FUR COMMISSION USA COMMENTARY, JANUARY 20, 2004
Why my family joined the Sierra Club
… and why yours should too before January 31, 2004!
By Teresa Platt, Executive Director, Fur Commission USA
(Updated resources Mar. 12, 2004)
I work in the mink biz and my family’s work resumé includes agriculture and commercial fishing. Most of my friends are professional farmers, ranchers, fishermen, hunters and trappers, loggers and miners, whalers and sealers, resource providers from all over the world. Such people are more often on the receiving end of Sierra Club campaigns, as opposed to members of Sierra Club.
So why has my family joined the Sierra Club? Because a joint membership purchased before January 31, 2004 entitles our family to two votes in the March 2004 Sierra Club board election. For as little as $32, a joint membership gives you TWO votes in what is a vital election. The Sierra Club is locked in a life and death battle for control of the Club’s $100 million-dollar-a-year treasury.
The man leading the hostile takeover attempt is Paul Watson, who claims to have invented tree spiking and leads the eco-vigilantes of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Among crewmembers on his rag-tag fleet of vegan vessels, Watson has mentored convicted felon/arsonist Rodney Coronado and Alex
|SPLC “Sounds the Alarm”|
To make this fray even more interesting, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has earned respect for over twenty years of battling white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan, claims some of the groups backing some of the Sierra Club board and 2004 candidates have ties to racist groups.
The Sierra Club’s Carl Pope appears to agree with this assessment. The LA Times reported, “Some longtime Sierrans worry that a takeover by the insurgents would brand the organization as bigoted and xenophobic. ‘I don’t think that Lamm, Pimentel and Morris are racists,’ Pope said. ‘But they are clearly being supported by racists.’”
Sierra Club candidates are “supported by racists” led by the inventor of tree spiking? Right wing extremism meets up with left wing extremism – now that’s an explosive mix.
The SPLC is so concerned by the turn of events, its director, Morris Dees, is running for a seat on the Sierra Club board, in order to “sound the alarm.”
Pacheco, co-founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA), plus dozens of eco-anarchists with lengthy arrest records earned via crimes committed globally. (See Activistcash.com for more info.) 2004 started off with a bang for Sea Shepherd when Watson’s wife was arrested for lying to a grand jury about use of a leased truck which appears to have been used in the Pacific Northwest on an eco-terrorist road trip.
Watson claims he is now but three seats away from controlling the 15-member Sierra Club board. Imagine the damage Watson, and the people he supports, could do with access to hundreds of millions of dollars!
Since most Sierra Clubbers don’t vote, it only takes about 30,000 votes for a candidate to win a seat on the board. That’s only 15,000 families with joint membership. Executive Director Carl Pope noted that 18% of Sierra Club members fish and/or hunt (about 140,000 of the 780,000 Sierra Club members) and he worries that they will be driven out of the Club by the vegan/animal rights agenda pushed by Watson.
“It’s important to have hunters and fishermen in the Sierra Club,” Pope told the Los Angeles Times. “We are a big-tent organization. We want the Sierra Club to be a comfortable place for Americans who want clean air, clean water, and to protect America’s open spaces.”
Your joint membership must be in good standing by January 31 to get your two votes in order to play in this game!
“So, Which Sierra Club Candidates Get My Vote?” FCUSA commentary, Mar. 12, 2004.
“Candidates sue Sierra Club over election; claim leadership unfairly favoring some hopefuls,” Associated Press, Feb. 11, 2004.
“Population Bombshell. The Sierra Club Is Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” TomPaine.com commentary, Feb. 5, 2004.
“Rocking the Sierra Club’s Boat,” Missoula Independent (MT) commentary, Feb. 5, 2004.
“Sierra Club Shenanigans,” Alternet commentary, Feb. 4, 2004.
“Sierra Club Under Siege,” Center for Consumer Freedom commentary, Feb. 3, 2004.
“Election Becomes a Fight Over Sierra Club’s Future: Animal-rights activists and anti-immigration advocates are teaming in a bid to control the board, to the dismay of traditionalists,” Los Angeles Times, Jan. 18, 2004.
“Controversial Eco-Leader Brings Cause to San Diego,” San Diego Union-Tribune, Jan. 10, 2004.
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