How the 'Long Green' Becomes Green Power

The Washington Examiner is publishing a five-part special report in association with Pajamas Media on “Big Green”: the alliance of the Democratic Party, environmental groups, and activists in the progressive movement. It’s not just a band of flannel-shirted environmentalists any longer; it’s become a big-money, major player in Washington power politics and American elections.

In this second of our five-part series in coordination with the Examiner, we look at actual numbers as far as political contributions made by the environmental lobby.

This is how the big money in the environmental activism industry translates into political power.

Yesterday we looked at the big picture: how the grassroots environmental movements of the 60s were quickly co-opted by the New Left and the Democrat Party, while providing employment for the "environmental activism industry" that grew up around the environmentalists' efforts.

It would be natural to think that these efforts can't be all that significant, compared, say, to lobbying by "big business" that seems to upset the Democratic Party.

Mark Tapscott's piece looks at the actual numbers, by looking at the top 12 environmental groups.

The summary: officials and employees of the top 12 groups made a total of more than $14.5 million in political contributions to congressional and presidential candidates in 2008 and through the second quarter of 2010, with effectively all of it going to Democrats.

Beyond these political contributions, various environmental groups directly spend money to influence elections. Nationally, the Defenders of Wildlife spent more that $600,000 opposing McCain, and almost $200,000 directly supporting the Obama campaign.