House, or maybe it’s vice versa. As Greenwire at The New York Times reported last week.
Rahm Emanuel met for about 30 minutes with a group that included League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski, Sierra Club Chairman Carl Pope, Center for American Progress President John Podesta, Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp, Natural Resources Defense Council President Frances Beinecke, National Wildlife Federation President Larry Schweiger and Sheila O’Connell of Unity ’09, a Democratic umbrella group.
Now, in a similar situation, with business groups in the place of the environmentalists, there would be vitriolic accusations of undue influence and special access.
But to us this looks as if the people were meeting with White House officials to petition the government and exercise their First Amendment rights. More power to them…metaphorically that is.
Although we can’t imagine business groups attending a White House meeting with a member of Republican umbrella organization at the same time. Now THAT would invite vitriol. So far, we’ve spotted nothing of that acidic nature over this meeting.
Unity ’09 is clearly not an environmental activist group; it’s a partisan political operation. Expressing opinions and petitioning the government for redress of grievances are one thing, coordinating political strategy with a leader of a party-political organization is another.