2020 Dirty Dozen in the States
Twelve of the worst state candidates in the country for our environment
Oct. 12th – Modeled after LCV Victory Fund’s federal “Dirty Dozen,” the “Dirty Dozen in the States” highlights twelve of the worst environmental candidates in the nation at the state and local level. Members of the “Dirty Dozen in the States” have consistently sided against the environment and—regardless of party affiliation—are running in races targeted by LCV state affiliates in the Conservation Voter Movement.
- California State Senator John Moorlach (District 37)
- Minnesota Senator Dan Hall (District 56)
- Montana Senator Jennifer Fielder (Public Service Commission)
- U.S. Representative Greg Gianforte (Montana Governor)
- North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest (North Carolina Governor)
- North Carolina State Representative Steve Ross (District 63)
- Ohio Representative Tom Brinkman (District 27)
- Oregon Senator Tim Knopp (District 27)
- Oregon Senator Kim Thatcher (Secretary of State)
- Pennsylvania Representative Andrew Lewis (District 105)
- Pennsylvania Representative Todd Polinchock (District 144)
- Wisconsin Representative Jim Ott (District 23)
Over the last four years, the country has seen enormous environmental progress at the state level. Nine states now have laws committed to 100% clean electricity; 1 in 4 people live in a state on the path to 100% clean energy. In the face of the most anti-environmental administration ever, state and local action has reduced emissions 37%, keeping the country on the path to meeting our Paris Climate targets.
“Since Trump has been in office, our biggest victories have been in the states,” said Pete Maysmith, LCV Senior Vice President of Campaigns. “We need federal leadership but beating candidates dedicated to gutting environmental protections up and down the ticket has never been more important. This year’s list proves there are still far too many candidates bought and paid for by big polluters and we cannot allow them to continue blocking the progress the country demands.”
California 37th – Nominated by California League of Conservation Voters
- State Senator John Moorlach has a 10% lifetime score on CLCV’s scorecard. He consistently votes against environmental protection and with Big Oil & Gas interest. He is a climate skeptic and even produced a report that shares his denial of human impact on climate.
- The senator is out of step with his district that represents a significant portion of suburban and coastal Orange County. The district itself cares more about environmental and climate issues, especially coastal protection, but Moorlach has not represented those interests.
Minnesota 56th – Nominated by Conservation Minnesota Voter Fund
- State Senator Dan Hall openly questioned the science behind climate change and voted to remove Governor Walz’s authority to implement Clean Cars Minnesota to increase access to electric vehicles and obstructed the Governor’s One Minnesota Path to Clean Energy plan to bring Minnesota to 100% clean energy by 2050.
Montana Public Service Commission – Nominated by Montana Conservation Voters Action Fund
- State Senator Jennifer Fielder is the CEO of American Lands Council – the leading organization dedicated to selling off public lands. As the Chair of the Senate Fish and Game Committee she worked to undermine countless bipartisan efforts to support our public lands including whipping votes against SB 24, the bill to increase funding for Montana state parks, trails and fishing access sites.
- She earned a 16% lifetime score from MCV.
Montana Governor – Nominated by Montana Conservation Voters Action Fund
- Representative Greg Gianforte has made his opposition to public lands clear, introducing legislation that would remove protections from nearly 700,000 acres of wilderness in Montana, opening them to logging and mining. He even sued the State of Montana to block public fishing access through his waterfront property.
- He’s taken $200,000 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry
North Carolina Governor – Nominated by Conservation Votes PAC
- Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest has openly questioned the science of climate change as well as protections for coronavirus.
- He wrote to the White House asking them to remove national clean water protections, advocated for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project, and expressed support for expanding offshore drilling and fracking throughout the state.
North Carolina 63rd – Nominated by Conservation Votes PAC
- State Representative Steve Ross has a lifetime environmental score of 9%. He has taken campaign contributions from some of North Carolina’s biggest polluters and voted for multiple bills that damage the environment. These include repealing the OBX plastic bag ban, limiting the compensation people can receive in lawsuits filed against agricultural operations for disturbances, allowing the aerosolization of leachate, and deregulating policies meant to protect the environment.
Ohio 27th – Nominated by Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund
- State Representative Tom Brinkman -· On July 21, 2020, news broke that the passage of Ohio House Bill 6 (HB 6)—commonly referred to as the worst energy bill passed in the 21st century—was wrought with corruption like Ohio has ever seen. After investigating players involved for more than a year, FBI agents arrested Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four others in what is likely the largest bribery and money laundering scheme ever perpetrated against the people of the state of Ohio. Rep. Tom Brinkman has also been implicated in this scandal — an opponent of Ohio’s Clean Energy Standards, he voted YES for House Bill 6 in 2019 and accepted thousands in campaign contributions from FirstEnergy — the utility company involved in this corruption scandal.
Oregon 27th – Nominated by Oregon League of Conservation Voters
- State Senator Tim Knopp has an OLCV Lifetime Score of just 16%. Even worse, he was the spokesperson for the Senate Republicans when they walked out to kill OLCV’s climate bill in the 2019 Legislative Session. HB 2020, the state’s cap and invest bill– passed the House by a vote of 36-24, and was just one vote away from going to the governor’s desk when in June, 2019, Senate Republicans fled the state to stop the vote.
- While Knopp claims to believe in climate change, his record shows the startling truth – that he will do anything possible to stop climate action. In addition to going to extreme measures in 2019 to kill our climate bill, he has also voted against every other climate priority, including Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program/Standard (SB 324, 2015), Ditching Dirty Diesel (HB 2007, 2019), and the Coal Transition and Clean Electricity Plan (SB 1547, 2016), which passed with bipartisan support.
Oregon Secretary of State – Nominated by Oregon League of Conservation Voters
- Republican State Senator Kim Thatcher’s record and rhetoric illustrate she is one of the most extreme, anti-environmental legislators in the Oregon State Senate. From the start, Thatcher’s campaign has been interwoven with Oregon’s extreme anti-climate activists – Timber Unity. She announced her candidacy for secretary of state at the Timber Unity rally in 2020, which was held to protest the states cap and invest bill HB 2020.
- Thatcher has an OLCV Lifetime score of just 21%, and walked out twice to kill our climate bills. In 2019, our bill for a cap and invest program – HB 2020 – passed the House by a vote of 36-24 and was just one vote away from going to the governor’s desk. Then, Thatcher and her Republican colleagues in the senate fled the state to stop the vote. When a similar bill (SB 1530, 2020) was brought back in 2020, she walked out again.
Pennsylvania 105th – Nominated by Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania Victory Fund
- State Representative Andrew Lewis has both a 2019-2020 Pennsylvania Environmental Score and lifetime score of 0%. He has voted to include rollbacks of clean water protections, massive tax giveaways to the petrochemical industry, and attacks on environmental funding.
- Recently, he made national headlines when he concealed his COVID-19 infection while he continued to attend House chamber and committee meetings without a mask, putting his colleagues at risk for infection. Rep. Lewis has also voted against every COVID-19 worker protection bill, despite applying for PPP loans for his own business interests.
Pennsylvania 144th – Nominated by Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania Victory Fund
- State Representative Todd Polinchock has both a 2019-2020 Pennsylvania Environmental Score and lifetime score of 8%. He is voted to prevent Pennsylvania from taking any action to address climate change, give tax breaks to oil and petrochemical companies, and cut funding from key environmental programs.
Wisconsin 23rd – Nominated by Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters
- State Representative Jim Ott the Wisconsin Legislature’s most vocal climate denier. He is far out of step with his district, which is home to miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and is already experiencing the impacts of climate change related flooding.
- The former TV weatherman even publishes an official newsletter aimed at debunking the science behind climate change.
- Voting with his radical caucus 99.8 percent of the time, Ott has voted to expand mining operations and gut environmental regulations, leaving surface and groundwater at risk for toxic pollution like PFAS, nitrates, and heavy metals.
Thirty-two state Conservation Voter Movement partners worked to determine the 2020 “Dirty Dozen in the States.” The candidates named are some of the most anti-environment politicians running in competitive state-level races for governor, state senate and house, municipal seats, or commissions this cycle.
The “Dirty Dozen in the States” is modeled after LCV Victory Fund’s “Dirty Dozen,” which has targeted candidates for federal office (with occasional exceptions)— regardless of party affiliation — who consistently side against the environment, and are running in races in which LCV Victory Fund has a serious chance to affect the outcome. In the 2017/18 election cycle, our state affiliates defeated ten of the twelve “Dirty Dozen in the States” candidates.
Paid for by LCV Victory Fund, www.lcvvictoryfund.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.