Green vs. Blue: Debra Bowen Picks Up Environmental Endorsement In 36th Congressional Race

Comments (0)


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 3:09 PM
click to enlarge Debra Bowen
  • Debra Bowen

Since Rep. Jane Harman announced her retirement, there's been a struggle to frame the battle between the top two candidates to replace her: Democrats Janice Hahn and Debra Bowen.

The standard frame would be moderate-vs.-liberal, but good luck finding a genuinely moderate position that either has taken in the last 10 years. That does not mean, however, that there's no difference between them. In fact, they represent two different constituencies within the Democratic Party.

Hahn's base is in labor, while Bowen represents the concerns of more affluent coastal Democrats. Today, the California League of Conservation Voters ratified that interpretation by endorsing Bowen.

"Debra has a much longer record on the environment," said David Allgood, CLCV's Southern California director. "We know her to be a leader that doesn't knuckle under to pressure from special interests."

Allgood said the League had taken note of Hahn's flip-flop-flip on the L.A. oil severance tax. She proposed the tax last fall, before changing her mind and trying to keep it off the ballot. When it went on the ballot anyway, she then supported it. (It narrowly failed.)

"One of the things we considered was the ability of somebody to put their finger in the wind and change positions that quickly," Allgood said. "For her to have one position one day and the opposite position the next -- that was a big concern."

Allgood praised Bowen for opposing energy deregulation in the 1990s, and for her work to make the Playa Vista development more environmentally friendly. During her 14 years in the Legislature, Bowen earned a 96% lifetime score from the CLCV.

Dave Jacobson, a spokesman for Hahn, noted that Hahn had been a leader on the effort to reduce air pollution at the Port of Los Angeles.

"That's one of the most important environmental initiatives we've seen in this region ever," Jacobson said. "She has created green jobs at the same time."

Allgood said that Hahn had hit on the theme of green jobs during the endorsement interview, but, Allgood said, "there's more to the environment than that."

Related Content

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets

Around The Web


  • The World Cup Celebrated And Mourned By Angelenos
    The World Cup has taken Los Angeles by storm. With viewings beginning at 9 a.m., soccer fans have congregated at some of the best bars in the city including The Village Idiot, Goal, The Parlour on Melrose, Big Wang's and more. Whether they're cheering for their native country, favorite players or mourning the USA's loss, Angelenos have paid close attention to the Cup, showing that soccer is becoming more than a fad. All photos by Daniel Kohn.
  • La Brea Tar Pits "Pit 91" Re-Opening
    Starting June 28th, The Page Museum once again proudly unveils the museum's Observation Pit, which originally opened in 1952 but has spent most of the last half century closed. Now visitors can get an up-close look at Pit 91, which is currently under excavation. The La Brea Tar Pits, home of the Page Museum, is one of the world's most famous ice age fossil locations, known for range of fossils from saber-toothed cats and mammoths to microscopic plants, seeds and insects. The new "Excavator Tour" is free with museum admission if purchased online at tarpits.org . All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
  • Scenes from the O.J. Simpson Circus
    In the months after O.J. Simpson's arrest for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in the summer of 1994, the drama inside the courthouse riveted the masses. But almost as much mayhem was happening right outside the building, as well as near Simpson's Brentwood home. Dissenters and supporters alike showed up to showcase art inspired by the case, sell merchandise, and either rally for, or against, the accused football star. Here is a gallery of the madness, captured by a photojournalist who saw it all. All photos by Ted Soqui.