Environmental group rescinds Hamilton award after fracking flip flop
RALEIGH, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — The North Carolina League of Conservation Voters (NCLCV) announced today it is rescinding its “Rising Star” award given to Rep. Susi Hamilton on June 20. The award was given to Hamilton for her pro-environmental record in her first term as a legislator at NCLCV’s annual Green Tie Award dinner in Raleigh. Representative Hamilton voted to override Governor Beverly Perdue’s courageous veto of SB 820, an ill-conceived, controversial bill which would allow fracking in North Carolina without insuring the proper safeguards to protect public health, drinking water, and property rights.
This is bold step that the organization is not taking lightly. “Politics is not a zero sum game and other awardees have made choices that we did not agree with. However, the circumstances, timing, and weight of this issue warrants a significant response,” said Nina Szlosberg-Landis, president of NCLCV. “Our members put a lot of trust in this organization, and we do not take that trust lightly,” she went on to say.
Board members, supporters, and past Green Tie award winners began contacting the organization early on Monday after learning Hamilton was brokering a deal with Republican leadership to “trade her vote” on the fracking override to secure an extension of tax incentives for the movie industry, buried in a technical corrections bill. The tax incentive Hamilton sought had been championed by New Hanover County Republican Lawmaker Danny McComas, and likely would have happened regardless of how Hamilton voted.
“Last night Captain America prevailed over clean drinking water and the property rights of North Carolinians,” said Dan Crawford, director of governmental relations for NCLCV. “We found out that even this Green Tie Award winner “has her price.” This was too big of a vote to sell out the environment on an issue that will change the landscape of our state for years to come,” he concluded.
NCLCV works to hold decision makers accountable for their actions through a legislative scorecard and political action. “Green Tie award ceremonies are nice, but we do the bulk of our work in electing pro-conservation minded candidates to the General Assembly. New Hanover County deserves someone that will better balance the environmental impacts of the decisions they make; we will work to ensure that in future elections,” Crawford added.
“I am deeply saddened by Hamilton’s decision. Particularly because we had such high hopes for her in the future,” Szlosberg-Landis said. “Our job now is to look ahead. To continue to recruit, support, and elect lawmakers who respect our citizens’ rights for a clean, healthy and prosperous North Carolina. Mark my words. We will do just that.”
The organization will deliver a letter to Hamilton’s office today, asking that she return the NCLCV Rising Star award plaque.