Sierra Club vows to mobilize to defeat Rep. Ferguson
He calls 2 groups’ attacks on his environmental record unfounded
With Rep. Mike Ferguson’s rating by environmental groups dropping to an all-time low, the 7th District congressman is being targeted for extinction.
The Sierra Club, which has never opposed the three-term congressman, last week endorsed Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union) and pledged to put money and volunteers into the field to unseat Ferguson. The 7th Congressional District includes portions of Union, Somerset, Middlesex and Hunterdon counties.
Jeff Tittel, director of the Sierra Club’s New Jersey chapter, said Ferguson now has one of the worst environmental records of the state’s 13-member congressional delegation.
“I think he’s more likely to be seen in Georgetown going to restaurants than be seen in his district caring for the environment,” Tittel said.
The League of Conservation Voters, which tracks environmental votes, said Ferguson, who scored a 59 in his earlier terms, had dropped to a 17 last year. Only Rep. Scott Garrett (R-5th Dist.) scored lower, receiving an 11, while Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6th Dist.), Rep. Rush Holt (D-12th Dist.) and former Rep. Robert Menendez (D-13th Dist.) all scored 100s…
The past congressional session witnessed some of the most anti-environmental votes in history, said conservation league spokesman Chuck Porcari.
Congress “slathered billions in subsidies to oil and gas” while making “minuscule investments in renewables … the kinds of things that can take us away from dependence on oil,” he said.
Ferguson “voted for every bad environment bill,” Porcari said.
The conservation league’s complete breakdown of how members of Congress voted on environmental issues can be seen at www.lcv.org.
Tittel maintains that Ferguson has drifted from the moderate Republicans who predominate the 7th District.
“He doesn’t represent the mainstream of his own party, let alone the people of his district,” Tittel said.
The Sierra Club, which has 3,500 members in the 7th District, intends to commit money and people to oust the congressman.
“I think we can muster a couple of hundred people,” Tittel said, noting that all of the chapter’s 24,000 members would be asked to help.
“This is our target race for the year,” he said. “This is where we are putting all our resources.”
Sierra officials believe that the 7th District race is the one contest in New Jersey where an incumbent is vulnerable and that Stender stands a real chance of winning in the Republican-dominated district.
“We’re going to make this a big push,” Tittel said.