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“Heavy Hitter” My Ass

Christie Whitman is a rank opportunist, revisionist, murderous liar, and shill

The end does not justify the means

It sickens me the obscene depths that some will go to spin various stunts to promote their causes.

The latest example is a stunt – and it has to be a stunt, because someone had to cook it up – NJ Spotlight chose to call an effort by three “Heavy Hitters” to join “Green” forces to block one of the Pinelands pipelines, see:

I’m sure the litigation will proceed just fine without the questionable amicus legal contributions of those “Heavy Hitters”. Obviously, this is more public relations than legal strategy. A stunt not a legal brief.

But there is a far more fundamental issue raised here.

Whitman conducts her notorious "frisk" in Camden  with State Police profiling team

Whitman conducts her notorious “frisk” in Camden with State Police profiling team. Note the broad smile.

A riff on the infamous quote “Have you no sense of Decency, Sir?”

Characterizing Christie Whitman as a “heavy hitter” in the context of the Pinelands along with Governors Byrne and Florio to promote “Green” groups opposition to the Pinelands pipeline is indecent and essentially a lie.

There are lies of omission that are just as false as lies of commission. History whitewashed – down the memory hole.

Whitman is no “heavy hitter” when it comes to the Pinelands.

Just what did Whitman accomplish in the Pines?

I seem to recall a huge controversy over US Fish & Wildlife Service and EPA enforcement actions regarding violations of wetlands laws by a politically connected cranberry grower. See this NY Times story:

Whitman’s DEP also proposed a controversial cranberry wetlands GP to promote the industry in the Pinelands, see NJ Audubon’s critique of that (scoll down).

That’s no Pines legacy to be proud of – but Whitman’s Pinelands rollbacks pale in comparison to her over-all record.

She rolled back environmental protections as NJ Governor – her motto was “Open For Business” and she began the coordinated rollback of regulations we now see as “regulatory reform” – and continued that attack on the environment as George Bush’s EPA head. In fact, her NJ record of rolling back environmental regulations while wrapped in a mantle of open space preservation green cover is why she was appointed by Bush. See The Nation profile:

Thanks to Whitman’s evisceration of state enviro regs as well as a raft of subsidies and tax cuts to developers, suburban sprawl gobbled up more open space and verdant land during her tenure than at any other period in New Jersey’s history. Moreover, she decapitated the state Department of Environmental Protection staff by 738 employees in her first three years in office, cut the remaining staff’s workweek by five hours, eliminated fines of polluters as a source of DEP revenue and made large cuts in the DEP’s budget. That’s why the New Jersey Sierra Club’s Bill Wolfe has warned that Whitman might “dismantle [federal] EPA and take it out of the enforcement business. I believe that this is precisely the policy Whitman has presided over and legitimized in New Jersey.”

As Bush EPA Administrator, among other things she injected more than 10 years of delay in EPA responding to climate change (see the notorious “Fabricant memo”) and lied to the public about the “safety” of the air in southern Manhattan post 9/11. As a result, thousands of first responders are dead and dying, see:

And all the fracktivists out there need to know about Whitman’s role in a major source of the fracking disaster.

An EPA Report to Congress of fracking and the Safe Drinking Water Act underground injection program green lighted and led to the infamous “Haliburton Loophole” in the 2005 Energy Policy Act.

Thanks to a brave EPA scientists and whistleblower, we know that this corruption of science went down during Whitman’s tenure at EPA:

The EPA completed its study in 2004, finding that fracturing “poses little or no threat” to drinking water. The EPA also concluded that no further study of hydraulic fracturing was necessary. The 2004 EPA study has been called “scientifically unsound” by EPA whistleblower Weston Wilson. In an October 2004 letter to Colorado’s congressional delegation, Wilson recommended that EPA continue investigating hydraulic fracturing and form a new peer review panel that would be less heavily weighted with members of the regulated industry. In March of 2005, EPA Inspector General Nikki Tinsley found enough evidence of potential mishandling of the EPA hydraulic fracturing study to justify a review of Wilson’s complaints.

Whitman also shilled for the nuclear industry, see:

Even Whitman’s critics applaud the dedicated conservation funding, but there are concerns about the program. Former DEP employee Bill Wolfe — who became a whistleblower during the Whitman administration, leaking studies about mercury pollution in the state — called the Trust Fund’s land purchases “scattershot,” made without reference to land use or conservation plans. The program also lacks regulatory safeguards to ensure that conservation goals are met, he added. “It’s just creating a pot of money to give away to landowners,” Wolfe told PR Watch. …

Moreover, Whitman has worked hard to obscure her spotty environmental record. Even as she was dismantling New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, “She would ride her bicycle, she would horseback ride, and she would do a lot of public events around open space preservation,” Bill Wolfe told PR Watch. “So, the public perception of her was very favorable on the environment.”

For a scathing, comprehensive and detailed assessment of Whitman’s environmental record as NJ Governor, see the testimony to the US Senate Environment Committee on her confirmation as EPA Administrator, by Bill Neil of NJ Audubon and myself.

The fools who craft these stunts will do ANYTHING to push the “bi-partisan” and “Heavy Hitters” memes.

That not only disrespects the work of the bottom up activists, it reflects a complete lack of understanding of the relationship between ends and means.

Christie Whitman should be shamed and shunned by all people of good faith, not used and praised as a “heavy hitter”.

[End note: full disclosure: I obviously have an axe to grind with Whitman, as she had me forced out of DEP as a whistleblower for disclosing her mendacity and efforts to cover up the health risks of mercury in freshwater fish. I have sworn hearing testimony of a Whitman DEP Assistant Commissioner that reveals all that, provided upon request.]

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