Following Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker’s (D-16) comments today, Ed Potosnak, executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters (New Jersey LCV), responded.
“We are dismayed with Assemblyman Frieman’s recent decision to decline the endorsement of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters without even a conversation after he applied and was interviewed, but accept his decision,” Potosnak said.
On the same day his running mate made his own announcement regarding New Jersey LCV’s endorsement, Zwicker criticized the organization in an open letter claiming “this has nothing to do with environmental protection” when he was not included in the second-round of three rounds of endorsements by the group.
“Andrew Zwicker is flat out wrong, there are many factors we consider in an endorsement by New Jersey LCV,” said Julia Somers, Chair of the Board of Directors. “Unfortunately, Mr. Zwicker did not earn our endorsement because of a number of factors including missing the mark on environmental leadership because he fails to admit how reckless and flawed his disclosure bill was — it stands in opposition to New Jersey LCV’s goals of safeguarding our states precious natural resources.”
Somers and Potosnak noted that the harmful disclosure bill sponsored by Zwicker received opposition from the New Jersey LCV, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Garden State Equality, Working Families, Citizen Action, League of Women Voters, Environment America, Blue Wave New Jersey, and many other organizations.
“The disclosure bill is opposed by grass roots non-profits like us because it knee caps our ability to educate and engage the public about public policy, while allowing trade associations, government contractors, and other entities to continue to operate in the dark as they have for years,” Potosnak said. “Chairman Zwicker sided with already well-funded groups like the Chamber of Commerce, Petroleum Institute, Chemistry Council, and the Business and Industry Association to ensure their funding was kept secret and chose to harm progressive organizations with onerous and duplicative reporting requirements and new restriction’s that do not apply to others.
“We believe strongly the playing field for environmental policy must be level, not tipped to favor the powerful developers and business interests. To think that these issues are not interrelated lacks foresight,” he added. “On top of parts of the bill likely being unconstitutional, the ability of groups to protect the rights of women health, the ability to effectively and swiftly address the climate crisis, to strongly push back against the efforts of the NRA are significantly hindered. The group remains hopeful there will be a good fix bill as promised to address the concerns raised by many progressive organizations. — New Jersey League of Conservation Voters is a non-partisan organization whose mission is to elect environmental champions, hold public officials accountable, and support laws which protect our environment and improve the quality of people’s lives.”