“Rock” the Vote

If you ever want to feel bad about the future of humanity just read the comments section on literally any Yahoo news article.  I was reading a piece on the recent floods in Nigeria which have displaced 1.4 million people with more than 600 reported dead as of the publication of this article.  At the end of that Yahoo piece there was a somewhat innocuous comment by a woman who said that she was disappointed that it’s taking so long for us to take climate change seriously, she reminisced about her dad speaking on the climate crisis back in the 70’s.  Apparently, this comment was too much, she was berated by climate change deniers, referred to as a liberal sheep, spreader of misinformation, and accused of being blinded by the liberal media.  

Meanwhile, climate disasters continue to happen worldwide from Pakistan to Mississippi, thousands dead, and millions displaced, but a simple suggestion to take climate change seriously…that’s the real issue.  

theDIHEDRAL has been very fortunate to be able to interview top notch climate scientists and specialists over the years, and the one thing that we consistently hear is that the way to incite the level of change necessary to make a difference is by electing officials who take climate change seriously.  Of course, this is important at the federal level, but equally and perhaps more important at the local and state level.

In the US the next election is on Tuesday November 8, 2022, and with the aid of a couple of easily accessible tools, you can inform yourself about candidates’ stance on environmental issues.

There is an organization called Climate Cabinet Action that looks at how state and local politicians have voted regarding legislation on climate action.  The politicians are then rated from 0-100 based on how often they vote in favor or against climate action.  0 is someone who always votes against climate action and 100 is the mark for someone who always votes in favor of climate action.  This information is organized into what is called the Climate Action Scorecard which is available for download on the website.  The data is limited to 25 states, but the organization is growing, and hopefully by the next election cycle all 50 states will be included.

The 25 states represented by the first round of evaluations include: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.

I wasn’t shocked to find out that Democrats typically have a higher score than Republicans, but it was shocking to see just how drastic that difference was in some states.  It was also very interesting, and somewhat inspiring to see that states which tend to promote climate action have far more politicians who promote climate action.  Both Democrats and Republicans tend to score higher in states where climate is prioritized. Connecticut is a very good example.

While the Climate Action Scorecard offers incredibly useful data, it needs to be supplemented with further information regarding the candidates, most importantly, you’ll need to find out who is running.  The Scorecard relies on politician’s past votes in order to compute a candidate’s overall score, so newly elected officials will have no data.  Further, candidates running for the first time will have no data available.  Some candidates with a computed score are not running for re-election, and so won’t be found on the ballot.  

I use Ballotopedia.org to find out who is on the ballot in my state, region, and district.  All you have to do is type your state into the search bar, then when your state comes up, you see everyone who is on the ballot.  To go directly to your district just type in your address (or an address in your neighborhood if you don’t feel comfortable putting in your own address).  Once your district comes up, the site lists the candidates running for office.  When you find out who is running, you can then check out the scorecard of the incumbent and decide if their voting record aligns with your civic preferences.  

For example, if you happen to live in Colorado House District 25, you’ll find Republican Incumbent Collin Larson running against Democrat Tammy Story.  Colin Larson scored a doleful 5 on the Climate Action Scorecard.  This of course says nothing about Colin as a person, but if your priorities include Climate Action of any kind, then Colin may not be the guy for you.

Let’s try one more.  Suppose you live in Colorado State Senate District 15, you’ll find incumbent Rob Woodward on the ballot.  Now Rob had this to say as one of the key messages that he wants voters to remember about his goals in office, as stated in one of Ballotopedia.org interview questions.  “In order to avoid an energy crisis, Colorado must encourage the development of clean, affordable, and reliable forms of energy. I advocate an all-of-the-above approach. This means developing our oil and gas resources, which produce the cleanest carbon molecule in the world, in addition to renewable sources like wind and solar. I am also in favor of developing geothermal energy resources, having sponsored two geothermal bills that were passed by the legislature in the 2022 session.”  Now despite Rob’s passion for clean, affordable, and reliable energy, his Climate Action Score is 5/100.  Now, it’s important to note that Rob’s score may have gone up as the Climate Action Scorecard was based on votes running through 2021, but for Rob and many like him it looks as if his climate actions speak a little louder than his climate words.

It’ll take a little effort to see where your local candidates stand on climate, but hopefully with these tools, you’ll have a better idea about which direction to pull the lever come November 8.

I took the liberty of organizing the data for the following five states, so if you happen to live in or care about Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Nevada, or Oregon, you can see how these state candidates measure up.

Arizona State House

NameParty DistrictScore
Judy BurgesR12
Quang NguyenR15
Judy SchwiebertD2100
Justin WilmethR25
Joseph ChaplikR30
Jennifer Longdon D596
Amish Shah D596
Myron Tsosie D696
David Cook R711
John FillmoreR711
Brenda BartonR72
Melody Hernandez D8100
Athena SalmanD896
Jennifer PawlikD1392
Travis GranthamR148
Jacqueline Parker R150
Gail Griffin R198
Andres Cano D2096
Alma Hernandez D2090
Lorenzo Sierra D2296
Tim DunnR2512
Joel JohnR2510
Kevin Payne R277
Ben TomaR2711
Beverley PingerelliR280
Leo Biasiucci R3015
Large and obvious disparity between Democrats and Republicans

Arizona State Senate

Name Party District Score
Christine MarshD494
Nancy BartoR46
Lela AlstonD595
Wendy RogersR70
Juan MendezD8100
JD MesnardR137
Warren PetersenR147
TJ ShopeR168
David GowanR194
Sally GonzalesD2097
Rosana GabaldonD2195
Sine KerrR255
Sonny BorrelliR304
YIKES! Wendy Rogers…don’t look her up if are interested in enjoying the rest of your day.

Colorado State House

NameParty  District Score
Meg FroelichD3100
Serena GonzalesD4100
Alex ValdezD5100
Leslie HerodD8100
Emily SirotaD9  100
Julie McCluskieD13100
Marc SnyderD18100
Monica DurenD23100
Colin LarsonR255
Brianna TitoneD2790
Shannon BirdD29100
Chris KennedyD30100
Dafna JenetD32100
Adrienne BenavidezD35100
Mike WeissmanD36100
Hugh MeKeanR5118
Cathy KippD52100
Matt SoperR546
Rod BockenfeldR5610
Perry WillR5720
Marc CatlinR5828
Looking pretty good Colorado!

Colorado State Senate

Name Party District Score
Paul LundeenR98
Dennis HiseyR1110
Rob WoodwardR155
Jessie Danielson 2299
Faith WinterD25100
Kevin Van WinkleR3010
Robert RodriguezD32100
Julie GonzalesD34100
Paul, what is your motivation?

Connecticut State House

Name Party District Score
Matthew RitterD190
Raghib Allie-BrennanD2100
Minnie GonzalezD389
Julio ConcepcionD492
Edwin VargasD688
Tim AckertR871
Jason RojasD988
Henry GengaD1090
Jeffery CurreyD1188
Jason DoucetteD13100
Tom DelnickiR1481
Bobby Gibson D1590
Jillian GilchrestD18100
Tammy ExumD19100
Mike DemiccoD2193
Devin CarneyR2390
Bobby SanchezD2590
Peter TercyakD2690
Gary TurcoD2792
Kerry WoodD2892
Jill BarryD3192
Christine CarpinoR3276
Irene HainesR3475
Christine PalmD36100
Holly CheesemanR3784
Kathleen McCartyR3888
Anthony NolanD3992
Christine ConleyD4089
Anne DauphinaisR4426
Brian LanoueR4542
Doug DubitskyR4755
Susan JohnsonD4985
Pat BoydD5088
Rick HayesR5117
Kurt VailR5260
Greg HaddadD5495
Tom ArnoneD5892
Carol HallR5978
Jane GaribayD60100
Tami ZawistowskiR6171
Jay CaseR6376
Maria HornD64100
Michelle CookD6590
William BuckbeeR6781
Joe PollettaR6876
Larry ButlerD7286
Ron NapoliD7392
Geraldo ReyesD7585
John PiscopoR7636
Christine PavalockR7768
Gale MastrofrancescR8042
Hilda SantiagoD8488
Mary MushinskyD8595
Vincent CandeloraR8667
Dave YaccarinoR8788
Josh ElliotD8889
Lezlye ZupkusR8973
Craig FishbeinR9028
Mike D’AgostinoD9188
Patricia DillonD9293
Toni WalkerD9392
Robyn PorterD9495
Juan CandelariaD9590
Ronald LemarD9695
Alphonse PaolilloD9785
Joseph ZulloD9975
Robin ComeyD102100
Liz LinehanD10393
Kara RochelleD10492
Nicole Klarides-DitriaR10578
Mitch BolinskyR10679
Bob GodfreyD11088
Jason PerilloR11376
Dorind Keenan BorerD11589
Charles FerraroR11786
Kathy KennedyR11983
Philip YoungD12090
Joe GreskoD12189
Ben McGortyR12271
David RutiglianoR12371
Andre BakerD12492
Tom O’DeaR12582
Chris RosarioD12886
Steven StafstromD12990
Antonio FelipeD13092
David LabriolaR13184
Cristin VaheyD13388
Anne HughesD135100
Jonathan SteinbergD13690
Kenneth GuckerD138100
Kevin RyanD13993
Travis SimmsD14090
Lucy DathanD14292
David MichelD145100
Matt BlumenthalD14792
Dan FoxD14886
Stephen MeskersD15092
The lowest scoring Republican in Connecticut ranks higher than most states highest scoring Republican.

Connecticut State Senate

Name Party District Score
John FonfaraD190
Doug McCroryD288
Saud AnwarD3100
Derek SlapD592
Rick LopesD690
John KisselR785
Matt LesserD998
Gary WinfieldD1085
Martin LooneyD1185
Christine CohenD12100
James MaroneyD14100
Joan HartleyD1583
Robert SampsonR1653
Heather SomersR1885
Catherine OstenD1985
Kevin KellyR2189
Marilyn MooreD2295
Julie KushnerD24100
Robert DuffD2588
Patricia MillerD2790
Tony HwangR2890
Mae FlexerD2995
Henri MartinR3183
Eric BerthelR3276
Norm NeedlemanD33100
Climate isn’t a partisan issue, Connecticut is doing some good things.

Nevada State Assembly

NameParty District Score
Daniele MonroeD1100
Selena TorresD3100
Richard McArthurR427
Brittney MillerD595
Steve YeagerD9100
Rochelle NguyenD10100
Bea DurenD11100
Howard WattsD15100
Melissa HardyR2274
Sarah PetersD24100
Lesley CohenD29100
Alexis HansenR3257
Shannon BilbrayD34100
Michelle GorelowD35100
Gregory HafenR3657
Sandra JaureguiD41100
Not too bad Nevada!

Nevada State Senate

Name Party DistrictScore
Marilyn DonderoD8100
Melanie ScheibleD9100
Ira HansenR1441
James OhrenschallD21100
Ira, let’s get that number up!

Oregon State House

David SmithR148
Pam MarshD5100
Kim WallanR633
Paul HolveyD892
David GombergD1092
Nancy NathansonD1392
Shelby DavisR1531
Dan RayfieldD1697
Rick LewisR1854
Paul EvansD2081
Courtney NeronD2694
Susan McLainD2987
Robert NosseD4297
Tawna SanchezD4396
Greg Smith R5730
Not the worst by far!

Oregon State Senate

Name Party  District Score
Jeff Golden D3100
Floyd ProzanskiD494
James ManningD792
Elizabeth SteinerD1779
Rob Wagner D1994
Bill KennemerR2036
Come on Bill, you can do better!

To look further into the data, or check out your own state, Climate Cabinet Action can be found here. To look into the US candidates running for election on November 8th, a link to ballotpedia can be found here.


19 Replies to ““Rock” the Vote”

  1. hey totally awesome here in my homestate of Illinois for the general midterm elections i will be an election judge I just completed my online training and got my certificate

    Liked by 3 people

      1. thank you they need an urdu translator i filled out an online application next thing you know chicago board of elections called me

        Liked by 3 people

  2. This is awesome — my theory about the “all of the above approach” is that it’s essentially meaningless. It’s inevitable as me make (I hope) a transition into cleaner energy. It doesn’t say anything at all. BUT it’s spoken by a lot of the middle of the road candidates. Personally I don’t know the answer to anything and I think I will remain a small part of some of the problem since I love my car. I can justify it saying I don’t drive much, it gets great mileage, etc. but what do I know? I have a lot of skepticism regarding lithium batteries, and even more ignorance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My favorite is the “Cleanest Carbon Molecule” I’m sure CO2 is much better when it’s “Clean”. Political speak drives me crazy. I used to have logic students identify fallacies from political debates, but I had to stop because it was depressing. Colorado isn’t doing too bad at the local level, there are some states that just have 0 after 0, and it’s shocking that someone would vote no to every single climate action piece of legislation.

      I think you’re right about Lithium, it’s another finite resource, maybe it with bridge the gap to whatever comes next, but it doesn’t seem like the answer.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That would be depressing.

        My favored candidate for congress in my district talked about “clean coal.” I hate spin of all kinds. He’s still better than Bobo around whose sign on a nearby small farm is a LOT of cow shit. The farmer stuck the big sign in a circular hay trough. I don’t even have to flip it off anymore as I drive by, thanks to that bovine eloquence.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha…no why is she in your district? Why is she in any district. Hats off to the cows for doing what a large number of us want to do!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This was one of the most helpful posts I’ve ever seen. I’m going to share it with my closest friends. I live, alas, in Oklahoma. I notice we aren’t on the list, but I can imagine ol’ Govnah Stitt scores real high on the list (don’t trip on my dripping sarcasm)😁😏🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh…YES!!! Please share away, I’m happy you like the post, hopefully Oklahoma gets its Stitt together! And hopefully they make it on the next list!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. These are actually some of the reasons I tend to stay away from the news. They just seem to have a knack for sharing bad news, but we creators have a Duty to make it a better place.

    Liked by 1 person

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