Stone Age Candidates Set to Win Elections

Winners of Tom Steyer’s inaugural Stone Age awards could determine whether the Senate turns back to … well, the Stone Age … in tomorrow’s election.

Steyer’s NextGen Climate Pac asked us to vote and it was a tough choice, but here’s who won: Republican Senate candidates Joni Ernst (IA), Cory Gardner (CO), Scott Brown (NH) and Terri Lynn Land (MI). In the Governor’s races, there’s Paul LePage (ME) and voters’ top choice – Rick Scott (FL). 

Right now, it looks like Joni Ernst will win and so could Cory Gardner, who have excelled at looking "friendly" and "moderate," hiding their extreme right-wing views (who me? Personhood?  Democrats that want to cut Social Security!). Cory Gardner, for example, has a 9% rating from the League of Conservation Voters compared to his opponent, Mark Udall at 97%.

Their races will likely decide which party controls the Senate. If Republicans win control, they will continue their very successful strategy – obstruct everything and then blame it on Obama (and government in general).

If Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) becomes Senate Majority Leader, he promises to block power plant regulations even it means a government shutdown. He’s received more money from fossil fuel companies than anyone else in the Senate.

Read our articles, Fracking Referendums on the Ballot, GMO Labels On the Ballot, $16 Billion to Protect Land & Water.

Governors in Maine, Florida

Neanderthal Governor, Paul LePage of Maine, is a total embarrassment for the state, and he too is in a toss-up race. He’s working on to destroy Maine’s long-held reputation for  environmental leadership in an economy that depends on tourism and fisheries. A former oil lobbyist now runs the state’s environmental agency and LePage vetoed strongly supported legislation to encourage solar energy – he’s even against higher fuel economy for cars.

Then there’s
Rick Scott
, candidate for Governor in Florida, who won the most votes for the Stone Age award. In a state that tops the list for climate impacts, he spent his first term denying its existence and rolling back environmental laws passed by former Governor Christ, who he now competes against. (not to mention voter suppression and massive Medicare fraud in a previous career). The race is also a toss-up.

"Scott’s record of negligence, deception, and policy of working for the powerful few speaks for itself," says NextGen Climate. Read details on Scott versus Christ policies on efficiency, renewables and climate change.

In each case these Republicans face Democrats who want action on climate change and are excited to build a renewable energy economy. 

Environmental groups are spending an unprecedented $85 million in this year’s elections and $40 million of that in just six Senate races: NextGen Climate, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund, Environmental Defense Action Fund, and Sierra Club.

An amazing 125,000 political ads cite energy, climate change and the environment, in third place this year – only behind ads about lingering unemployment and Obamacare, according to Kantar Media/CMAG.

The most has been spent to get Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) re-elected ($12.1 million), followed by:

  • Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) $7.2 million
  • Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI)  $6.6 million – very outspoken on climate change and renewables 
  • Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) $4 million
  • Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) $2.4 million
  • Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) $1.9 million  

The groups have managed to make climate an issue in most tight races, but they can’t compete with the Koch Bros who will likely win the day. Check out KochProblem.org, which keeps track of how much they are spending – as of now, $498,744,409. 

Koch 2014 Elections

See ThinkProgress’s map of climate deniers – 163 people in Congress have taken over $58.8 million from the fossil fuel industry – and President Obama’s list of climate deniers:

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