Did Al Wynn Just Openly Lie About the League of Conservation Voters?

by: Matt Stoller

Tue Sep 25, 2007 at 11:17

UPDATE:  Yup, I just got off the phone with reporter John McArdle.  He was quoting the Wynn letter and didn't check the LCV public scorecard.  He won't issue a correction until he hears back from the LCV, so I've emailed Gene Karpinski and Tony Massaro over there for comment.  I don't think LCV is going to be happy about this.

Here's Tony Massaro, LCV spokesperson.

Matt,  Rep. Wynn continues to get the facts wrong. He has an 85 lifetime., 77 in the 109th Congress which includes support for the 2005 energy bill, one of the most anti-environmental pieces of legislation to pass the House in the last 20 years and a 92 in 2006, none of which are 96 as you correctly point out.  More to the point, in all his years in Congress he as not been an environmental leader, while Donna has been a citizen leader on the environment for the past 30 plus years.

Aside from beating up Donna Edwards volunteers, spreading nasty rumors, and playing around with voting machines, one of Al Wynn's consistent models of operating last cycle was to simply lie about endorsements and rely on the low information environment by the local press.  I think it's happening again.  There was a story in Roll call about Al Wynn complaining that the League of Conservation voters is endorsing his opponent, Donna Edwards.  The accusation is that Donna was involved in the foundation world, and LCV was a grantee of the foundation she ran.  But the real story seems hidden in plain site.  Here's Wynn:

"As you know, in this Congress I was elected Chair of the Environment and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee, and based on the 96 rating I received from the League of Conservation Voters during the prior Congress and my strong record on environmental matters, I feel that I deserve to receive an endorsement from the League," he wrote.

I checked out Progressive Punch, and there are a whole lot of bad votes on the environment from Wynn, the most prominent one being the Bush Energy Bill.  Obviously he's taken money from the nuclear industry and everyone else in the energy world.  So then I checked out the LCV scorecard from 2006, and Wynn scored a 77.  Am I missing something?  Or did Wynn just out and out lie about his score to Roll Call reporter John McArdle?

If he did, it's not the first time he's openly dishonest in a manner where he's sure to be caught.  Here he was last cycle, lying about who endorsed him.

The latest example was a "Women for Wynn" mailing that included Montgomery County council member Marilyn Praisner (D-Eastern County) in a list of more than 70 supporters.

In an interview, Praisner said Wynn had contacted her directly seeking permission to use her name. She said no.

But "I got one in the mail, and it has my name on it," Praisner said.

Late yesterday afternoon, Wynn said he called Praisner to apologize for what he said was a clerical error.

At least two labor unions -- the Service Employees International Union and the Teamsters -- also have raised questions about Wynn's use of their names on his literature.

Wynn lists the two groups among about 40 that "want to send Al Wynn back to Congress."

"We were surprised that our name was on the literature," said Ellen Golombek , director of government affairs for SEIU.

Curt Clifton , a spokesman for Wynn, said Wynn received contributions from the union and the Teamsters with letters of support for his reelection bid. Golombek said she was looking into whether a check was sent to Wynn last year; none were sent in 2006, she said.

She added that the union "elected not to endorse in this congressional race."

Ferline Buie , president of Teamsters Joint Council No. 55, which represents five local unions in the 4th District, sent a letter to Wynn's campaign Friday asking that his literature be corrected because the union has endorsed Edwards.

This is odd.  I almost can't believe what Wynn's campaign said about this.  Am I missing something here? 

Matt Stoller :: Did Al Wynn Just Openly Lie About the League of Conservation Voters?

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Wynn actually had a 92 (0.00 / 0)

Vote Scorecard: 109th, 2nd session Search Results

Scores for Maryland Sorted by District


Senator State 109th, 2nd session Score
Barbara Mikulski (DEM) MD 100%
Paul Sarbanes (DEM) MD 100%


Representative District 109th, 2nd session Score
Albert Wynn (DEM) MD-4 92%
Chris Van Hollen (DEM) MD-8 100%


96 or 92? Isn't that still an A? (0.00 / 0)
I followed the link that was provided in the response.  It seems like the 2006 question the poster had about having a 77% is wrong.  It looks like that was his record from 99-2000.  Then in 2006 was the year he was a given a 96%... oh my bad a 92% (these errors happen, whoops!). 

I was curious about what Wynn did about this mistake.  Apparantly they made a correction on their website. 


As I agree that 92 might not be a good as it can be, however, I'd really like to learn more about this conflict of interest going on with Edwards and LCV.  LCV might not like Wynn's record, fine, but contributing to someone's campaign that sits on your board seems all too (dare I say) republican?  No that's not right.  Illegal is the word, sometimes I get those two confused.

[ Parent ]
So what is this fuss really about? (0.00 / 0)
Now, I'm new to this whole debate. But out west, my daddy taught me that where there's smoke there's gonna be a fire. And i ain't talkin bout the Santa Ana winds.

The outrage over the scorecard mixup is a bit over the top. Almost like a red herring? As a voter, I can't say it does much for me. Al Wynn might not be Al Gore, but come on.

On the other hand, if I read the letter correctly on Wynn's site, Edwards gave LCV 100,000 dollars in grant money. They, in return gave her thousands of dollars in contributions. And she's on the board. And then, shockingly, they endorse her.

kickbacks? quid pro quo? Who knows but those are the coals fueling this fire.

[ Parent ]
Well, If W Is A War Hero (0.00 / 0)
Then Wynn's a environmental, labor and women's rights hero.

Welcome to Versailles.

[Homer Voice:] In your face, Dan Rather!

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

How sad... (0.00 / 0)
Ok folks...being reasonable people, we should not make hay over what looks like a minor clerical error.  if you go to the LCV website - you will find that the correct percentage is 92% - a mere 4% off.  Big deal.  Do we really think that anyone would intentionally lie about 4% like that?  Get over yourselves. 

To me, this is a tactic to divert everyone away from a very bad truth...Donna Edwards is the liar.  Anyone who would say that her financial records are clean as can be and then would obviously arrange a huge grant in exchange for a donation to her campaign and an endorsement is a liar.  How many other grantees did she arrange grants for in exchange for money?  That is way worse than making what the wynn campaign said was a clerical error in 2006 with the praisner and union endorsement (I'm not excusing it, they made the mistake).  But we are talking about giving hundreds of thousands of dollars away to non-profits so that she can raise money from those funds for her own benefit. 

In my view, LCV shouldn't have endorsed anyone in this race because not only is Ms. Edwards on their board, she is on the committee that received the grant in the first place. 

I haven't been politically active most of my life and I haven't followed this race for very long, but this race is truly the ugly underbelly of politics.  While Wynn certainly has not had the best record, I would take him any day over a woman who seems to be nothing more than a one woman "I hate Wynn" machine.  Where are her ideas?  She has none that I can see.  All she does is hate on Mr. Wynn.  what a turn off!


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