The North Carolina League of Conservation Voters recently gave North Carolina's Legislature the lowest score it has received since the League started issuing a yearly scorecard in 1999. You might expect some lowering with a new Republican majority in both chambers of the legislature in Raleigh. OK, but surely from a politically healthy perspective of different temperaments, geographic areas, and interests Republicans, including our own Republican Senator Davis, must have showed some variation in how they voted. But this was not the case. Every single Republican Senator voted in a lockstep pattern that earned an 8 percent rating for each of them, including Senator Davis. Where did they get this overreaching agenda? Not from the people of North Carolina and not from a broad-based Republican party but from a Republican party that has been skewed to the right by corporate interests.
What is this misguided vision? It is an extension of the corporate view that all environmental regulations are barriers to business and should be eliminated. The uniform 8 percent score reflects the hatchet job that is being done to the body of environmental protections cautiously built over the years by many people of both parties in North Carolina. What is a realistic vision? Business benefits from being in a state that protects its natural resources, because reliable natural resources are necessary for a good business climate. Forbes Magazine had already placed North Carolina as the #1 state for business before this last year's anti-environmental crusade. I suspect that, ironically, a loss of the business climate rating will result from the weakening of our protections of clean air, drinkable water and fertile soil.
Please look up the website for the NC League of Conservation Voters for the details. North Carolina has a history of relative moderation and progress in many areas. It is important that we maintain that sensible position through the ballot box.
Bill Crawford — Franklin