Monday, August 23, 2004

Future Imperfect

Here’s a tidbit of rather telling campaign rhetoric:

For what is apparently the first time, an environmental group is using Spanish-language advertisements to attack President Bush’s environmental record.

Issues more usually associated with Hispanics are immigration, healthcare and education. The environment has never been used as a hot-button issue to sway Hispanics, said Miami-based political consultant Sergio Bendixen, who advised the group that is running the ads.

The ads, which will run in Florida, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada, are the product of the Environmental Accountability Fund, a nonprofit political action committee.

One of the Florida ads shows a Hispanic family at the beach, and says the Bush administration’s policies allowed 58 million gallons of raw sewage to be dumped off Florida’s beaches. Another shows a Hispanic family sitting around a fresh fish for dinner, and says the Bush administration’s policies have led to fish heavily tainted with mercury.

“There’s considerable opinion research that shows Hispanics care deeply about these issues,” said Greg Wetstone, executive director of the fund.

Bush’s campaign team responded that the fund’s attack on Bush is “reckless disregard for the truth” and said that the Bush administration will actually mandate reductions in mercury from power plants for the first time ever.

“Consider the source,” said Bush campaign spokesman Reed Dickens. “It’s a blatantly partisan group with zero credibility on policy issues.” [Miami Herald]

Note the use of the future tense in the bolded bit. In other words, they haven’t done anything yet about reducing mercury, but boy howdy, they will if they are re-elected. Uh huh.