The Sierra Club Toxifies Itself—Old Guard Cronies Win, But With Great Damage To The Organization


The Sierra Club results have proved once again
that deep pockets and an unrestricted willingness
to lie can still win elections. The

numbers are in
, and they are not pretty:

Elected to the Board
are:

Lisa Renstrom 141,407
Jan O`Connell 132,262
Nick Aumen 123,332
Sanjay Ranchod 123,332
David Karpf 110,756

Runners-up:

Michael Dorsey 42,401
Ed Dobson 35,825
Chad Hanson 29,104
Robert Roy van de Hoek 15,700
Phillip Berry 15,492
David Pimentel 14,527
Dick Lamm 13,090
Kim McCoy 9,765
Karyn Strickler 8,333
Frank Morris 8,247
Morris Dees 7,554
Barbara Herz 7,525


The
winners are the management-picked slate, presumably
selected for their qualities of obedience to authority,
er, loyalty. The stunning gap of more than 68,000 votes
between the top five and the next candidate shows how
willingly 100,000 members followed directions.

These
are staggering overall vote totals by

Sierra Club standards
. In 2002, reformer candidate

Ben Zuckerman
was the number one voter getter with
36,383 ballots.

Turnout was 22.67 percent—dramatically up from just
below nine percent last year, but still pathetically
low, and an indication of the

Sierra staff`s
continued vulnerability.

True
to form, the Sierra Old Guard couldn`t resist a lame
attempt at gloating: in the

post-election press release
, President Larry Fahn
announced, "Nearly a quarter of the Sierra Club`s
members have indicated they love the Club the way it
is."

The
winners were the chosen candidates of

GroundswellSierra.org
, which materialized as a major
Sierra staff auxiliary in the election and a voice
against US population sanity.

Probably even more importantly, recommendations to vote
for the New Old Guard were also sent by

MoveOn.org,
the Democratic outreach organization, to
its 2.3 million members. MoveOn was recently

in the news
for receiving a matching grant of $5
million from open-borders billionaire George Soros.

At a
recent Berkeley book flacking for MoveOn`s new handbook
for Democratic activists, Bay Area environmental
activist Tim Aaronson bravely quizzed founder Joan
Blades about why her organization supported the
establishment candidates rather than the reformers. She
answered weakly that her husband did the screening of
issues, not her.

Of
course, Ms. Blades would not want to anger the source of
her recent windfall.

The
election results have certainly confirmed the Sierra
Club as

Democratic Party activist arm,
tree division. The
Club`s degeneration into the left and into the D camp,
may bring joy in the anti-Bush quarters, but as an

environmentalist
and a

Democrat
, I think it`s terrible news for America`s
environment. Democrats will increasingly see the Sierra
Club as loyal supporters of the Party—doormat
material,
in other words.

Republicans
will view the organization as the enemy.
Neither is good for the cause of conservation.

While
touting they have advocated a "big tent"
philosophy in their public pronouncements, the actions
of Pope & Co. have been quite the contrary. The
organization has moved away from Americans` widespread
support for environmental protection, and has advocated
socialist causes that undermine its

environmental mission.
This insults the tens of
millions of Republican and conservative voters who

care deeply
about conserving America`s

natural treasures.

One of
the interesting facts which came to light during the
election was the curious—and still
mysterious—contribution of $100 million to the
organization, brought to light by

Dick Lamm
and other reformer candidates. Was the
cash a generous shovelful from extremist George Soros?
Or did it come from the

Mexican government
in return for a promise to avoid
the annoying immigration topic?

The
Sierra Club had already

supported
California

drivers` licenses
for

illegal aliens
in the state—hardly an environmental
issue—so a trans-border expansion would not be out of
bounds from their viewpoint.

How an
anonymous contribution of such size can be legal is
shocking. The new Board should demand that Carl Pope
come clean with the facts, if only to show that the club
is not acting out of greed alone.

Carl
Pope`s trail of

character assassination
and lies will not soon be
forgotten. He and his henchmen have created an
unprecedented level of

bitterness and ill will
. (In addition,

promises
were made to Fresno

Hmong
which may prove expensive when payment comes
due.) For an introduction, please see a few examples
named by the reformer candidates:

Stop the Creeping Moral Corruption Within the Sierra
Club
,
March 12, 2004.

But at
least the

enormous campaign
launched against highly reputable
men like Gov. Dick Lamm shows that it now requires quite
a major expense to fool the people. That, in some ways,
is good news.

The
election will likely prove a Pyrrhic victory. How many
times can Pope & Co.

accuse their opponents
of Nazism?

The
Sierra staff may be breathing easier tonight, but they
know that

immigration reformers
are still out there, like
guerrillas, ready to strike again.

Brenda Walker [email
her
] lives in Northern
California and publishes


LimitsToGrowth
and


ImmigrationsHumanCost
.

She is ready to confess that she had lunch with a
Republican last year.