December 1, 2022

Dawson County Journal

Dawson County, Nebraska

In Overheated Economy, Dems Forced To Cool Climate Messaging : by Tyler Durden

In Overheated Economy, Dems Forced To Cool Climate Messaging

Authored by Susan Crabtree via RealClear Wire,

Eric Sorensen, a Democrat running for an open seat in a northwest Illinois congressional district that Donald Trump narrowly won twice, concluded recently that his campaign website’s top issues section needed a major reshuffling.

Wind energy near Palm Springs Pacific Southwest Region USFWS fro

A section entitled “Addressing Climate Change,” which was initially leading the page, was relegated to the no. 4 spot, according to a comparison of the archived version of the website. The revamped website’s top two sections were new: “Addressing Rising Costs” and “Securing Reproductive Rights.”

Sorensen’s re-tooled website reflects the purple nature of his district and the shifting realities of the 2022 midterms as candidates head into the final stretch. Democrats are facing severe headwinds when it comes to the economy and inflation, and they can’t afford to dodge the issue or ignore the pain it’s causing many low- and middle-income Americans.

At the same time, Democrats still hope that opposition to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturning federal abortion protections continues to resonate enough to hand them wins in tight races around the country.

In unpredictable, ultra-competitive races like Sorensen’s, Democrats are deliberating over every move in the final weeks. The race for the seat held by retiring Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos pits Sorensen against Republican Esther Joy King, a U.S. Army JAG officer reservist running a campaign focused on combating inflation.

Yet, for Sorensen’s campaign to follow suit – to re-order his policy priorities and slide climate change down the priority list – is telling. The former TV weatherman’s campaign logo still includes a windmill and a sun. He’s also on the record repeatedly stating that climate change is his top priority while claiming to be the first meteorologist to mention climate change on air 15 years ago.

“Climate change is top,” Sorensen said at a virtual Democratic candidate forum in late April before the primary. “And I was the communicator for events as they happened so our local communities could understand the implications.”

Why the sudden shift? Republicans offer a succinct explanation: The climate message is backfiring among voters in Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, which is split between rural and urban areas and is home to thousands of farms, including 157 dairy farms. (Dairy farms are a frequent target of environmentalists, who argue that the cows and their manure produce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.)

“Eric Sorensen is completely out of touch with Illinois voters,” National Republican Campaign Committee spokeswoman Courtney Parella said in a statement over the summer. “Sorensen wants Illinois families, already struggling to afford basic necessities thanks to Democrats’ inflation crisis, to pay higher costs for his radical climate agenda.”

The Sorensen campaign, which is endorsed by the National Resources Defense Council, a strong proponent of the Green New Deal, now offers a more nuanced version of his top policy priorities.

Our campaign is built around economic opportunity and making sure that Central and Northwest Illinois is sustainable now and for years to come,” Sorensen campaign spokesman Joseph Goldberg told RealClearPolitics in an emailed statement. “On the ground, we’re talking about lowering costs for working families and making sure we’re able to tackle the generational challenges that pose climate and economic threats to constituents.”

“We can both protect and expand thriving industries in Illinois and solve the climate crisis,” he added.

Not long ago, however, Sorensen and many other Democrats were wholeheartedly touting climate change as the transcendent issue of our time – and were busy promoting their party’s record on the subject.

As recently as mid-September, congressional Democrats and the White House celebrated the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which is considered one of the most significant climate measures in U.S. history. Signed by President Biden on Aug. 16, the legislation passed on a nearly straight party-line vote and allocates $369 billion over 10 years to various green investments while seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by some 40% by 2030.

As Biden and party leaders looked on at the White House signing ceremony, singer-songwriter James Taylor trumpeted the law’s green provisions. “It strikes me that this is a time when the world needs to cooperate … more than ever before,” he said of the climate change provisions.

Last month, Sorensen sent out a fundraising email focused solely on climate change. It highlighted a new study warning that Illinois will be “squarely within an ‘extreme heat belt,’ where dangerously high temperatures will threaten human health with increasing frequency as the planet warms.”

Yet, in the weeks since the Inflation Reduction Act’s passage, food and rent prices have continued to climb, with free-market economists and other administration critics blaming the law for exacerbating inflation, not easing it. Recent polls also show that the nation’s economic woes have pushed aside climate change as a top-tier voter concern.

A national poll conducted in mid-August for NBC by GOP and Democratic pollsters found that only 9% of respondents said “climate change” was an important election issue for them. The survey ranked it fifth behind “threats to democracy” (21%), “cost of living” (16%), “jobs and the economy” (14%), and immigration (13%). “Guns” and “abortion” came in just behind “climate change” at 8% each.

Those are national numbers, however, and concerns about climate vary state by state – and at the county level, which is a more relevant factor in House races. Last year, even before record inflation became the clear driving issue in the campaign, the green agenda was a tough sell in several agriculture-heavy districts, even in reliably Democratic Illinois. The state is the fourth highest producer of coal in the U.S., and over the last decade coal-fired power plants have been the second largest provider of energy in the state, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Illinois also generates more electricity from nuclear power than any other state.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed a landmark law this month that will transition the state to 100% clean energy by 2045. Pritzker is up for reelection this year and has a lead in the low-double digits. But GOP challenger Darren Bailey, a state senator and farmer from downstate, has repeatedly hit Pritzker over his “virtue-signaling” green agenda, which he’s called harmful to the state’s agriculture industry.

Sorensen is already at odds with several national labor unions after opposing a pipeline project in the district that would transport liquified carbon dioxide 1,300 miles across four Midwest states and deposit it in central Illinois. The companies involved say the project would help ethanol refiners offset emissions from roughly 215,469 vehicles each year and create 8,000 jobs.

Statewide, some 1,200 farmers led by the Illinois Farm Bureau contacted their representatives over the summer, asking them to oppose the Inflation Reduction Act and faulting the measure for increasing taxes and failing to address “record-high input for [farming] costs,” among other reasons.

Meanwhile, a study by the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, free-market think tanks, predicted that the Green New Deal would have a devastating impact on Midwest farming. The study points out that the Green New Deal’s emissions reductions offset fees of $230 per metric ton of carbon dioxide released will apply to dairy farms and could cost them up to $2,000 per cow. The same analysis also said the Green New Deal’s organic farming requirements would reduce corn and soybean yields by 11%.

In Sorensen’s telling, however, climate change and the green agenda would be resonating with voters if only the Democratic Party could get its talking points right. In August, Sorensen sent out a fundraising email criticizing Democratic party leaders for not doing a better job selling climate policies, especially in their infrastructure legislation, the Build Back Better Act, which preceded the Inflation Reduction Act.

“I believe Democrats need more communicators in Washington – individuals who know how to talk about complex issues in ways that highlight the positives but also address real, daily concerns,” he told supporters.

This is a common problem that we see with climate change,” he added. “Often, it’s framed around problems that aren’t tangible to everyday life, like ‘saving the polar bears.’ However, that’s not how voters here experience it.”

It’s a similar refrain to other Democrats who have blasted party leaders for “out-of-touch” positive economic talking points while hearing from voters experiencing pain at the pump and grocery stores. Rep. Susan Wild, a Pennsylvania Democrat running in another competitive House district, said she still backs the Inflation Reduction Act, even though she concedes its promises were exaggerated.

“[W]e should be cautious about over-promising,” she recently told the New York Times. “You always have to temper your enthusiasm with a huge dose of reality so that people don’t think that next time they go fill their prescription, it’s going to cost less.”

Despite the concerns from those campaigning on the ground, the White House this week continued to take credit for an economic turnaround since coming to office – even as the president acknowledged in a CNN interview that a “slight recession” is possible but unlikely.

“When he walked in, small businesses were closed, schools were not open … and thousands of people were dying from the pandemic a day,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Tuesday. “[Biden’s] economic policies have been able to get us back on track in a historic fashion.”

It’s that type of happy talk that leaves Josh Riley cold.

An attorney and former Capitol Hill staffer running as a Democrat in New York’s 19th District, Riley didn’t mince words recently when blaming the party’s unrealistic messaging for the economic headwinds they face.

Riley labeled recent talking points from Democratic Party leadership in Washington as “wildly out of touch,” arguing that he would “lose all credibility” if he repeated such unrealistic views on the economy to voters.

“Yeah, I got to be honest, folks: A lot of it is really bad right now,” he said at a local campaign event. “I don’t know if I’m supposed to say that, but it’s … The D.C. Democratic establishment is doing no favors.”

Tyler Durden
Sat, 10/15/2022 – 20:30

​ In Overheated Economy, Dems Forced To Cool Climate Messaging

Authored by Susan Crabtree via RealClear Wire,

Eric Sorensen, a Democrat running for an open seat in a northwest Illinois congressional district that Donald Trump narrowly won twice, concluded recently that his campaign website’s top issues section needed a major reshuffling.
Wind energy near Palm Springs Pacific Southwest Region USFWS fro

A section entitled “Addressing Climate Change,” which was initially leading the page, was relegated to the no. 4 spot, according to a comparison of the archived version of the website. The revamped website’s top two sections were new: “Addressing Rising Costs” and “Securing Reproductive Rights.”

Sorensen’s re-tooled website reflects the purple nature of his district and the shifting realities of the 2022 midterms as candidates head into the final stretch. Democrats are facing severe headwinds when it comes to the economy and inflation, and they can’t afford to dodge the issue or ignore the pain it’s causing many low- and middle-income Americans.

At the same time, Democrats still hope that opposition to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturning federal abortion protections continues to resonate enough to hand them wins in tight races around the country.

In unpredictable, ultra-competitive races like Sorensen’s, Democrats are deliberating over every move in the final weeks. The race for the seat held by retiring Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos pits Sorensen against Republican Esther Joy King, a U.S. Army JAG officer reservist running a campaign focused on combating inflation.

Yet, for Sorensen’s campaign to follow suit – to re-order his policy priorities and slide climate change down the priority list – is telling. The former TV weatherman’s campaign logo still includes a windmill and a sun. He’s also on the record repeatedly stating that climate change is his top priority while claiming to be the first meteorologist to mention climate change on air 15 years ago.

“Climate change is top,” Sorensen said at a virtual Democratic candidate forum in late April before the primary. “And I was the communicator for events as they happened so our local communities could understand the implications.”

Why the sudden shift? Republicans offer a succinct explanation: The climate message is backfiring among voters in Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, which is split between rural and urban areas and is home to thousands of farms, including 157 dairy farms. (Dairy farms are a frequent target of environmentalists, who argue that the cows and their manure produce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.)

“Eric Sorensen is completely out of touch with Illinois voters,” National Republican Campaign Committee spokeswoman Courtney Parella said in a statement over the summer. “Sorensen wants Illinois families, already struggling to afford basic necessities thanks to Democrats’ inflation crisis, to pay higher costs for his radical climate agenda.”

The Sorensen campaign, which is endorsed by the National Resources Defense Council, a strong proponent of the Green New Deal, now offers a more nuanced version of his top policy priorities.

“Our campaign is built around economic opportunity and making sure that Central and Northwest Illinois is sustainable now and for years to come,” Sorensen campaign spokesman Joseph Goldberg told RealClearPolitics in an emailed statement. “On the ground, we’re talking about lowering costs for working families and making sure we’re able to tackle the generational challenges that pose climate and economic threats to constituents.”

“We can both protect and expand thriving industries in Illinois and solve the climate crisis,” he added.

Not long ago, however, Sorensen and many other Democrats were wholeheartedly touting climate change as the transcendent issue of our time – and were busy promoting their party’s record on the subject.

As recently as mid-September, congressional Democrats and the White House celebrated the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which is considered one of the most significant climate measures in U.S. history. Signed by President Biden on Aug. 16, the legislation passed on a nearly straight party-line vote and allocates $369 billion over 10 years to various green investments while seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by some 40% by 2030.

As Biden and party leaders looked on at the White House signing ceremony, singer-songwriter James Taylor trumpeted the law’s green provisions. “It strikes me that this is a time when the world needs to cooperate … more than ever before,” he said of the climate change provisions.

Last month, Sorensen sent out a fundraising email focused solely on climate change. It highlighted a new study warning that Illinois will be “squarely within an ‘extreme heat belt,’ where dangerously high temperatures will threaten human health with increasing frequency as the planet warms.”

Yet, in the weeks since the Inflation Reduction Act’s passage, food and rent prices have continued to climb, with free-market economists and other administration critics blaming the law for exacerbating inflation, not easing it. Recent polls also show that the nation’s economic woes have pushed aside climate change as a top-tier voter concern.

A national poll conducted in mid-August for NBC by GOP and Democratic pollsters found that only 9% of respondents said “climate change” was an important election issue for them. The survey ranked it fifth behind “threats to democracy” (21%), “cost of living” (16%), “jobs and the economy” (14%), and immigration (13%). “Guns” and “abortion” came in just behind “climate change” at 8% each.

Those are national numbers, however, and concerns about climate vary state by state – and at the county level, which is a more relevant factor in House races. Last year, even before record inflation became the clear driving issue in the campaign, the green agenda was a tough sell in several agriculture-heavy districts, even in reliably Democratic Illinois. The state is the fourth highest producer of coal in the U.S., and over the last decade coal-fired power plants have been the second largest provider of energy in the state, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Illinois also generates more electricity from nuclear power than any other state.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed a landmark law this month that will transition the state to 100% clean energy by 2045. Pritzker is up for reelection this year and has a lead in the low-double digits. But GOP challenger Darren Bailey, a state senator and farmer from downstate, has repeatedly hit Pritzker over his “virtue-signaling” green agenda, which he’s called harmful to the state’s agriculture industry.

Sorensen is already at odds with several national labor unions after opposing a pipeline project in the district that would transport liquified carbon dioxide 1,300 miles across four Midwest states and deposit it in central Illinois. The companies involved say the project would help ethanol refiners offset emissions from roughly 215,469 vehicles each year and create 8,000 jobs.

Statewide, some 1,200 farmers led by the Illinois Farm Bureau contacted their representatives over the summer, asking them to oppose the Inflation Reduction Act and faulting the measure for increasing taxes and failing to address “record-high input for [farming] costs,” among other reasons.

Meanwhile, a study by the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, free-market think tanks, predicted that the Green New Deal would have a devastating impact on Midwest farming. The study points out that the Green New Deal’s emissions reductions offset fees of $230 per metric ton of carbon dioxide released will apply to dairy farms and could cost them up to $2,000 per cow. The same analysis also said the Green New Deal’s organic farming requirements would reduce corn and soybean yields by 11%.

In Sorensen’s telling, however, climate change and the green agenda would be resonating with voters if only the Democratic Party could get its talking points right. In August, Sorensen sent out a fundraising email criticizing Democratic party leaders for not doing a better job selling climate policies, especially in their infrastructure legislation, the Build Back Better Act, which preceded the Inflation Reduction Act.

“I believe Democrats need more communicators in Washington – individuals who know how to talk about complex issues in ways that highlight the positives but also address real, daily concerns,” he told supporters.

“This is a common problem that we see with climate change,” he added. “Often, it’s framed around problems that aren’t tangible to everyday life, like ‘saving the polar bears.’ However, that’s not how voters here experience it.”

It’s a similar refrain to other Democrats who have blasted party leaders for “out-of-touch” positive economic talking points while hearing from voters experiencing pain at the pump and grocery stores. Rep. Susan Wild, a Pennsylvania Democrat running in another competitive House district, said she still backs the Inflation Reduction Act, even though she concedes its promises were exaggerated.

“[W]e should be cautious about over-promising,” she recently told the New York Times. “You always have to temper your enthusiasm with a huge dose of reality so that people don’t think that next time they go fill their prescription, it’s going to cost less.”

Despite the concerns from those campaigning on the ground, the White House this week continued to take credit for an economic turnaround since coming to office – even as the president acknowledged in a CNN interview that a “slight recession” is possible but unlikely.

“When he walked in, small businesses were closed, schools were not open … and thousands of people were dying from the pandemic a day,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Tuesday. “[Biden’s] economic policies have been able to get us back on track in a historic fashion.”

It’s that type of happy talk that leaves Josh Riley cold.

An attorney and former Capitol Hill staffer running as a Democrat in New York’s 19th District, Riley didn’t mince words recently when blaming the party’s unrealistic messaging for the economic headwinds they face.

Riley labeled recent talking points from Democratic Party leadership in Washington as “wildly out of touch,” arguing that he would “lose all credibility” if he repeated such unrealistic views on the economy to voters.

“Yeah, I got to be honest, folks: A lot of it is really bad right now,” he said at a local campaign event. “I don’t know if I’m supposed to say that, but it’s … The D.C. Democratic establishment is doing no favors.”

Tyler Durden
Sat, 10/15/2022 – 20:30 

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