Could one of the most highly educated Congressional Districts in America really elect a candidate who doesn’t believe in science? That, incredibly, would be the case if Keith Fimian beat Gerry Connolly in the fight for the 11th District.
Fimian is part of the wave of Tea Party Republicans who receive not only their money but their ideology, talking points, and conspiracy theories from the oil industry. The massive oil conglomerate Koch Industries has been shown, as in this devastating portrait in The New Yorker, to be the most powerful known funder behind the so-called Tea Party. In addition to Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks, the Koch brothers have supported Americans for Prosperity, which is spending $45 million, largely in secret corporate donations, to elect right wingers who spout the climate denial theories manufactured by the websites and organizations, like Cato and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, funded by…(wait for it)…Koch Industries! (See Greenpeace’s documentation of the latter here.)
So here is Americans for Prosperity – their prosperity, by the way, not yours – praising Fimian for opposing Democratic efforts to pass climate change and energy legislation. Does Fimian have his own solution to the ever-increasing evidence of a global climate crisis, or our growing dependence on foreign oil? Um, no…
Actual solutions are not what you get with Tea Party Republicans. They’re about getting you angry – just angry enough so you don’t see the guy in the Brooks Brothers suit behind you picking your pocket.
So if you’re mad that large corporations are moving all the manufacturing jobs to other countries, and oil companies are devastating the planet your children will inhabit, and Wall Street wrecked the economy, that anger needs to be redirected. Gotta attack those immigrants cleaning your restrooms, and those elitist enviros threatening your SUV and that evil Kenyan socialist conspiracy to fluoridate our drinking water!!!
Sorry, got carried away there.
Anyway, here’s how the Connection Newspapers described part of a recent debate between the candidates:
The Republican [Fimian] is also not entirely convinced of the veracity of man-made global warming.
“There are serious scientists on both sides of that issue,” he said.
Connolly believes global warming is taking place.
“The issue of global warming is not arguable. It is not a debate for me. I believe we have to address that issue,” he said.
According to Connolly, energy conservation and investments in alternative energy, such as solar and wind power, could create new industries and new jobs for Americans. They will also lead to savings for consumers on their monthly electric bills, he said.
So we have one candidate following the evidence uncovered by thousands of scientists, and another following the self-interested talking points of Koch Industries. No wonder Fimian was endorsed during his primary by Virginia’s Ayatollah General Ken Cuccinelli, who is currently using your tax dollars to attack both the University of Virginia and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for following climate science rather than climate denial conspiracies.
All this in a metro area with the nation’s highest percentage of college graduates.
Will it fly? With one week to go, that’s up to you. If you want to give science and future generations a fighting chance, give Gerry a hand today.
And please don’t let Northern Virginia fall off the edge of the earth!