It seems that Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) had a bad case of sour grapes – sour green grapes.
The nine-term Congressman has yet to make the customary concession call to Andy Harris, who defeated him in the February 12 GOP primary balloting.
It seems that Congressman Gilchrest is irked about a post-primary election statement by an aide to Harris, who acknowledged the Congressman’s courageous service during the Vietnam war, but noted that the voters of Maryland’s traditionally conservative First District booted Gilchrest because they wanted a true conservative to represent them.
The aide is right – that’s exactly what they did want. What they didn’t want was an environmental radical representing them.
Politicians who have been cowering ever since California Rep. Richard Pombo’s narrow loss at the polls two years ago at the hands of environmental activists now have a new reason to cower…
…Gilchrest’s landslide loss at the hands of conservatives.
In 2006, a half dozen self-described “environmentalist” organizations poured more than $3 million into a general election campaign to defeat Pombo, then chairman of the House Resources Committee, in his re-election bid. They succeeded in ousting him, but largely through advertisements focusing on government ethics.
Ever since, greens have been using the successful effort against Pombo to intimidate some of the more freedom-oriented members of Congress, warning them that the could be Pombo-ed if they are too aggressive in defending property rights and individual liberty.
As a Defenders of Wildlife President Rodger Schlickeisen noted in a press statement, "Pombo's defeat... serves as notice that extreme anti-environmental positions can be an extreme liability on the campaign trail."
Lawmakers need no longer be worried about being Pombo-ed. They need to worry about being Gilchrest-ed.
Yesterday, Wayne Gilchrest was denied the opportunity to seek his tenth term after receiving less than one-third of the primary vote. His endorsements from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), the Sierra Club, the Council for a Livable World and Newt Gingrich, who touted Gilchrest’s environmental credentials, didn’t help him.
They hurt him.
Wayne Gilchrest was among the most rabid environmentalists in Congress, with a life-time LCV score of 63 - higher than such Democrats as John Murtha (57), William Jefferson (50) and Alan Mollohan (57).
But these numbers don’t begin to tell how significant of an ally he was to the environmental movement because they only measure the votes LCV chose to score. Here’s what they don’t tell you…