Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Senator Gregg:
A Republican Rarity,
An Environmental Champion
It both pleases me and saddens me that Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire has accepted to be President Obama's Secretary of Commerce. It pleases me because I have nothing but high respect for Senator Gregg and I believe he is a highly capable person for the position. He is a moderate Republican and a politician that I have very similar views with. He's a fiscal conservative and a conservationist. He has been a true champion of the environment and there are few large protected tracts of land in my home state of New Hampshire that he was not part of-especially when it came to getting the funding for these lands. He has helped expand the White Mountain National Forest and created both the Lake Umbagog and Great Bay National Wildlife Refuges. The latter, is one of my favorite places in the Granite State, a place I visit every year and a place that I have written about. Perhaps no other politician has been so instrumental in helping to protect this ecologically important and beautiful natural area.

Okay, so why am I saddened about his ascension to the Obama throne? Judd Gregg is too good of a senator to leave the senate. He is a rarity- a moderate and a conservation-minded Republican. Fellow New England green elephants, Snowe and Collins from Maine have just lost a great ally. The Republican party is growing increasingly far right-leaving moderates and slightly right of center folks little choice. There aren't enough Blue Dog Dems yet to woo them over. What's a Teddy Roosevelt disciple to do? I also would hate to see Gregg's illustrious career go down in a thud- I have little faith in the Obama administration and this may be the end of Gregg's influence. If the Republicans are able to win back the senate-Gregg would be one of its most powerful members. That is not an option now. But I have one issue with Gregg-one I have with Bush and Obama too-while I admire Gregg on fiscal issues, he did vote to release the remaining $350 million of Tarp funds (a taxpayer ripoff for reckless banks and corporate bottom feeders!). Ouch. New Hampshire's newly minted Democrat senator Jeanne Shaheen voted against. Kudos to you senator Shaheen.

I wish Senator Gregg the best and I have only one word of advice for you before you join Obama's cabinet. I hope you paid your taxes! Warren G Harding must be laughing from his grave watching this administration being formed.

(Photo- Great Bay from the Sandy Point Discovery Center, a Judd Gregg legacy)


flatlander said...

So it's good news after all! I didn't know anything about Gregg and his record. Thanks.

Craig said...

Hi Flatlander.

Yes good news today- Gregg is going back to the Senate where he can do a lot more-one keeping the Obama administration from spending us into oblivion.