Thank you, Chairman Vance

By BRUCE FISCHER, President of REP’s Washington State Chapter

AN HISTORICAL DOCUMENT: Letter to the Chairman of the Washington State Republican Party, May 5, 2001


Dear Chairman Vance:

I’d like to thank Peter and you again for meeting with us and for speaking at the Grays Harbor Republican meeting.

Regarding the environment, we are very pleased that you understand and agree that being anti-environment is hurting the party. And some day I hope to say that you understand and agree that being pro-environment will be good for the party. I think the numbers back us up, especially in the suburbs, but hopefully you know what you’re doing.

As you asked, here is a list of what we would like from you:

1) Do as much as you can to stop the anti-environment message that goes out from the Republican party. This only hurts us. There is no alternative party for the 10-15% of voters who are against environmental protection so there is no need to further pander to them and turn off the other 85+% of voters.

2) Find conservative scientists who are part of the mainstream on issues such as salmon endangerment and greenhouse gasses and have them speak at conventions or write articles for Republican newsletters. Not for the purpose of making the party leaders on environmental issues but to at least have party members informed on what most of the state believes. It can’t hurt us to know the information and be able to talk intelligently about it. We would be glad to help find mainstream scientists to do this.

3) Find and recruit pro-environmental protection candidates. Especially in the suburban areas. You may not agree with them but I hope you disagree more with losing. While the candidates may not win simply because of being pro-environmental protection, they will not lose because of being against it. Not all of the Republicans endorsed by Washington Conservation Voters were incumbents. But they all won.

4) Support the candidates you do have that are in favor of environmental protection. We have heard complaints from green Republican legislators about the treatment they get from other Republicans. This isn’t good for the Party.

5) Keep us in mind and let us help when we can. If you feel an environmental group is being partisan on some issue or event let us know. We are growing surprisingly fast, statewide and nationally, and will help the Party as much as we can. But we will not compromise our principles.

Finally, I’d like to point out to you that our beliefs are very much in line with the Republican Statement of Principles. Namely, “I believe the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations…”

Environmental protection IS a critical function and individuals could not save the Peregrine Falcon, clean Commencement Bay, or reduce greenhouse gasses alone. Conservative Republicans do not have to be at odds with environmental protection.

Bruce Fischer
Washington chapter of Republicans for Environmental Protection