LCV Victory Fund names additional members of 2020 Dirty Dozen: Senator Joni Ernst, David Richter, State Delegate Nick Freitas, Yvette Herrell, Fmr. Rep. Claudia Tenney, and Beth Van Duyne
Washington, D.C. – LCV Victory Fund today announced that Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, David Richter (NJ-03), State Delegate Nick Freitas (VA-07), Yvette Herrell (NM-02), Former Rep. Claudia Tenney (NY-22), and Beth Van Duyne (TX-24) have been named to the organization’s signature 2020 Dirty Dozen list of some of the worst anti-environmental candidates running for office this year.
For nearly 25 years, the Dirty Dozen program has targeted candidates, regardless of party affiliation, who consistently work to undermine environmental protections and side with big polluters over the health of their constituents. Members of the Dirty Dozen are all running in races in which LCV Victory Fund has a serious chance to affect the outcome of the race.
The new designations come as LCV Victory Fund also announced a $2 million investment in the Iowa Senate race in partnership with Senate Majority PAC.
These six candidates join previously announced Dirty Dozen members Montana Senator Steve Daines, Colorado Senator Cory Gardner, Michigan Senate candidate John James, Arizona Senator Martha McSally, and North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis as well as President Donald Trump, named the dirtiest of all time.
“In 2018 voters chose environmental champions across the country,” said Pete Maysmith, LCV Victory Fund Senior Vice President for Campaigns. “We’ve seen the results of those wins with the most pro-environmental House in over a decade. In 2020, corporate polluters are pushing back like never before because they know with environmental champions leading the White House, Senate, and House we can finally start to build the clean energy economy this country needs.”
More information on new 2020 Dirty Dozen:
Iowa Senate: Senator Joni Ernst
In Iowa, a state where families are directly impacted by climate change, Senator Joni Ernst has repeatedly denied the reality of human caused climate change, saying that “climate change may just be a natural occurrence” and even voting against acknowledging that human-caused climate change is real. Since she was first elected to the Senate, Ernst accepted more than $330,000 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry and has advocated for them in the U.S. Senate. Ernst led Senate Republicans’ efforts to block Obama’s Clean Water Rule that protected drinking water sources for over 117 million Americans. She later praised Trump’s weak replacement rule, which allows farmers to use pesticides and fertilizers that risk running into waterways, polluting our drinking water, and causing cancer and other diseases. Ernst has earned a lifetime LCV score of 3%.
NJ-03: David Richter
David Richter is running against first time incumbent LCV Action Fund-endorsed Rep. Andy Kim. Richter supports Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord as well as Trump’s tax reform plan that gave billions of dollars to big oil. He is the former CEO of Hill International, a construction company that has worked on dozens of oil and gas projects throughout both the U.S. and the Middle East. His company worked on a petrochemical plant near a predominantly Black community in Louisiana that ended up emitting nearly 100 million tons of toxic pollution in 2018, making it the second largest air polluter in the nation, as well as half a dozen other oil and gas projects that resulted in pollution, fires, and harm. In his first two years in Congress, Rep. Kim has earned a 97% score from LCV. LCVVF is currently running a digital program to defeat David Richter.
VA-07: State Delegate Nick Freitas
Current State Delegate Nick Freitas is running against first-term incumbent Rep. Abigail Spanberger in VA-07. Freitas has repeatedly voted against taking action on the climate crisis and protecting our water from toxic pollution. During his time in the Virginia State Legislature, he voted against banning fracking and offshore drilling and against protecting drinking water from PFAS. He was the deciding vote blocking a bill to update the sixth-grade science curriculum to include the benefits of recycling. He supports Trump’s tax reform plan that gave billions of dollars in tax cuts to big oil companies, has taken nearly $15,000 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry, and said climate scientists are unqualified to make policy recommendations. Freitas has a 31% lifetime score from Virginia LCV.
NM-02: Yvette Herrell
Herrell has a record of siding with special interests while advancing her own career. Herrell used her time in the New Mexico state legislature building connections to Washington special interests through the Koch-funded lobbying group ALEC, while letting taxpayers help foot the bill for her trips to its lavish conferences in Washington, D.C. As a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives, Herrell has voted against environmental protections and proposed an extreme attack on New Mexico’s public lands that could result in public lands being sold off to private developers. She has a 14% lifetime score from Conservation Voters New Mexico. This is Herrell’s second run for Congress, her second time on the Dirty Dozen and a rematch against LCV Action Fund-endorsed candidate Xochitl Torres Small who won the then open seat.
NY-22: Former Representative Claudia Tenney
This is Tenney’s second time on LCVVF’s Dirty Dozen. Tenney is a climate denialist and is on the record calling climate change an “imaginary beast.” She has said that climate change is not “a significant threat to our planet” and has received more than $180,000 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry. While in the House from 2017-2019, she earned a lifetime LCV score of 6% — voting against protections for New York’s environment and public health, and putting corporate special interests ahead of her constituents. Tenney voted in line with President Trump 96% of the time, praising his decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord and voting to eliminate protections like diabetes and asthma, while letting corporate polluters spew more toxins into our air. Tenney also voted to repeal the Clean Water Rule that protected drinking water sources for over 117 million Americans and let corporate polluters contaminate our water with toxic chemicals.
TX-24: Beth Van Duyne
Former Mayor of Irving, TX and current Trump administration employee Beth Van Duyne is running for Congress in this open seat. Van Duyne promotes anti-environmental policies, suggesting that climate change is not human-caused, that eliminating fossil fuel is a “radical far-left” policy, and supporting Trump’s tax reform plan that gave billions of dollars to big oil companies. She supports opening more rare earth mineral mines in Texas and has claimed that the EPA is “crippling” cities with environmental regulations. In her first mayoral campaign, her largest contributor was an oil and gas executive, and she has received over $75,000 in campaign contributions this cycle from the oil and gas industry. Van Duyne is running against LCV Action Fund-endorsed candidate Candace Valenzuela.
Paid for by LCV Victory Fund, www.lcvvictoryfund.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.