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Friday, June 02, 2006

Steve Westly Ads Lie About Phil Angelides

Watching TV and listening to the radio, I've been disgusted by the deception coming from the Steve Westly campaign. I'm proud to see people setting the record straight about Angelides and the environment:

Dear Friend of the Environment:

There's a good reason the California League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club, Vote the Coast, and Clean Water Action have all endorsed Phil Angelides for Governor. It's because we believe that he has a much greater in-depth knowledge of our issues and a deeper commitment to them than other candidates for Governor. Unfortunately, Steve Westly's response to the endorsement of Phil Angelides by these environmental groups, has been to launch a barrage of negative television ads against Angelides, portraying him as anti-environment. This tactic breaks a promise Westly made to keep this campaign clean and will make it more difficult for the winner of the primary to beat Schwarzenegger in November.

These ads are an insult to all of the environmental organizations who endorsed Phil Angelides. Vote the Coast, the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV), Clean Water Action all gave sole endorsements to Angelides. The Sierra Club gave a dual endorsement. There is no way any of these organizations would endorse someone without checking out the candidate thoroughly. All of these organizations ask the candidates to fill out an exhaustive questionnaire and then appear for an in-depth interview. (In the case of CLCV, the interview was a televised face-to-face debate.) As part of that process, they check into anything they hear, even rumors, that might be indicative of where someone actually stands on environmental issues and what type of an elected official he (she) might be. During the endorsement process, Steve Westly made many of the very charges against Phil Angelides that he is now airing on television. These allegations were checked out very thoroughly and found to be distortions or falsehoods.

Here are the facts about Westly's charges:

1. Oil Companies: As elected officials, both Westly and Angelides have received small amounts of contributions from oil companies. Most of the oil company donations referred to in Westly's ads are contributions Phil Angelides solicited 15 years ago as chairman of the California Democratic Party, to support the party, not his own campaign. As a public official, Phil has always stood up to oil companies. At the state pension funds, he opposed Unocal's investments with the brutal regime in Burma and PetroChina's involvement with genocide in Sudan. He has fought to protect the ban on offshore oil drilling, and he was the only statewide elected official to join with coastal and environmental groups last year on Sen. Simitian's bill for comprehensive planning prior to locating any liquid natural gas terminals on the coast. As a candidate for Governor, he has proposed a Clean California plan to reduce gasoline and diesel use by 25 percent in ten years by making California the world leader in developing clean and renewable fuels and alternative fuel vehicles. He supports the Clean Alternative Energy initiative on the November ballot, opposed by the oil companies, which would levy an assessment on oil pumped in California to fund investments in alternative energy; Steve Westly refuses to support it.

2. Filling Wetlands: Steve Westly first tried to spread this falsehood in January, when he alerted Vote the Coast, prior to publication, that a small alternative press newspaper would publish a story reporting that Phil Angelides, as a private developer, had filled thousands of acres of wetlands.. The Sierra Club was well aware of the accusations and VTC checked them out as well. They were baseless. In one instance that Westly continually cites, which took place more than a decade ago, an Angelides project was the subject of a dispute between federal agencies over whether he had the necessary permit to proceed. He resolved the dispute within ten days and went on to build a project with 30 acres of wetlands. In his private business career, Phil built smart before the term "smart growth" even existed. His Laguna West community was nationally recognized as an early model of the new urbanism and smart growth, pedestrian and transit friendly, with front porches and thousands of street trees and protections for water quality and runoff, blazing a trail that others have subsequently followed.

Levees: Westly's ad is false, taking quotes out of context and misrepresenting Phil's work. It says Phil "pressured EPA" and got the city "to change zoning," referring to a project that Phil never invested in and never worked on. Many of the articles referenced do not even include anything about Phil. The truth of the matter is that Phil, working with Sacramento flood control officials, fought to put together funding for levee improvements before any building was permitted in the North Natomas area of the city. As the result of these efforts, when his projects were built, they and tens of thousands of people in nearby neighborhoods had a higher level of flood protection than downtown Sacramento and older portions of the city.

Please do not allow these false accusations to turn an election. This is the tactic that Garry South, Westly's campaign manager, is infamous for. He was Gray Davis's campaign manager and principal advisor. He and Mike Murphy (Schwarzenegger's right-wing advisor) ran the Republican dominated Jobs Pac in 2004 and specifically targeted liberal, coastal Democrats, including Pedro Nava and Lori Saldana. Garry didn't win then. Don't let him win now. Not on this basis.

Both in the private sector and as Treasurer, Phil Angelides has demonstrated a commitment to the environment and the ability to do big things, from his smart growth investments in infill housing to his ground-breaking Green Wave initiative of environmental investing by the state's pension funds. All of the environmental organizations who do endorsements believe Phil has the vision to be the greenest governor California has ever had. Don't let Steve Westly's attacks prevail over the environmental movement's best judgment in this election.

For a more complete, in-depth analysis of these ads please go to the VTC website; and pull up the pages on the various ads. You can also go to CLCV's web site; http:/


Susan Smartt Larry Fahn Susan Jordan Sara Wan

Executive Director Immediate Past Executive Director Executive Director
California League of President California Coastal Vote the Coast
Conservation Voters Sierra Club* Protection Network*
SEIU also fact-checked Steve Westly with his Tahoe Ad:

The False Attacks on Angelides - The Truth About Tahoe

The False Attacks on Angelides

Steve Westly's latest attack ad against Phil Angelides is an outright lie. "The Truth About Tahoe" ad alleges that Phil Angelides was the developer of a big condo development in Tahoe. It claims that he damaged the environment. In fact, Angelides purchased part-time ownership of a single condo - after it was built - for his family's use a few weeks a year.

Additional fact: when Phil Angelides discovered that the actual developer had done damage, he filed a lawsuit against him. It was the developer-not Phil Angelides-who was responsible and who was fined for the incident.

Phil Angelides has been endorsed by the Sierra Club, the California League of Conservation Voters and over 70 leading environmentalists from all over the state. That's because they actually researched his environmental record.

On June 6, Vote for Phil Angelides, he's always on our side and he's the candidate who's tough enough to beat Arnold Schwarzenegger in November.

On Tuesday, stand up against the lies from a candidate trying to buy the election and vote for Phil Angelides!

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