Dirty Dozen

Contact: Anthony Campisi
(215) 821-8657

Lewis and Polinchock support big giveaways to polluters, facing serious challenges from environmental champions

Two Pennsylvania state lawmakers seeking re-election this November have been nominated as among the worst candidates on environmental issues in the country.

State Reps. Andrew Lewis (R-Dauphin) and Todd Polinchock (R-Bucks) where made the list of “Dirty Dozen in the States” by the League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund, a national organization that supports pro-environment candidates.

Modeled after LCV Victory Fund’s federal “Dirty Dozen,” the “Dirty Dozen in the States” highlights twelve of the worst environmental candidates in the nation at the state and local level. Members of the “Dirty Dozen in the States” have consistently sided against the environment and—regardless of party affiliation—are running in races targeted by LCV state affiliates in the Conservation Voter Movement.

“It’s truly disturbing, but not surprising, that two state legislators in Pennsylvania have among the worst environmental records in the entire country,” said Josh McNeil, Executive Director of Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania Victory Fund, a state affiliate of LCV. “These two, in particular, demonstrate the worst kind of self-dealing disdain for the health and safety of the Pennsylvanians they are supposed to serve.”

These two seats are prime pickup targets for CVPA Victory Fund this cycle. The organization has plans to spend more than $1 million to elect pro-environment candidates to 22 seats in the state House of Representatives and state Senate, with an aggressive plan that includes texting and phone banking, mailings, and digital advertising.

Recent polling conducted by CVPA demonstrates that Pennsylvania voters, driven to spend more time outdoors in response to the pandemic, overwhelmingly support pro-environmental policies that protect open space and provide key environmental protections that protect drinking water and improve air quality.

Lewis has a lifetime score of 0 percent in the Pennsylvania Environmental Scorecard, a key measure that tracks lawmakers’ support of environmental priorities.  A 0 percent score means he voted against environmental protections at every possible opportunity. 

Instead of prioritizing policies that curb climate change and protect Pennsylvania families, he has repeatedly sided with big polluters, voting to roll back clean water protections and to reduce funding for environmental priorities. Lewis also voted in favor of massive tax giveaways for the petrochemical industry.

Lewis made national headlines recently when he concealed his COVID-19 infection while continuing to attend legislative meetings without a mask, putting his colleagues and legislative staffers at risk.  And in a stunning display of hypocrisy, Lewis voted against every COVID-19 worker protection bill, despite applying for federal Paycheck Protection Program loans for his own business interests.

CVPA is supporting Brittney L. Rodas in her campaign to unseat Lewis.

Polinchock has an environmental score of just 8 percent, voting against clean air and water more than 9 out of 10 times.

He stood with big polluters to vote for legislation that would have prevented Pennsylvania from taking any action to address climate change, which poses and existential threat to families across our commonwealth. He also voted to give massive tax breaks to politically connected oil and petrochemical companies while supporting cuts to key environmental programs.

Polinchok’s key legislative action this year was a bill to allow realtors to reopen in April, at the very height of the pandemic. Polichok himself is a realtor, putting his own financial interests first. 

CVPA is supporting Gary P. Spillane in his challenge to Polinchock.

Thirty-two state Conservation Voter Movement partners worked to determine the 2020 “Dirty Dozen in the States.” The candidates named are some of the most anti-environment politicians running in competitive state-level races for governor, state senate and house, municipal seats, or commissions this cycle.

The “Dirty Dozen in the States” is modeled after LCV Victory Fund’s “Dirty Dozen,” which has targeted candidates for federal office (with occasional exceptions)— regardless of party affiliation — who consistently side against the environment, and are running in races in which LCV Victory Fund has a serious chance to affect the outcome. In the 2017-18 election cycle, our state affiliates defeated 10 of the 12 “Dirty Dozen in the States” candidates.

“Time and again, these incumbents have sided with big corporations or put their personal interests over the health and safety of Pennsylvania families,” McNeil said. “We can’t afford this inside dealing and self serving brand of politicians, which is why we mush elect Brittney Rodas and Gary Spillane – leaders who will stand up for us.”