Let's Talk Sense...
Tuesday, October 2, 2000 Volume XXV, No. 31
Roswell, New Mexico
In this issue:
Special Edition: A Superb Article about Heather Wilson and the so-called "Environmentalists"
[Editor's Note: This article was so significant I thought it deserved immediate circulation in a magazine with more readers than either the Weekly Alibi or the Albuquerque Tribune, which, by the way, LTS... has.]
by Dennis Domrzalski
It's a good thing I've interviewed Congresswoman Heather Wilson a bunch of times and have gotten to know her. If I hadn't, I might be afraid of her. I might think that the soft-spoken New Mexico Republican from the state's First Congressional District was a deranged, gap-toothed biker chick racing through national forests with chain saws downing trees for the fun of it, gleefully dumping poison into our rivers and streams, and personally emitting enough toxic gas to gag us all. I might think that this former Air Force officer was so out of whack that she was on a mission to single-handedly make the earth uninhabitable. I might think that Wilson, a mother of two who once headed the New Mexico Department of Children Youth and Families, hates planet earth.
You might think that too if you attended a recent news conference by Wilson's opponent during which a group of smug environmentalists, including EPA administrator Carol Browner, portrayed Wilson, and Republicans in general, as monsters who hate the environment and who feed toxic waste and raw sewage to our children.
The news conference on the dusty bank of the Rio Grande in Albuquerque on a sunny, fall afternoon showed why many environmentalists have no credibility with working Americans and why they are despised by more and more people. They use hate speech, distortions, and lies to try to smear and destroy those who disagree with them and whom they don't like.
The news conference was held, ostensibly, to showcase the four-point plan by Wilson's opponent, former US Attorney John Kelly, to "save" the Rio Grande. The event was a pep rally for Kelly, and a "hate Heather Wilson" session.
Long before Kelly got around to mentioning his vague plan to "save" the Rio Grande, Browner and other speakers took turns portraying Republicans as people who stand for dirty air, polluted water and a toxic waste pit in every yard.
"These people in Congress, these Republicans, are not friends of clean air and clean water," Browner said. "I need a Democratic Congress if I am going to fully implement the (environmental) laws of this nation."
Another woman told the small crowd that Wilson "voted to delay smog standards...voted in favor of dumping toxic mining wastes anywhere on public lands...is hard at work doing the bidding of big polluting industries" and "is one of the most hostile opponents of the environment there is."
If I hadn't known better I would have expected to see Wilson flying over the Rio Grande Bosque in a small plane spraying DDT, Agent Orange and mustard gas on the cottonwood forest that lines both banks of the river. But I do know better and that's why I can characterize the event as a cheap, sleazy effort to demonize an opponent.
Would you characterize someone who voted to buy the 95,000-acre Baca Ranch in New Mexico's Jemez Mountains (an environmental gem loaded with elk and lots of endangered species) and turn it into a public park as "one of the most hostile opponents of the environment there is? Wilson not only voted to put the Baca into public ownership, she fought for the bill to buy the ranch when Democratic Congressman Tom Udall of New Mexico voted against it for technical reasons. The Baca will be open to the public for hiking, hunting, fishing and camping in about two years.
Would you characterize as an enemy of the planet someone who voted to include in the Energy and Water Bill $19.5 million to help preserve silvery minnow habitat in the Rio Grande? Wilson voted for that bill the day before the "Hate Heather Wilson" session was held on the east bank of the Rio Grande.
Did Wilson really vote to dump toxic mining wastes on public lands? You decide. The Solicitor General of the Interior Department, a non-elected bureaucrat, decided to implement new regulations for mine tailings on public lands---regulations that would have changed the way things had been done for 40 years in regards to mine tailings on public lands. Many people in Congress felt the regulation would have shut down mining completely. Others, felt, as Wilson said, "that we needed to send a message to the administration that there are two branches of government here and the administration can't change the law without coming to the Congress." Wilson voted for an amendment that delayed the implementation of the Solicitor General's new regulations.
Wilson who is seeking her second full term in the House, isn't a chainsaw-wielding mama who fights for dirtier air, filthy water and who wants to clear-cut the Rockies and poison Bambi. She's a practical, thoughtful, intelligent woman who tries to find pragmatic solutions to problems. And when those problems involve the environment, she tries to figure humans into the solution.
The attempted smear job against Wilson is typical of the efforts of our smug environmentalists. The people who profess to love the environment use hate speech and the tactics of hate to get people they don't like. If you don't agree with everything they say, you're an enemy of the environment. If you believe the national forests should be logged to a moderate degree, you're a puppet of the evil logging companies. If you believe that the national forests are owned by all Americans and they are not the exclusive playground of nasal-voiced environmental elitists and that all Americans should have access to the forests, you're the devil himself.
No, don't look for Heather Wilson to spew poison into our air. We've got the environmentalists for that.
Dennis Domrzalski is the political reporter for an Albuquerque-based tabloid weekly called The Alibi. It is best known, as one observer told me this evening, as "a great place to find where you can get your tattoos updated or more body parts pierced." He also told me, "It features quick ways to find a date-----all known classifications." Mr. Domrzalski is the former political reporter for the Albuquerque Tribune, a virulently anti-Republican organ, filled with hate-spewing columnists. Mr. Domrzalski, however, has never been known to be of that stripe. As a matter of fact no one knows his philosophy or ideology---which in this day and time is fairly rare for a journalist. He is generally regarded as someone who looks on most of what goes on in politics with a good deal of skepticism and he writes about it with a sense of humor. No one alleges that he is either a conservative, or a Republican, and certainly his readership is neither. Thus the significance of this article.