National Review Gives Queens Pols Gold Stars for Green Voting

NY Daily News

BY Leigh Remizowski

Queens legislators passed this green test with flying colors.

All nine lawmakers who represent the borough in Congress received stellar marks in a review of their voting records on environmental and energy legislation.

The Queens delegation to the House of Representatives averaged 97% on the review, tallied by advocates at the League of Conservation Voters. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand also received perfect scores.

Reps. Anthony Weiner and Nydia Velazquez were the only two lawmakers to score less than 100% on the National Environmental Scorecard unveiled Monday - not for opposing green initiatives but for missing votes.

Weiner received 86% and Velazquez got 93%. Both were docked points for not attending some of the 13 House votes that grades were based on.

"If you're not there, it counts as an incorrect vote," said Marcia Bystryn, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters.

In Weiner's case, he missed votes on legislation to provide funding for the conservation of 15 rare cat and dog species and a vote to fund an estuary in San Francisco.

Velazquez missed a vote on legislation to revoke the salaries of environmental officials in Washington. A spokesman said she would have voted no - the stance advocated by the league - but she was testifying before a Senate committee in support of Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

New York State's delegation to the House averaged 88% last year, up from 81% in 2008. Queens tied with the Bronx, behind Staten Island's perfect score and Manhattan's average of 98%.

"The New York delegation historically votes well on environmental issues," Bystryn said. "This year, they voted even better."

In addition to Weiner and Velazquez, the Queens delegation to the House includes Gary Ackerman, Gregory Meeks, Joseph Crowley, Carolyn Maloney and Charles Rangel.

The average score for a member of House was 60%, and the average score for the senators was 64%.


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