Four Republicans, One Democrat on Environmental Group's 'Hit List'

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:26 PM EDT

( - Saying the environment will be a key issue for swing voters in this year's November elections, the League of Conservation Voters Wednesday named five more congressional candidates to its "dirty dozen" list and targeted them for defeat. These candidates, according to the LCV, have "poor" environmental records.

Named to the "dirty dozen" list were Representatives Jim Rogan (R-CA), Steve Kuykendall (R-CA), James Traficant (D-OH) and Senator Spencer Abraham (R-MI). Also added to the list was former Virginia Governor George Allen (R-VA), now involved in a senate race against incumbent Democrat Chuck Robb.

"Candidates named to the 'Dirty Dozen' share the dishonorable distinction of waging assaults on the environment by catering to corporate polluters and standing in the way of cleaner air and water protections," LCV political director Betsy Loyless said.

Loyless added, "We need members of the US Congress who work to give Americans cleaner air to breathe and safer water to drink. These 'Dirty Dozen' candidates put polluters before people, and it's time that voters in their states and districts put them out of a job."

Representative Jim Rogan isn't bothered by the LCV designation, according to spokesman Jeff Solsby.

"The LCV is a liberal, fringe wacko group. By law, they are a partisan organization. They are a 527-tax status group. They are a partisan group by their own definition. Any claims of theirs that they are non-partisan are completely illegitimate," Solsby said.

"Secondly," Solsby said, "the League of Conservation Voters says that they're non-partisan. That's about like Saddam Hussein saying he cares about human rights."

LCV claims to be the "political voice for the national environmental and conservation community," according to their statement on the "Dirty Dozen" candidates.

Allen had no comment on the LCV designation, according to a spokesperson.

Kuykendall, according to campaign advisor Adam Mendelsohn, saw the designation as a "typical," aggressive tactic by a partisan group.

"It's a typical attack from a partisan organization in a tight congressional race. To pick obscure votes and use that against the congressman is ridiculous considering that, in his first term as a member, he has fought for and gotten funding for numerous projects to protect the environment of his district," Mendelsohn said.

Neither Abraham nor Traficant had any comment after repeated phone calls by

Rogan and Traficant scored 19 percent on the LCV scorecard. Kuykendall scored 25 percent, and Allen scored 13 percent.

Senator Spencer Abraham scored 0, according to the LCV.

The LCV said, "Senator Abraham has the worst environmental record of all 16 senators from the Great Lakes region, consistently voting against tougher drinking water protections and failing to help clean up Michigan's waterways."