Radioactive: Robert Hurt’s “Shocking Conflict of Interest” on Uranium

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    So, what’s changed since this ad ran in 2010, pointing out that Robert Hurt should have recused himself due a glaring conflict of interest (his father, Henry Hurt, has a major financial interest in Virginia Uranium; Robert Hurt himself “has taken thousands from Uranium interests”), but instead “voted his interest — not yours” on the issue? Basically, Hurt’s doubled down. A few “highlights” (actually “lowlights”):

    *As the Daily Progress reports a bit over a week ago, Robert Hurt pathetically attempted to evade his own responsibility on this issue, claiming that “the issue of lifting the Virginia moratorium is entirely a state issue” (not true; in fact, Congress – of which he’s a member, unfortunately – could ban it), and whining that Gen. John Douglass‘ criticism of him on this subject represented “gutter politics that has no place in this campaign.” Of course, that’s ridiculous, but how convenient it would be — for Robert Hurt, that is – if everyone would just stop talking about it!

    *Of course, if this is strictly a Virginia state issue, then what was Hurt doing voting against an amendment to keep “radioactive matter produced from uranium mining” subject to the Clean Air Act?!? Believe it or not, Hurt claimed: “Where I’m from dust is not a nuisance. Rather it is a necessary byproduct of the hard work the farmers and businesses in my rural district.” Uh huh, so will Hurt agree to spend a few days breathing in uranium dust, just to prove to everyone else who lives in the 5th CD that it’s “not a nuisance?” Hmmm.

    *An “exhaustive study of uranium mining” by the authoritative National Academy of Sciences “raised some red flags,” finding that Virginia would face “‘steep hurdles’ in protecting the health of its people and environment if the moratorium was lifted.” It also prompted one member of the study committee – Peter DeFur, a research associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University – to comment that “I don’t see how we can do [uranium mining in Virginia]…I hope we don’t,” and that none of “our experts know” what this will “mean for our children.” Perhaps not, but one thing we DO know is what it will mean for Robert Hurt’s family: $$$$$$, ka-ching, ka-ching!

    So, bottom line, what’s changed since the LCV ran its ad in 2010, pointing out Robert Hurt’s massive conflict of interest on an issue that’s crucially important to his district? It’s only gotten worse. #FAIL

    P.S. No wonder why Hurt won’t show his face in public forums, as Tom Perriello did constantly, even at the height of Tea Party outrage over “Obamacare.”  

    • “In that campaign, the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters ran an attack ad accusing Hurt of a “shocking conflict of interest” for his 2008 vote to study uranium mining.

      PolitiFact Virginia rated the ad “Mostly False,” finding that Hurt sought advice from the Democratic-controlled Senate ethics panel, which cleared him to vote on the matter.”

      Looks like nothing’s changed.

    • churchlanddem

      That our legislature allowed a gerrymander that stretches from Warrenton to the NC border to protect this guy.

      The redistricting plans for the congressional and state senate seats was a situation where Dems needed to play all of their cards.