Bernie Sanders’ Dissonance and Dissidents

UPDATE 3/8/2016


By J. Eller @SDzzz  SandersGuide 2016 YouTube

Bernie’s Rule: Jobs and Elections Will Always Trump Protests

In the 2016 campaign for president, Bernie Sanders expounds on his vision of a grassroots movement of a million protesters swarming Washington, DC to force senators, representatives and the president to do their bidding. Curiously, Sanders doesn’t like protesters unless they’re for his cause or action. Imagine  large protests against Sanders or his policies after reviewing Sanders’ reactions to the six situations here:

GE Weapons Protest

1. Tom Hall for The World Socialist Web Site in a 15 May 2015 article titled, “The right-wing political record of Bernie Sanders” denounces Sanders judgment in standing with money interests over their solidarity movement: “When Burlington business interests and radical posturing came into conflict, Sanders came down unhesitatingly on the side his bread was buttered on. One former supporter, in a recent letter to, describes how Central American solidarity activists picketed the General Electric factory in Burlington that manufactured machine guns used in military helicopters against peasant guerrillas: “I vividly remember Bernie standing arms-folded alongside the right-wing union officials from the factory and the Burlington Police Department as we were being arrested. He falsely insinuated that we were ‘anti-worker,’ and he refused to have any serious political dialogue with us activists.” World Socialists – The right-wing political record of Bernie Sanders

Politico’s “The foreign minister of Burlington, Vt.” by Michael Crowley and Michael Kruse, 07/31/15 describes the GE incident, “Sanders resisted their calls to shut down the plant, arguing that it was unfair to punish workers for corporate policies influenced by Washington.”
“I’m not going to throw 3,000 people out of their jobs at union wages and create a depression,” he said in an interview at the time.” In another interview he argued that “you cannot split the movement and push workers to one side and have peace activists on the other side.” (Lockheed Martin purchased General Electric’s Lakeside division in 1993)  The Foreign Minister of Burlington, VT

Note on Sanders pro-gun votes with PLCAA – Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act hailed as “the most significant piece of pro-gun legislation in twenty years” by the NRA, S.397 Firearms Manufacturers Protection Bill provided liability protection for manufacturers, dealers or importers as well as their trade associations. Sanders NRA grade went from D+ to C-. A little known feature of these is the protection provisions extended to government weapons  manufacturers, such as Lockheed.

Sierra Blanca Protest

Sanders behavior toward protesters in the GE event is very much like the treatment Sierra Blanca residents received in their visit to Vermont:

2. Olive Hershey , a Houston writer and environmental activist’s report in the Texas Observer described the experiences of three West Texas citizens who visited Bernie Sanders in Vermont in”Sanders to Sierra Blanca: “Drop Dead!” Before the rally Sanders invited the three West Texans to meet with him privately, and the Texans eagerly agreed. The meeting was no longer than Sanders’ attention span — when it comes to Sierra Blanca. “He didn’t listen,” Curry said. “He had his mind made up.” Afterward, Bernie was giving his proforma campaign speech, never mentioning nuclear power or nuclear waste. Sierra Blanca activist Bill Addington, who’d arrived just that morning to join the march, along with his neighbor Marfa Mendez, had had enough, and he yelled from the crowd, “What about my home, Bernie? What about Sierra Blanca?” Several others joined in. “What about Sierra Blanca, Bernie?” Sanders left the stage, which surprised no one in the small Texas delegation. Earlier, he had told them, “My position is unchanged, and you’re not gonna like it.” When they asked if he would visit the site in Sierra Blanca, he said, “Absolutely not. I’m gonna be running for re-election in the state of Vermont.” The Texas Observer – Sept. 1998

Lockheed and Sandia Labs

3. “Lockheed is not a parent company of Sandia”– Bernie Sanders. Fact: “Sandia National Laboratories is operated and managed by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation.” Sandia National Laboratories

Highlights from Greg Guma – Green Mountain Politics:

  • Meanwhile, the Vermont Sandia lab, simultaneously being developed at UVM with Sanders help, would focus on cyber security and “smart grid” technology. Yet Kiss and Sanders denied knowing about the partnership being negotiated by the other. Both Burlington’s Progressive mayor and its famous former mayor-turned-Senator apparently saw no need to consult. Yet somehow everyone was on the same page.
  • By 2011, Sanders was also supporting the Pentagon’s proposal to base Lockheed-built F-35 fight jets at the Burlington International Airport. Despite his past criticisms of the corporation’s serial misconduct and excess, he joined with Vermont’s most enthusiastic booster, Senator Patrick Leahy, signing on to a joint statement of support.
  • When Vermont’s partnership with Sandia was ultimately announced, Governor Peter Shumlin didn’t merely share the credit for bringing the Center for Energy Transformation and Innovation to Vermont. He joked that Sanders was “like a dog with a bone” on the issue. They had agreed to co-host a press conference on December 12 to outline the initiative, which now included Sandia, UVM, Green Mountain Power, several Vermont energy businesses and state government.

“In many ways, we are a laboratory for the rest of this country in this area,” Sanders crowed. “With Sandia’s help, I think we are going to do that job very effectively.” But in another way, it suggested that being a corporate predator wasn’t always disqualifying, especially when weighed against the mainstream acclaim and leadership role such a partnership would confer.
Despite the confident presentation, however, the launch ended abruptly after a single question was asked about the city’s aborted partnership with Lockheed Martin. Before a TV reporter could even complete his query Sanders interrupted and challenged it. Lockheed is not “a parent company” of Sandia, he objected. Then, as often the case when fielding unwelcome questions, he declined to say more–… Instead, he turned the question over to Stulen, the man from Sandia, who offered what he called “some myth-busting.”
It was more like a clarification. All national laboratories are required to have “an oversight board provided by the private sector,” he said. “So, Lockheed Martin does provide oversight, but all of the work is done by Sandia National Laboratories and we’re careful to put firewalls in place between the laboratory and Lockheed Martin.”
In other words, trust us to respect the appropriate boundaries, do the right thing, and follow the rules. Moments later, the press conference was over. Greg Guma Blogspot -Lockheed-Sanders-Corporate-Vermont

Inside Bernie’s Office

4. “But the lines were clearly drawn in Sanders’ office. Constituent after constituent poured into the office to express dismay at the F-35 proposal, recounting stories of their home values being destroyed or of the terror that their child faced hearing bombers in school every day. Most of the time, these concerns were dismissed as unserious by office staff–they were often characterized as the concerns of “anarchists” who couldn’t possibly understand the art of politics. Bernie has no influence on military decisions, they kept repeating–these people just really don’t get it. In reality, Sanders’ support for the basing of the F-35s was critical to the project’s eventual success. Sanders had nothing to say about the burden that the basing would place on working-class Vermont families, and he didn’t want to hear from constituents who said otherwise. As both an activist and an intern, I was forced to choose whether to stand with the people of Vermont or with a politician who remained out of touch with grassroots activism.

I ultimately found myself protesting my own boss at a Vermont Democratic Party fundraiser, dodging the gazes of my co-workers and putting my job on the line. This continuous tug between the two forces continued throughout the summer. I bit my tongue as I worked through ribbon cuttings and town halls, while struggling to remain involved in political organizing beyond Sanders and the Democrats. I still looked to Sanders for a political lead, hoping to eventually understand his political end game. What did he have to say about the occupation of Palestine? What did he think of our continuing imperialist interventions in the Middle East?
Had I done my research, I would have discovered Sanders’ frankly hawkish positions on foreign policy. It only takes a brief search to uncover his ardent support for Israeli apartheid, his repeated authorizations of funding for the U.S. military budget, and even his initial vote for Bush’s original Authorization for Use of Military Force resolution that began the war on Afghanistan. I would have even discovered pictures in the local newspaper of activists I knew being thrown out of Sanders’ office for protesting his support of the U.S. bombing of Yugoslavia.” What I Learned About Bernie Sanders – Socialist Worker

Town Hall Problem

5. During a town hall meeting at Cabot’s Willey Building Auditorium, Bernie Sanders lost his temper and told an angry constituent to “SHUT-UP!”.
The real problem here is Bernie has said repeatedly in lectures that he has no idea what to do about Palestine-Israel and the worst thing he could have done was try to fake it with a tightly wound pro-Palestine audience. His solution is that someone needs to sit the leaders down and tell them it has to stop and don’t give them any money. This is laughable, simplistic and typical Bernie. The man doesn’t have a diplomatic bone in his body, grace or manners when he’s dictating his point of view. If he’s met with disagreement he quickly loses patience and attempts to shout down his detractor, cut off discussion or walks out. Instead of asking for opinions and listening, he talked down to the audience after his aides called the police before any disruption occurred. The audience clearly perceived this as a demeaning show of force and erupted. Apparently, he prefaced the Gaza negativity with a few comments along the lines of, ‘sure, Israel does bad things in Gaza, but’ thinking he could then end with assigning blame to Hamas, as if that added some sort of balance to the issue.

Pulling the pin on the crowd grenade Sanders blames Gaza and Hamas…

Video: Bernie Sanders Shouts “Shut up! You Don’t Have The Microphone.”
“We have a situation where…Hamas…is sending missiles… into Israel…????….and you know where some of those missiles are coming from? They’re coming from populated areas, that’s a fact. Hamas has used money that came into Gaza for construction of the…god knows they need roads and all the things that they need and used some of that money to build these very sophisticated tunnels into Israel for military purposes.”
A woman makes an unintelligible comment about Palestinian self-defense. “I don’t want to be interrupted,” he says. “A question was asked. It’s a fair question. And I’m trying to—”A bearded man rises to challenge Sanders comments and shouts. Sanders snaps back, “Excuse me…”The man continues and there is the infamous… “SHUT UP! You don’t have the microphone. You’ve asked— You know, I don’t want police officers here.” “Are you going to arrest people?” the bearded man shouts. “No, I’m not going to arrest people,” Sanders fires back. “But are you going to— are you going to allow us to have a discussion?”
The large bearded man then stands and shouts at Sanders, “Come down here and be democratic.” A woman shouts, “Occupied populations have the right to resist!” You’re entitled to your views,” Sanders says. “You’ve asked a question and I’m answering it. This is called democracy.”

Walk Out Over Amber Alert

6. Reporters question Sanders on his “no” vote on Amber Alert. Amber Alert contained two things Sanders didn’t like; life sentences for repeat sex offenders and criminalizing virtual child porn.

In a television news segment on the Tarrant campaign ad against Bernie Sanders in 2006:
Thom: “Channel 5 news Stewart Ledbetter is here to help us sort out what’s the truth and what isn’t. Stew?”
Stewart Ledbetter: “Well, Thom, each of these new spots document a vote in the house on something like prosecuting child pornographers or keeping drug dealers out of the country, votes in which Sanders had very few allies. These commercials are well produced and represent the start of the tough stuff we’ve long expected in the senate campaign.”
Voiceover: “Tarrant’s ad begins with a regular Vermonter and hits Sanders hard.” Cuts to ad.
Older woman:”406 members of congress voted to crack down on child pornography. Bernie voted against it. Got kids? Check for yourself. He even voted against increased sentences for sex offenders. Why would anyone do that?”
Voiceover: “Part of that bill indeed establishes mandatory life terms for repeat sex offenders. Asked to explain his no vote…” (cuts to Sanders)
“Whoa whoa whoa…(?)” (holds up legislation) “here’s the bill.” (Unintelligible question) “Now you’re doing what Mr. Tarrant does.” (waves papers)“what I am simply saying is in a 47 page bill…and if you want to read this it’s yours to take…it…in a 47 page bill…there are provisions in there…that I believe are unconstitutional regarding sentence guidelines. The supreme court has ruled that they are unconstitutional.”
Voiceover: “Another Tarrant commercial chides Sanders for being only a handful in congress voting against a bill on Amber Alert.”
Older man: “Bernie Sanders voted against it.” Against kids! Yet Sanders says he’s also supported Amber Alert just not everything else that was in that bill.”
Sanders:“I’m not gonna go into all the details see…is that I vote on bills in some cases that have hundreds of pages…as you well know…and within those hundreds of pages, in some bills,…this is 47…pages…there are good provisions, but my job is to look at all…of…the…provisions.”
Voiceover: “And he’s now launched a tv commercial of his own.”
Sanders ad: “I trust you to use your good judgment…”
Voiceover: “Yet Tarrant says Sanders must explain votes in which he had almost no one on his side.”
Rich Tarrant: “Any representative of the people of Vermont should be able to discuss how he votes and defend how he votes. That’s his job, that’s his responsibility.”
Voiceover: “Yet after a few questions with us Sanders got up… and left.”
Stewart Ledbetter: “Bernie Sanders gets testy pretty quickly when asked to explain himself, saying that these votes were taken out of context. Rich Tarrant on the other hand says it’s his responsibility as a candidate and to voters to tell you what Sanders never will, and of course, Tarrant has plenty of money to make himself heard.”


Activism FAIL – Politics of Sierra Blanca

By J. Eller @SDzzz  SandersGuide 2016 YouTube

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and his ruthless, but clever strategists (the same guys who attacked Vermont Gov. Howard Dean for “blatant environmental injustice” and “environmental racism” over Sierra Blanca as John Kerry aides)  have managed to sweep Sierra Blanca under at least one or two activists’ tattered rugs, Bill Addington, for one.

In a new Feb. 28, 2016 article by the Texas Observer, Bernie Sanders’ Nuclear Waste Votes Divide Texas Activists, Addington decides Sierra Blanca is in the past, and takes a swipe at Hillary Clinton to shift the blame from Sanders:

“Addington pointed out that Sanders was far from the only Democrat who supported the plan and that even many Texas Democrats supported it. U.S. Reps. Sheila Jackson LeeEddie Bernice Johnson, and Gene Green — all supporters of Hillary Clinton — cosponsored the bill along with Sanders.”

“Everyone considers Sen. Sanders to be a progressive, so we did hold him accountable,” Addington said. “But Bernie was not alone, so why are they singling him out?”

Shocking coming from a man that admittedly sacrificed his family, his wife, lost custody of his son and let his home turn into his own private dump because of what he called his “magnificent obsession” to stop the Sierra Blanca dump. Who knew the only thing worse than nuclear waste is a woman president?

Here’s Addington going after Bill Clinton for signing the Texas-Vermont-Maine compact into law as presidents do with veto-proof legislation: Addington Press Release

As noted in previous articles about Sierra Blanca, Sanders and Harold Simmons, owner of the nuclear dump before his death in 2012, there were many politicians voting for H.R.629 who served Simmons and his campaign power, politicians from the states in the compact and quite a few wrong-headed politicians happy to please their constituents with a NIMBY vote to send nuclear waste anywhere but their home state.

Addington has been criticized by other activists for upstaging those who worked against the nuclear dump. A biting satire, The Activist Who Went to Seed in a Field of New York Manure, addresses his activism about the Sierra Blanca dump when it was still a sludge dump, mocking him for the condition of his own home:


He doesn’t seem to comprehend the significance or need to scrutinize someone in a campaign for the highest office. So, as the good old white boys of Sierra Blanca take off their Sierra Blanca spurs and find a way to blame Bill and Hillary Clinton for what Bernie did, we’ll just keep talking about Sierra Blanca as it really was:

Activists Still Fighting

Dr. Robert Bullard, author of Dumping on Dixie and dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University strongly disagrees with Addington and believes Sanders should be held accountable:

More from the Texas Observer:

“I don’t think that we should let the people who were making these decisions off the hook by spreading the blame,” Bullard said. “There’s no gray area. Everybody who pushed this proposal was condoning and acquiescing to environmental racism. Each person who was involved with this, their hands are dirty. And that absolutely includes Bernie Sanders.”

“Wellstone was a true progressive,” Bullard said. “So we were not just some wild-eyed radical environmental justice folks out there. We had real allies in Congress who said this is wrong, this is unjust, this is unfair. But Bernie was not one of them. In fact, he was the opposite.”

“It reflects very poorly on him,” said longtime environmental justice activist . “Shoving this down people’s throats is not progressive politics. It was business as usual. It’s a classic case of rich people from a white state shifting something they don’t want to a poor minority community somewhere else.”

“Former U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso, also pushed back at the congressional level and remembers being frustrated with Sanders over the dispute, describing the Vermont senator’s views on it as “insanely callous.”

“It was the first time I’d come face to face with the arrogance that some of my colleagues called the ‘northeast attitude,’” Reyes said. “They were looking to dump nuclear waste and they didn’t care where it went as long as it didn’t affect the heavily populated areas where they came from. So when he says he cares for the little people, that’s contrary to my experience with him.” Bernie Sanders’ Nuclear Waste Votes Divide Texas Activists

It’s true, a number of environmental activists have endorsed Bernie Sanders because of his anti-nuclear stance and their support for closing nuclear power plants, but it isn’t like all the prominent environmentalist are flocking to endorse him. Anyone can sign up on Sanders’ endorsement page as a so-called environmentalist and associate themselves with a group or organization, sort of like his list of “economists” who are not all economists, but it looks great politically. Environmentalists For Bernie

In a tragic bit of irony for anti-nuclear activists, once nuclear plants are decommissioned, the nuclear waste will have to be stored on site at the decommissioned nuclear plants themselves (like Vermont could have done) or somewhere in the host state or more Sierra Blancas will continue to spring up in communities across America, something Sanders’ environmental supporters have no plan or solution to stop, nor do they even seem to care, and by condoning Sanders’ actions, it isn’t hard to see what’s coming on the environmental front.

Maybe we’ll build special highways to transport the waste. No, we can’t do that, they’re still blaming Bill Clinton for allowing nuclear waste to be transported cross-country, you know, like from Vermont to Texas.

It could be the shiny new millennial  environmentalism of 2016 is letting politicians like Bernie Sanders, who has already cemented his disconnect to minorities, lead the way and make nuclear problems, lead pollution and whatever toxic stew that’s simmering in the hot sun just simply disappear.You can bet those nuclear waste dumps won’t be in white majority, middle-class states and communities.


Sanders & Sierra Blanca Legislation

By J. Eller @SDzzz  SandersGuide 2016 YouTube

1995, 1998 and Beyond – A 20 year Battle and Counting…

Notes on the  the Sierra Blanca issue:

  • 2016 presidential candidate U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has been a proponent, cosponsor and yea voter on Sierra Blanca legislation, H.R. 558, 1995 and H.R.629, 1998.
  • Sanders wanted all protective amendments stripped from the final bill. These amendments offered protections to the compact by limiting nuclear waste shipments to Texas from Vermont and Maine compact members only (the Doggett amendment) and (Wellstone amendments) for the people of Sierra Blanca which created environmental safeguards and litigation rights, setting a precedent of protections for future cases of toxic and nuclear waste storage in or near communities across America.
  • The Sierra Blanca waste dump, WCS, was owned by powerful Texas tycoon and corporate raider, Harold Simmons, a GOP mega-donor. Another Simmons company was responsible for the lead poisoning of Cadillac Heights, TX, a low-income black community and other toxic sites costing U.S. tax payers $4.4 billion in multiple Superfund sites. The Man Behind Sierra Blanca’s Woes
  • Jane O’Meara Sanders, wife of Senator Bernie Sanders, is a commissioner for the nuclear waste waste compact. She is also a commissioner for the

    Vermont Economic Development Authority. Jane O’Meara Sanders Linked In

This is about the TEXAS LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL COMPACT CONSENT ACT July 29, 1998 and Nuclear Compact between Texas, Vermont and Maine to ship nuclear waste from decommissioned nuclear plants in Vermont and Maine to a small community in Sierra Blanca, Texas, 16 miles from the Mexico border. Sierra Blanca was not only over 70% Latinos with a poverty level 2.6 times higher than the rest of Texas, it was politically disadvantaged without a state representative of its own.

When Bernie Sanders says the people decided in his defense of Sierra Blanca it doesn’t mean the citizens impacted by his decisions on any subject, not just Sierra Blanca. “The people” refers to his peers and colleagues; legislators and appointed commissioners. His evasive 1995 arguments for H.R.558 and 1998’s H.R. 629 are similar approaches to the same problem…the people of Sierra Blanca are making the decision, not Sanders, a my-hands-are-clean tactic refuted during the congressional debate, reminiscent of his other strategy for evading accountability, “you didn’t hear me say that”. Both apply to Sierra Blanca, because Sanders was adamant, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that he was not personally sending nuclear waste to Sierra Blanca, because the legislation itself did not have Sierra Blanca’s name in it.

Considering Harold Simmons had paid lobbyists to swarm congress and filled several campaign coffers of politicians involved, many being Sanders peers, there was no way he could not have known this was a dirty deal. Even Gov. George Bush had openly said to the press that Sierra Blanca was the chosen dump. With the environmentalist storm around WCS and Sierra Blanca coming out of Texas, Mexico, NAACP, LULAC, Sierra Club, newspapers and his dissenting colleagues we’re supposed to believe Sanders didn’t know he was committing environmental racism? This is what the real people of Sierra Blanca, Texas and Mexico had to do and sacrifice to stop the nuclear waste dump in Sierra Blanca, and the personal human cost of hunger strikes, marches, financial and emotional distress and family disintegration.

Bernie Sanders Smoke and Mirrors Environmentalism

What does Bernie Sanders say about race and the environment on his presidential campaign website? He erases his environmental history and launches a full propaganda campaign, pretending to protect the very people he was determined to poison in their own community. Excerpt from Sanders Presidential Campaign “Environmental Violence”:

“The environmental violence being inflicted on people of color who are denied the full rights of citizenship — especially migrant workers and new immigrants — is especially pronounced. Low-income Latino immigrants are more likely to live in areas with high levels of hazardous air pollution than anyone else. In fact, the odds of a Latino immigrant neighborhood being located in an area of high toxic pollution is one in three.
Latinos and African-Americans are more likely to work in hazardous jobs that place them at higher risk for serious occupational diseases, injuries and muscular-skeletal disabilities. The fatality rate among Latino workers is 23 percent higher than the fatal injury rate for all US workers. Often reluctant to complain about poor working conditions for fear of deportation or being fired, Mexican migrant workers are nearly twice as likely as the rest of the immigrant population to die at work. This is unacceptable and must be addressed.
Taken together, these injustices are largely the product of political marginalization and institutional racism. The less political power a community of color possesses, the more likely they are to experience insidious environmental and human health threats. The environmental violence being inflicted on these communities of color is taking a terrible toll, and must be made a national priority. Access to a clean and healthy environment is a fundamental right of citizenship. To deny such rights constitutes an environmental injustice that should never be tolerated.”

  • We must protect low-income and minority communities, who are hit first and worst by the causes and impacts of climate change, while also protecting existing energy-sector workers as they transition into clean energy and other jobs.
  • We must have equal enforcement of environmental, civil rights and public health laws.
  • We need to address the inadequate environmental cleanup efforts of Superfund hazardous waste sites in communities of color.
  • We must stop the unequal exposure of people of color to harmful chemicals, pesticides and other toxins in homes, schools, neighborhoods and workplaces and challenge faulty assumptions in calculating, assessing and managing risks, discriminatory zoning and land-use practices and exclusionary policies.
  • Federal agencies must develop and implement clear, strategic plans to achieve climate and environmental justice and provide targeted action where the needs are greatest.
  • The environmental analysis for a permit for a polluting facility must consider the disparate and cumulative environmental burden borne by a community.
  • States should evaluate and report progress made on addressing climate and environmental injustice.
  • We need to mitigate climate change and focus on building resilience in low-income and minority communities.
  •  We must promote cleaner manufacturing processes, renewable energy systems and safe product designs that end pollution and the use of toxic chemicals, while providing safe jobs and other economic benefits for people of color.” Bernie Sanders – Racial Justice

Sanders hypocrisy is boundless. His skill as a polished establishment politician rarely misses a target. Texas republicans promoted nuclear waste jobs as a replacement for dwindling oil production. In 2012 Sanders wrote a letter to the EPA on mercury, citing jobs while feigning environmental interest and forgetting what he had he tried to do to the environment in Sierra Blanca, finally firing off a hit on Senator Inhofe for good measure. He knows these letters get published, because he makes sure they get published.

“I want to create jobs, not cut jobs, and what we’re talking about is creating meaningful, good-paying jobs as we retrofit coal-burning plants so they do not poison the children of Vermont and other states around the country. To Senator Inhofe and others, I say, respectfully, stop poisoning our children. Let them grow up in a healthy way…” Sanders said. Sanders Letter-Votesmart


Excerpts of Sanders argument: “If I had my druthers, I would close down every nuclear power plant in America as quickly as we safely can. But the issue today is something different. The reality is, we have nuclear power plants. We have universities and hospitals that are using nuclear power. The environmental question today, therefore, is how do we get rid of that low-level waste in the safest possible way? In my view, that is what this legislation is about. I think the evidence is pretty clear that Texas is in fact the best location to get rid of this waste. The last point that I would make is there is nowhere in this legislation that talks about a specific site. Nowhere will we find that. We are not voting on a site. That decision is left to the authorities and the people of the State of Texas.” Congressional Record

When Simmons bought WCS in 1995, legislation immediately hit congress, as Simmons wanted. Bernie Sanders was a fast supporter.

Excerpts of Sanders argument: “Third, what has also, I think, not been made clear is this Congress is not designating a specific disposal site. That is not what we are doing. Presumably, the people of Texas have a process to determine what is in the best interest of their own people. Frankly, I would hope and expect that the people of Texas would not do anything that is environmentally dangerous to the people of their region. We in Congress are not making that decision. The people of Texas are making that decision, and I hope that we could respect that process.” “Reclaiming my time, Mr. Speaker, there is no secret that the depository is going to be in Texas. That is a decision for the people of Texas.” Congressional Record
Bernie Sanders wanted to strip all H.R.629 amendments as did the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in its complaint below regarding Paul Wellstone’s D-MN, amendments which originally addressed racism, poverty, environmental safety and the right to litigate for the citizens of Sierra Blanca. Gov. George Bush had predicted the nuclear power people would not like the amendments, suggesting Texas legislature adopt only the Doggett Amendment to protect Texas’ liability if the U.S. Congress failed to do it.
When Sanders exchanged the health and safety of poor Latino lives in Sierra Blanca, Texas for the health and happiness of white constituents in Vermont, he knew exactly what he was doing. Sierra Blanca was mentioned 58 times in the conference debate of H.R. 629.

Paul Wellstone D-Minnesota excerpt: “The moral responsibility of the Senate is unavoidable and undeniable.”
“If we approve H.R. 629 without conditions, the Compact dump will be built within a few miles of Sierra Blanca. There’s really very little doubt about that. And if that happens, this poor Hispanic community could become the premier national repository for so-called “low-level” radioactive waste.
If we reject this Compact, on the other hand, the Sierra Blanca dump will not be built at all. The Texas Governor has said so publicly–more than once. It’s as simple as that. The fate of Sierra Blanca rests in
our hands.
Compact supporters would prefer that we consider the Compact without any reference to the actual location of the dump. But that simply cannot be done. It’s true that H.R. 629 says nothing about Sierra Blanca. But we know very well where this waste will be dumped. In that respect, the Texas Compact is different from other compacts the Senate has considered.
The Texas legislature in 1991 already identified the area where the dump will be located. The Texas Waste Authority designated the site near Sierra Blanca in 1992. A draft license was issued in 1996. License proceedings are now in their final stages and should be completed by summer. Nobody doubts that the Texas authorities will soon issue that license.
There’s only one reason why this dump might not get built–and that’s if Congress rejects the Texas Compact.
In an April 1998 interview, Texas Gov. George Bush said, “If that does not happen,” meaning congressional passage of the Compact, “then all bets are off.” In the El Paso Times of May 28, Gov. Bush said, “If there’s not a Compact in place, we will not move forward.”
For these reasons, we cannot fairly consider H.R. 629 without also considering the dump site that Texas has selected. Sierra Blanca is a small town in one of poorest parts of Texas, an area with one of the highest percentages of Latino residents. The average income of people who live there is less than $8,000. Thirty-nine percent live below the poverty line. Over 66 percent are Latino, and many of them speak only Spanish. It is a town that has already been saddled with one of the largest sewage sludge projects in the world. Every week Sierra Blanca receives 250 tons of partially treated sewage sludge from across the country. Depending on what action Congress decides to take, this small town with minimal political clout may also become the national repository for low-level radioactive waste. And I understand plans for building even more dump sites are also in the works.
Supporters of the Compact would have us believe that the designation of Sierra Blanca had nothing to do with the income or ethnic characteristics of its residents. That it had nothing to do with the high percentage of Latinos in Sierra Blanca and the surrounding Hudspeth County–at least 2.6 times higher than the State average. That the percentage of people living in poverty–at least 2.1 times higher than the State average–was completely irrelevant.”

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is “disturbed” in a letter it writes to Senator Olympia Snowe, a proponent for the compact for the state of Maine. It objects, as Gov. George Bush predicted, to Wellstone’s amendments citing “terms of race, color, national origin, or income level”:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC, March 20, 1998.

Hon. Olympia J. Snowe, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.

Dear Senator Snowe: In response to the request from your staff, here are the views of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on two proposed amendments to S. 270, a bill to provide the consent of Congress to the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste (LLW) Disposal Compact. The proposed amendments would add two new conditions to the conditions of consent to the compact: (1) that no LLW may be brought into Texas for disposal at a compact facility from any State other than Maine or Vermont (referred to below as the “exclusion” amendment): and (2) that “the compact not be implemented . . . in any way that discriminates against any community (through disparate treatment or disparate impact) by reason of the composition of the community in terms of race, color, national origin, or income level” (referred to below as the “discrimination clause”). These amendments raise some significant questions of concern to the NRC. First, no other Congressional compact ratification legislation has included such conditions to Congress’ consent. Making the Congressional consent for this compact different from that for other compacts would create an asymmetrical system and could lead to conflicts among regions. In the past, Congress has set a high priority on establishing a consistent set of rules under which the interstate compact system for LLW disposal would operate. With respect to the exclusion condition, while the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act of 1980 and the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1985 authorize compact States to exclude LLW from outside their compact region, the terms of doing so are left to the States. This is consistent with the intent of these statutes to make LLW disposal the responsibility of the States and to leave the implementation of that responsibility largely to the States’ discretion. Thus, the addition of the exclusion condition to the compact would deprive the party States of the ability to make their own choices as to how to handle this important area. In addition, restriction on importation of LLW into Texas to waste coming from Maine or Vermont could prevent other compacts (or non-compact States) from contracting with the Texas compact for disposal of their waste (such as has occurred between the Rocky Mountain and Northwest compacts). This type of arrangement with existing LLW disposal facilities may well become a preferred economical method of LLW disposal. It is also important to note that the exclusion condition may hamper NRC emergency access to the Texas facility pursuant to section 8 of the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1985. With respect to the discrimination clause, the Commission supports the general objectives of efforts to address discrimination involving “race, color, national origin, or income level.” However, it is unclear how a condition containing broad language of the type contained in the proposed amendment would be applied in a specific case involving a compact. This lack of clarity is likely to create confusion and uncertainty for all parties involved, and could lead to costly, time-consuming litigation. Including such a provision in binding legislation may have broad significance for the affected States and other parties and would appear to warrant extensive Congressional review of its implications. In light of the above, the NRC opposes the approval of amendments to S. 270 that would incorporate the exclusion condition or an undefined discrimination clause into the Texas compact bill. Sincerely, Shirley Ann Jackson. Senate Record

HISTORY OF H.R. 629 from Congress to Senate.

  • The bill (H.R. 629), as amended, was considered read the third time, and passed. Senate 09/20/1998
  • Became Public Law No: 105-236. Law 09/20/1998
  • Signed by President. 09/10/1998
    Presented to President. Veto-proof margin. 09/02/1998
  • Conference report agreed to in Senate:
  • Senate agreed to conference report by Yea-Nay Vote. 78-15.Record Vote No: 255.(consideration: CR S9809-9819) 07/29/1998
  • Conference report agreed to in House: On agreeing to the conference report Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: 305 – 117 (Roll No. 344).(consideration: CR H6522-6535)
  • Conference report filed: Conference report H. Rept. 105-630 filed.(text of conference report: CR H5724-5727) 07/16/1998
  • Conference committee actions: Conferees agreed to file conference report. 07/14/1998
  • Conference committee actions: Conference held. 05/12/1998
  • To conference: On motion that the House disagree to the Senate amendment, and request a conference Agreed to by voice vote.(consideration: CR H3068-3074)
  • Passed/agreed to in Senate: Passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent. 10/07/1997
  • Passed/agreed to in House: On passage Passed by the Yeas and Nays: 309 – 107 (Roll no. 497). 07/15/1997
  • Reported by the Committee on Commerce. H. Rept. 105-181.
    02/06/1997 Introduced in House

Wellstone Amendments.

  • S.Amdt.2278 to S.Amdt.2276 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)
    Purpose: To add certain conditions to the grant of consent to the compact.
    Sponsor: Sen. Wellstone, Paul D. [D-MN] (Submitted 04/01/1998) (Proposed 04/01/1998)
  • Latest Action:
    04/02/98 Amendment agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent.
    S.Amdt.2277 to S.Amdt.2276 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)
    Purpose: To add certain conditions to the grant of consent to the compact.
    Sponsor: Sen. Wellstone, Paul D. [D-MN] (Submitted 04/01/1998) (Proposed 04/01/1998)
  • Latest Action:
    04/02/98 Amendment agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent.
    S.Amdt.2276 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)
    Purpose: In the nature of a substitute.
    Sponsor: Sen. Snowe, Olympia J. [R-ME] (Submitted 04/01/1998) (Proposed 04/01/1998)
  • Latest Action: 04/02/98 Amendment SP 2276 agreed to in Senate by Unanimous Consent.
    H.Amdt.421 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)
    Sponsor: House Committee on Commerce (Offered 10/07/1997)
  • Latest Action:
    10/07/97 On agreeing to the Commerce amendment (A003) Agreed to without objection.
  • H.Amdt.420 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)
    Amendment sought to prohibit nuclear waste transported to Texas from being routed through any incorporated area with a population in excess of 25,000.
    Sponsor: Rep. Kucinich, Dennis J. [D-OH-10] (Offered 10/07/1997)
  • Latest Action:
    10/07/97 Mr. Schaefer, Dan raised a point of order against the Kucinich amendment (A002). Mr. Schaefer stated that the content of the amendment was non-germane to the bill and was, therefore, in violation of the rule of the House. Point of order overruled by the Chair.
  • H.Amdt.419 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)
    Amendment provides that only low-level radioactive from Maine and Vermont shall be imported into Texas under the compact.
    Sponsor: Rep. Doggett, Lloyd [D-TX-10] (Offered 10/07/1997)
  • Latest Action:
    10/07/97 On agreeing to the Doggett amendment (A001) Agreed to by voice vote.



  • Paul Wellstone
  • John Bryant
  • Lloyd Doggett
  • League of United Latin American Citizens – LULAC

Paul Wellstone D-MN made a lengthy, impassioned plea to stop H.R. 629, finally submitting amendments that offered legal remedies for citizens impacted by the dump site, addressing potential safety issues and violations that were not included in H.R. 629.

Excerpt: “This oblong rectangle imposed on the map–an area that included Sierra Blanca–was subsequently dubbed “The Box.” The Texas legislature passed the so-called “Box Law” by voice vote only days before the end of session in May 1991. Once again, the previous site selection procedures were stripped away. The Box Law repealed the requirement that the dump had to be on public land, the very requirement that has pointed the Authority towards Hudspeth County in the first place. This was necessary because, at that time, the Sierra Blanca site was not public land at all. Most importantly, to prevent another troublesome lawsuit like the Fort Hancock debacle, the Box Law essentially stripped local citizens of the right to sue. It denied them all judicial relief other than an injunction by the Texas Supreme Court itself, and for this unlikely prospect citizens would be required to drive 500 miles to Austin. Yet, as amazing as it sounds, Compact proponents also claim to have the best interests of Sierra Blanca at heart. They claim the Compact will protect local residents because it keeps out waste from states other than Maine and Vermont. They have used this argument again and again, in Sierra Blanca, in the Texas legislature, in the House of Representatives, and they’re using it again in the United States Senate. Supporters of the Compact are trying to have it both ways. When challenged about the environmental justice of targeting Sierra Blanca, they respond that no site has been selected, and environmental justice can only be addressed if and when that ever happens. Then in the same breath they insist that the dump in Sierra Blanca is definitely going forward and the Compact is therefore necessary to protect local residents from outside waste. So which is it? Either the Sierra Blanca dump is a done deal or it’s not. The truth is, the most likely scenario is that the dump will be built in Sierra Blanca if Congress approves this Compact, subject to any legal challenges, but the project will not go forward if Congress rejects the Compact. The claim that the Compact will protect Sierra Blanca makes no sense on its face. The dump is unlikely to be built without congressional consent to this Compact; it does not need to be built; and the Compact would not protect Sierra Blanca in any event. The simple fact of the matter is that the dump will most likely not be if the Compact fails. Governor Bush has made it very clear that the dump will not be built if Congress rejects the Compact. So the argument that Sierra Blanca needs the Compact for protection against outside waste is nonsensical.”

The following was submitted to record:


The “Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Consent Act”–H.R. 558–does not deserve the support of the United States Congress and should not be ratified by the House. The overwhelming vote in the House Commerce Committee should not lead one to believe this compact is non-controversial. What the Commerce Committee did was vote against the interests of the 2,900 citizens of Texas’ Hudspeth County.”This compact is unlike any other compact previously approved by Congress in that the host state–Texas–is the only state that has proposed to place its compact site on an international border, near the Rio Grande River, in an environmentally sensitive area. “The proposed site, which is the only site being considered by the State, is also a volatile earthquake zone. On April 13, 1995, an earthquake scoring 5.6 on the Richter scale struck the West Texas region. Its epicenter was less than one hundred miles from the proposed site, and the quake was felt by individuals several hundred miles away. Numerous earthquakes have occurred in the area–the largest, 6.4 on the Richter scale in 1931 with its epicenter only 40 miles from the site–and the U.S. Geological Survey has concluded that quakes of 7.5 magnitude could occur at any time along any of the fourteen faults in the immediate vicinity.
Any contamination in Mexico resulting from damage to the disposal facility due to an earthquake will force the United States government to compensate the Mexican government and private citizens for any damages. The siting of this compact in a geologically volatile area should be of considerable importance to this Congress. Proponents claim that the siting of the compact does not violate the La Paz Agreement because the State of Texas has notified the Mexican Government of its decisions throughout the selection process. However, the Agreement clearly calls for a coordinated, cooperative effort to resolve the environmental problems along the border–not to create new ones.” Dissenting View of John Bryant

Lloyd Doggett D-TX – OPPOSITION TO H.R.629
Mr. DOGGETT.” Mr. Speaker, I would close by simply emphasizing to my colleagues 5 points.
First, when we talk about this radioactive waste as being low level, that is good for public relations purposes but not for health purposes. The radioactive waste that will be buried at Sierra Blanca will be deadly to human beings for longer than all recorded human history. It is extraordinarily lethal and makes this debate all the more important.
Number two, the Sierra Blanca site was not chosen because of its suitability but solely because of its vulnerability, its political vulnerability, which is playing out here today. It was not the best site for a storage facility. It was the easiest site, because it is a largely poor, Hispanic area. That is one of the reasons that the Texas State conference of the NAACP this year called this ‘‘environmental racism.’’ It is one of the reasons that the League of Conservation Voters has spotlighted this as one of the key anti-environmental votes of this Congress.
Number three, we do not need this dump. It is great public relations to talk about slowing scientific research or the health isotopes that are vital to the future of our health, but that has absolutely nothing to do with what is really at stake in this debate. We have heard much about all the other compacts that have already been approved. What our colleagues have not pointed out is that of those 9 compacts that
Congress has approved, not one of them has secured a license agreement, not one. And two of them have actually stopped looking for a site. This leads to the conclusion that if they sought those compacts, but they are not doing anything with them, why should we approve another one in Texas? Indeed, as the most recent report on radioactive waste storage by Dr. F. Gregory Hayden has pointed out, ‘‘There is currently an excess capacity for this type of disposal in the United States without any change to current
law or practice.”
That leads to the fourth and very important point, that the safeguards that are in this compact, without the amendments that have been stripped out, are meaningless. My colleague, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. HALL) from Rockwall, is always eloquent, and he has been very candid in this debate. He has said it is not the fellow with the biggest truck that is going to be decisive here. I agree. My concern is it will be determined by the place with the biggest dump. We all know Texas is bigger than most any other place, and we are about to have one heck of a big dump out there in west Texas. It will become the dumping site for all the people from those other places around the country because, as Mr. HALL has quite appropriately noted, and I quote him from this debate today, ‘‘It might reduce the operating cost.’’
The economic factors for those special interests, who want a cheaper place to put their radioactive garbage and found a convenient place among the poor people of Sierra Blanca, who now will have no adequate safeguards.
To suggest that the compact limits it to 20 percent from out of State is misleading. If we read the fine print, it is 20 percent that could come from Maine and Vermont, but there is no limitation that I see with regard to the rest of the States.
Finally, my colleague, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. BARTON) has been fair and direct with me. He told me on this floor that he would check with the governor. That is exactly what he did.
My final point is that without the blessing of Governor George Bush, we would be limited to three States. Governor Bush said one thing in Texas; he did another in Washington. That is most unfortunate for Texas.”

“Mr. Speaker, I want to make sure that every member of this House is aware of the substantial opposition to this compact. I want to read you a list of those cities and counties that have passed resolutions opposing it:
El Paso County, Presidio County, Jeff Davis County, Culberson County, Val Verde County, Webb County, Starr County, Hidalgo County, Cameron County, Zapata County, Reeves County, Brewster County, Ward County, Sutton County, Kimble County, Kinney County, Crockett County, Pecos County, Maverick County, Ector County, City of Austin, City of Del Rio, City of Bracketville, City of Marfa, City of Van Horn, City of El Paso, City of Alpine, Horizon City, City of Ft. Stockton, City of Laredo, City of Eagle Pass, City of Presidio, City of McAllen, City Council of Juarez. Mexican State Congress of Coahuila, Mexican State Congress of Chihuahua, Mexican State Congress of Nuevo Leon, Mexican National Chamber of Deputies, Mexican National Senate, Mexican State Congress of Sonora, Mexican State Congress of Tamaulipas.
Mr. Speaker, I also want to enter into the record a letter dated yesterday from the League of United Latin American Citizens.”

Washington, DC, July 28, 1998.
“DEAR REPRESENTATIVE: On behalf of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), I urge you to vote No on the Conference Committee Report for The Texas Maine Vermont Radioactive Waste Compact.
LULAC is the oldest and largest Hispanic civil rights organization in the nation. Since 1929, we have been providing a voice to our community throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. A major concern of ours is the proposed site of a nuclear waste dump near Sierra Blanca in Texas.
As you know, The Compact proposes the construction of shallow, unlined soil trenches for the burial of ‘‘low-level’’ radioactive waste. LULAC strongly opposes this Compact.
Serious issues of environmental justice and blatant discrimination arise when one considers this bill. One should not only vote against this proposal because of serious environmental and health matters, but also because of the racial discrimination practiced against the predominantly Mexican-American population of the area.
Just this month, two Texas administrative law judges recommended the Sierra Blanca compact dump license be denied because of severe geological problems and unanswered questions about environmental racism. If Congress ignores these problems and approves the compact, thus funding the dump, tremendous pressure will be placed on the political appointees at the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission to approve the license despite the judges’ recommendation
to deny it.
The selection of a poor Mexican-American community (which is already the site of one of the largest sewage sludge projects in the country) brings to mind serious considerations of environmental justice. Although the bill does not expressly designate Hudspeth County as the location for the site, the Faskin Ranch near Sierra Blanca has clearly been earmarked and a draft license has been approved. The decision Congress now faces on this matter cannot be made in a vacuum, ignoring serious environmental justice questions that have been raised about the site selection process. These unjust procedures are in apparent contradiction of the 1994 Executive Order that firmly upheld environmental justice.
There are also matters of international relevance that must be considered. The dumping of nuclear waste near Sierra Blanca, approximately 16 miles from the Rio Grande, would violate that 1983 La Paz Agreement between the U.S. and Mexico. With this agreement, both nations committed their efforts to prevent, reduce and eliminate pollution in the U.S./Mexico border area. The proposed site is well within the ‘‘border area’’ of 63 miles on each side of the border. The government of Mexico has already expressed its strong opposition to the project in communications to the U.S. Department of State.
LULAC would caution Congress not to be complicit in what has become, whether intentional or not, a repulsive trend in this country of setting the most hazardous and undesirable facilities in poor, politically powerless communities with high percentages of people of color.
Only a vote against The Texas Maine Vermont Radioactive Waste Compact Conference Committee Report will ensure that this trend is not extended into Hudspeth County.
Thank you for your consideration of this issue. If you need more information please call Cuauhte´moc Figueroa, Director of Policy and Communications at (202) 408–0060.
Sincerely, RICK DOVALINA, LULAC National President.”

Unofficial Translation of Pronouncements passed by the Mexican National Chamber of Deputies (Camara de Diputados) and Senate in opposition to the proposed nuclear waste disposal facility in Sierra Blanca, Texas.
Translation by Richard Boren
The Pronouncement was approved unanimously by the Chamber of Deputies on April 27, 1998 and by the Senate on April 30, 1998. The Senate and Chamber of Deputies Pronouncements are nearly identical. Following is the translation of the Senate Pronouncement.
“Honorable Assembly: The United Commissions of Environment and Natural Resources, Border Affairs, and Foreign Relations of the Senate was given for their study and analysis the point of agreement passed by the Plenary of the Permanent Commission of the Honorable Congress of the Union on February 11, 1998, that is transcribed as follows:
First—That the Mexican Congress, through the Permanent Commission, declares that the proposed project of Sierra Blanca, Texas, like other proposed disposal facilities on the Mexican border, puts at risk the health of the population in the border zone and constitutes an aggression to the national dignity;
Second—That the United Commissions of Ecology and Environment, Border Affairs, and Foreign Relations of the House of Deputies and the Senate, meet with the Intersectarial Group made up of the Department of Foreign Relations, Department of Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Fishing, and the National Commission of Nuclear Safety and Safeguarding, in order to analyze in depth the consequences for Mexico of the installation of the radioactive waste disposal facility in Sierra Blanca and of the disposal facilities of toxic and radioactive wastes in the border zone of the country with the United States of America, with the purpose of carrying out the pronouncements and necessary measures to impede their installation.
In order to proceed and comply with the mandate granted by the Plenary of the Permanent Commission of the Honorable Congress of the Union, the members of the United Commissions of Environment and Natural Resources, Border Affairs, and Foreign Relations of the Chamber of Senators, have analyzed existing documentation and studies about the radioactive waste disposal facility that is planned in Sierra Blanca, Texas, meeting on various occasions to design a political action strategy. Likewise a work session was held with the inter-sectarial group, with the purpose of integrating the present Pronouncement.
Considering That: (a) the communities on both sides of the border, diverse non-governmental organizations, political organizations, and public officials from Mexico and the United States of America have manifested their total opposition to the construction of the nuclear waste disposal facility
that the government of the State of Texas plans to install in the community of Sierra Blanca, Texas, at a distance of approximately 30 kilometers from the Mexican border;
(b) the administrative authorities of the State of Texas convened public hearings with the purpose of hearing the opinions of interested sectors regarding the possible construction of the disposal facility in Sierra Blanca;
(c) the position that the Mexican government assumes with relation to the proposed disposal facility of Sierra Blanca will constitute a clear precedent that can be invoked relating to disposal facilities that are
planned in the future within 100 kilometers along the common border;
(d) the intersectarial group—created in 1995 by the Federal Executive Power with the purpose of defining the policy of the Mexican government regarding disposal facilities in the border zone and to continue to review the projects that are planned in the states of the southern United States—wrote
a preliminary study regarding the disposal facility being questioned;
(e) the United Commissions have received diverse studies that demonstrate the existence of risks in the zone, not only the seismic activity of the terrain, but also due to the meteorological and hydro-geological registers observed in the chosen site. This represents a high potential risk of contamination for the Rio Bravo and the underground aquifers, which could cause a negative impact for the health of the population, the environment, and the natural resources onboth sides of the border;
(f) other adequate sites exist in the United States for the installation of radioactive waste disposal facilities, located outside of the border zone of 100 kilometers which shows that the chosen site in Sierra Blanca doesn’t represent the only option for the proposed project;
(g) the radioactive wastes that are planned for disposal in Sierra Blanca, next to the Mexican border, don’t only include wastes generated in the State of Texas, but also it is foreseen to deposit wastes from the states of Vermont and Maine, located on the border between United States and Canada;
(h) the construction of the disposal facility in dispute would violate the spirit of diverse precepts of international law and would implicate the noncompliance of the commitments assumed by the United States after the signature of the Agreement on Cooperation for the Protection and Improvement of the Environment in the Border Area (La Paz Agreement), particularly Article 2 of the Agreement approved in 1983, which states:
‘‘The Parties undertake to the fullest extent practical to adopt the appropriate measures to prevent, reduce, and eliminate sources of pollution in their respective territory which affect the border area of the other.’’ In like manner, the Agreement commits the Parties to cooperate in the field of environmental protection in the border zone, on the basis of equality, reciprocity, and mutual benefit. In complying with these dispositions, the United States Government must take measures in this case with the appropriate authorities, in order that the project not be authorized. On the basis of what has already been stated and being founded in articles 58 and 59 of the Rules for the Interior Government of the General Congress of the United Mexican States, just as for dealing with a matter that merits an urgent resolution of the Honorable Senate of the Republic, due to the adverse effects that this project could have on the health of our population and the natural resources, we present the following Pronouncement.
Pronouncement First—the Senate of the Republic reiterates its complete rejection of the project which is the construction and operation of the nuclear waste disposal facility that the Government of Texas plans to build in Sierra Blanca, Texas, and expresses its disagreement, concern, and inconformity with the policy adopted and followed up to now by the government of the United States, that favors the construction of disposal facilities on the southern border with Mexico, without taking into account the potential negative impacts that this policy can have regarding human health and the environment in the communities located on both sides of the border.
Second—The Senate of the Republic has carried out an evaluation of the available information about this disposal project, whose result demonstrates that its operation will bring with it potential adverse impacts.
Based on this, being aware that the administrative authorities in the State of Texas have convened public hearings with the intention of analyzing the implications derived from the construction of said project, it is appropriate that the Mexican Government reiterate their concern and unconformity in light of the possibility that the project will be authorized.
Third—The Senate of the Republic sets forth to the Department of Foreign Relations to consider the formulation of the following proposals to the United States Government:
(a) Manifest the disagreement of the Senate of the Republic regarding the policy of the United States that favors the installation of nuclear and toxic waste disposal facilities in the border area.
(b) Insist in the possibility of relocating the Sierra Blanca project to a site located outside of the 100 kilometer common border zone.
(c) Manifest the wishes of the Senate of the Republic to the members of the House of Representatives of the United States so that they vote against the Compact Law that authorizes the disposal of wastes between the states of Texas, Maine, and Vermont in virtue that its approval signifies a relevant approval for the construction and the management of the disposal facility of radioactive wastes in Sierra Blanca, Texas and represents a violation of the spirit of the La Paz Agreement.
(d) Include the subject of the disposal facilities for radioactive and toxic wastes in the next meeting of the Mexico-United States Bi-national Commission in order to:
I. design criteria for the installation and operation of disposal facilities in the border zone of 100 kilometers within the framework of the La Paz Agreement and the Border 21 Program, in order to include the possibility of establishing a reciprocal moratorium on the installation of disposal facilities for radioactive waste inside the 100 kilometer border zone,
II. establish that a group of experts from both countries analyze the impacts of the proposed disposal facilities in the 100 kilometer border zone.
Fourth—The Senate of the Republic proposes:
(a) To inform the Governors and municipal mayors of the states of the Republic of Mexico in the border zone with the United States about the current status of the Sierra Blanca project and other disposal projects that are being planned in the 100 kilometer border zone with the objective of adopting any measures that are considered opportune.
(b) To transmit existing information about the Sierra Blanca project to the local legislatures of the border states of the Mexican Republic with the objective of making this information available to them so they can adopt any measures which they consider appropriate.
(c) That a multi-party commission of senators be formed with the purpose of meeting with the governor of Texas, George Bush, with the purpose of telling him that the Mexican Senate believes that the Sierra Blanca project violates the spirit of the commitments made with the signing of the La Paz Agreement and that are linked to the state which he governs and which don’t contribute to the strengthening of the good relations of friendship and neighborliness that must prevail between both countries.
Fifth—That the Senate of the Republic proposes including this matter in the agenda of the next inter-parliamentary meeting between Mexico and the United States.
Sixth—The Senate of the Republic expresses that this case constitutes a valuable opportunity for both countries to demonstrate their good will, responsibility, and capacity for cooperating in dealing with similar matters of common interest.
Seventh—So that the public opinion has greater knowledge on this subject, it is suggested to prepare as soon as possible a document that can be disseminated through the national and international media, in order to express the nature of this problem and the current status of the project in dispute.
Approved in the Honorable Chambers of the Senators April 30, 1998.

(By George Kuempel)
AUSTIN.—In a victory for environmental groups, two state hearing examiners Tuesday recommended against licensing a low-level nuclear-waste dump in far West Texas.
The recommendation was a setback for Gov. George W. Bush, who has tentatively backed the proposed dump, near Sierra Blanca just 18 miles from the Rio Grande.
The hearing examiners found that the State Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Authority, which wants to build the facility, did not adequately determine whether a fault under the proposed site posed an environmental hazard.
Kerry Sullivan and Mike Rogan of the State Office of Administrative Hearings also said the agency failed to adequately address how the proposed facility might harm the quality of life in the area. The examiners’ report was forwarded to the three-member Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. The commission staff already has recommended
that a license be issued, but the final decision rests with the commissioners, all of whom were appointed by Mr. Bush.
Their decision is not expected soon. Congress is considering a proposed pact favored by Mr. Bush that would allow for low-level nuclear waste from Texas, Vermont and Maine to be buried at the site.
Mr. Bush said in a written statement that he was ‘‘troubled’’ by the examiners’ findings.
‘‘I have said all along that if the site is not proven safe, I will not support it,’’ he said. ‘‘I urge the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission to thoroughly review this recommendation and the facts and to make their decision based on sound science and the health and safety of Texans.’’
Democrat Garry Mauro, who is running against Mr. Bush in this year’s governor’s race, praised the examiners’ ruling. ‘‘I hope Governor Bush calls on his three [TNRCC] appointees to immediately reject this permit,’’ he said.
Mr. Mauro said that he is pleased the administrative judges also raised the ‘‘specter of environmental racism’’ but that he is sorry they didn’t address Mexico’s concerns about a possible treaty violation.
Critics have said Sierra Blanca was chosen because of its largely poor Hispanic population, an allegation that supporters have disputed.
Mexican lawmakers visited Austin last month to protest the dump, saying it would violate an agreement between the nations to curb pollution along the border. Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Rogan spent three months hearing from both sides on the issue. Dump opponents said they were pleased with the findings.
‘‘Politically and legally, it’s a victory,’’ said Bill Addington, a merchant in Sierra Blanca, a town of 700 in Hudspeth County, about 90 miles southeast of El Paso. ‘‘The authority has not done its job, even with all the money and resources they have at their disposal.’’
But Mr. Addington also was cautious because the final decision on the dump license rests with the TNRCC, which is not bound by the hearings officers’ recommendation.
The dump, which would be built on a sprawling ranch just outside the rural town, is intended to hold radioactive waste primarily from the state’s utilities hospitals and universities.
It spawned opposition from critics in West Texas and Mexico, who fear that it would contaminate precious groundwater reserves.

BROWNSVILLE.—Gov. George W. Bush will ask Texas lawmakers to pass a law next year making it absolutely clear that only Vermont and Maine may export nuclear waste to the Lone Star State under a compact moving through the U.S. Congress.
‘‘I think we ought to take this to the floor of the state House and Senate and say, ‘We will limit future (compact) commissioners to Maine and Vermont and Texas,’ ’’ Bush said Thursday at the start of the 16th annual Border Governor Conference. Bush said he agrees with the spirit of an amendment by U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, and U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn.,
that would restrict the proposed compact to low-level nuclear waste from those three states. But the nuclear power industry opposes the amendment, which it contends will delay opening of the state’s low level nuclear waste dump near Sierra Blanca.
‘‘If it passes without that amendment, I think it makes sense for the governor to propose a bill out of the Texas Legislature that forever limits low level radioactive waste to Texas, Maine and Vermont,’’ Bush said.
Opponents of the proposed dump site 90 miles southeast of El Paso contend that for West Texas stands to become a national dumping ground if the compact passes without restrictions. A majority of appointed compact commissioners could decide to accept nuclear waste from other states, according to the pact already approved by the three states.
More than 50 Mexican journalists are covering the Border Governors Conference. The issue of low-level waste dominated Bush’s opening-day news conference. Bush assured Mexico’s news media that Texas won’t open the dump ‘‘unless it’s safe.’’
The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission is expected to act later this year on a license application necessary for opening and operating the dump.
Some elected officials in Mexico contend the planned dump will violate the La Paz Agreement negotiated by the two nations in 1983 to prevent and eliminate pollution sources within 52 miles of the international border. The Sierra site is about 16 miles from the Rio Grande.
Bush said he’s already received a legal opinion indicating the proposed dump does not violate the La Paz Agreement. Those who disagree need to appeal to federal officials, he said.
‘‘This is a federal treaty. I would strongly urge Mexican officials take it up with federal officials in Washington, DC, to determine whether or not the treaty negotiated between federal governments pertains,’’ he said.
Governors from Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California and most governors from
the six Mexican border states are at the two day conference. Water and border crossings probably will get the most attention, Bush predicted. Texas and bordering Mexican states face the second drought in three years. A plan used two years ago to conserve and share water is likely to be used again this summer, Bush said.”
Both he and Republican Arizona Gov. Jane Dee Hull said a proposed larger border-crossing card won’t work because Mexican citizens can’t afford it. ‘‘The idea of the card is fine,’’ she said. ‘‘I like the high-tech idea, but it is far too expensive for the Mexican family to afford. And I don’t believe we will be able to implement it this quickly, . . . I have suggested that they delay implementation.’’ A laser card would cost $45 and would be good for 10 years, but doesn’t include photo, passport and visa costs.
‘‘It’s very important,’’ Bush said, ‘‘for the U.S. federal government and the State Department to understand how important daily traffic is between our sister cities along the border, and we ought to make it easy for people to receive a modern card. ‘‘The idea of modernizing border-crossing cards is a good idea. But to make it very expensive and difficult to obtain is not a good idea.’’


Sanders Family: Sex and the Brain

By J. Eller @SDzzz  SandersGuide 2016 YouTube

Apparently, Bernie has a hobby being a sexual freedom authority that began in college, at least that’s his first public foray into morality issues.

berniesexThe story is told in a Mother Jones article, Read 21-Year-Old Bernie Sanders’ Manifesto on Sexual Freedom :

“It began with a 2,000-word, ALL-CAPS-laced manifesto in the Maroon, the daily student newspaper, outlining the intellectual case for sexual freedom. Titled “Sex and the Single Girl—Part Two” (a nod to Helen Gurley Brown’s feminist treatise), Sanders attacked the university’s strict student housing guidelines—which prohibited women from living off-campus and restricted visiting access for persons of the opposite sex—with the kind of fire he’d later reserve for capitalists and war hawks.”

“By the time he unleashed his broadside against dorm visiting hours, Sanders already had a reputation as a rabble-rouser. A political science major, he was, by his own admission, “not a good student.” Instead of studying for his classes, he preferred to spend long hours pursuing his own interests—Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, John Stuart Mill, Wilhelm Reich—in the library basement, and generally raising hell.”

“The manifesto was polarizing. Over the next few days, the paper’s “Gadfly” section was filled with responses praising and condemning the piece. “I wish that the administration would allow Mr. Sanders to practice sex more freely,” one student wrote, because “he might end up a parent and learn a little responsibility.” An alum—a former psychology professor who penned a syndicated column on parenting—wrote in to critique Sanders’ “illogical, or uninformed” argument, and sent the newspaper a handwritten pamphlet called, “Telling your teenagers about sex.” She asked that it be delivered to the future senator. (It was.)”

Sanders would become a father in 1969 to an out-of-wedlock son, but that didn’t slow his activism down at all. One failed revolution to his credit, he would move on to other sexual activism.

In a 1972 essay called “Man & Woman”, Sanders acts out a rape fantasy that would later become a campaign issue in Vermont. His 2016 supporters believe it’s satire and Sanders’ role in inventing a new “feminism” by challenging gender roles.


Spinning the issue with Chuck Todd, Sanders defended himself during an appearance on Meet the Press, saying, “That was 43 years ago. It was very poorly written. And if you read it, it was dealing with gender stereotypes. Why some men like to oppress women. Why other women like to be submissive. You know, something like Fifty Shades of Grey, very poorly written, 43 years ago.” Bernie Sanders Talks 1972 ‘Rape Fantasy’ Essay: ‘I Learned My Lesson’ What excuse would he have made if Fifty Shades of Grey didn’t exist?150528170109-bernie-sanders-man-woman-essay-lead-05-28-exlarge-169

(Thanks to Mike Johnson for alerting me to a typo!)

Do Mothers Cause Their Teen Daughters to Have Cancer?

Once again, Sanders lectures America on sex and public schools, this time making a case that the lack of teen sex may cause cancer and it’s all the parents fault.


“You Might Very Well Be the Cause of Cancer”: Read Bernie Sanders’ 1970s-Era Essays Mother Jones

“If she is 16, 3 years beyond puberty and the time which nature set forth for child-bearing…” is an interesting statement and one that eventually somehow evolves to Sanders’ “knowledge” of natural childbirth. Pointing out a female’s role as child-bearer isn’t a great way of promoting casual sex, considering child-bearing age is the reason, aside from STDs, that parents don’t want their teen daughters to “share their love” with their boyfriend.

Consequences matter, especially for a girl, since it could alter the course of her life in so many ways from potentially raising an unexpected child (maybe one she or her parents can’t afford to raise) unless adoption or abortion is acceptable, something it wasn’t in 1972, nor were out-of-wedlock babies popular as Sanders’ knew, since his son Levi was reported as having socially acceptable parents with titles of “Mr. and Mrs.”, when in fact, they were not married. This is a loaded gender issue, that dispels any notion that Sanders was enlightened on feminism, or gender-equality.


From here, Bernie becomes a proponent of natural childbirth:

“In 1972, writing for a lefty newspaper he founded called Movement, Sanders published a lengthy interview with a friend who lived on a commune, on the subject of natural childbirth. The birth of the woman’s second child culminated in the sounding of a “hunting horn,” and the ritual eating of the placenta. (“Don’t all mammals eat the afterbirth?” Sanders asked.)”

Both issues are covered in “You Might Very Well Be the Cause of Cancer”: Read Bernie Sanders’ 1970s-Era Essays Mother Jones

Voting Against Amber Alert

In his career at the federal level of politics, Sanders has put action behind his beliefs. He voted against the Amber Alert bill because it contained two provisions he opposed:

  • Life sentences for repeat convicted sex offenders.
  • A ban on virtual child porn.

Virtual child porn is a digital form of adult sex with children designed to simulate a wide range of sexual fantasies. The Department of Justice believed this could lead to an increase in real world attacks on children similar to statistics of random violence taking place after a prize fight or violent event. In 1996, the Supreme Court repealed the ban on virtual child porn, except for pictures of actual children being used in productions, striking that provision in the Amber Alert bill. Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban on Virtual Child Pornography

Sanders supporters joyfully leap to, “See? He was right!” Did Amber Alert succeed in spite of Sanders? Yes. Was Sanders correct to oppose a bill that saved real children’s lives in choosing  free speech for child pornographers? I believe he was morally wrong, but technically correct, and even that had no impact on the core legislation, but when it comes to protecting our most vulnerable, he should have chosen the moral high ground.

Sanders defended his actions by putting himself in the role of  Supreme Court rather than his job as legislator and has been harshly criticized ever since. The issue became newsworthy during one of his political campaigns:

Sanders would go on to vote for privacy protections for accused or convicted rapists, denying victims the right to know if their attackers had HIV.

Sanders Surrogates

The Sanders campaign calls his articles, essays and advocacy, youthful indiscretions, but does it go it deeper than that? Conservatives exploded when Sanders 2016 campaign aligned itself with Judith Levine by posting her short article, Two Ways to Fix Income Inequality. It wasn’t that article that bothered them. It was what she previously authored:


Steven Crowder describes it in Bernie Sanders Campaign Allows a Child-Sex Advocate to Publish on Their Website:

“But Levine is best-known for the book she wrote 13 years ago, titled Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex. Available in its entirety online, the book takes a host of positions on sexual matters that are at best well outside the American mainstream.

Levine describes society’s fear of pedophiles as overblown in the book, and argues child pornography is rarely produced, usually not very pornographic, and not worthy of heavy police pursuit. She also suggests lowering the age of consent and complained American society is too quick to condemn relationships between young teenagers and adults.”

DOWNTREND is outraged over a quote from Sanders’ article advocating more freedom for toddlers as his idea of diminishing the pornography industry: Bernie Sanders Has An Unnatural Obsession With Underage Sex:

In Vermont, at a state beach, a mother is reprimanded by Authority for allowing her 6 month old daughter to go about without her diapers on. Now, if children go around naked, they are liable to see each others sexual organs, and maybe even touch them. Terrible thing! If we [raise] children up like this it will probably ruin the whole pornography business, not to mention the large segment of the general economy which makes its money by playing on peoples sexual frustrations.

Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes and a Uterus

Brendan O’Connor for Gawker cites email interviews with Jane Elliott after another Sanders surrogate, Killer Mike quoted her as saying, “A uterus doesn’t qualify you to be president of the United States.” in About That Killer Mike Uterus Comment. It seems Elliott also believes Abraham Lincoln was the first black president because she once read it in a book whose title she’s forgotten.

Jane Elliott developed the Blue Eyes-Brown Eyes experiment many have described as child-abuse since it began as experiments on third-graders. Her own form of “empathy-training” is actually an expedient, cut-to-the-chase version of the propaganda-driven political campaign of Adolf Hitler. He offered a reward, “Freedom and Bread” and convinced the public that the source of their misery was an oppressive group of “Jewish bankers”.

“He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”― Adolf Hitler

Hitler didn’t actually win the election but he created a revolution with his 11 million votes to the Chancellor’s 18 million votes that earned him an appointment to office in a tragically misguided attempt to bring unity to German politics.

National Legal and Policy Center The Authoritarian Roots of Corporate Diversity Training Jane Elliott’s Captive Eyes And Minds Dr. Carl F. Horowitz  condemns Elliott’s methods:

“Diversity training, even when imposed with a smiling face, tends to resemble a sadistic elementary-school group exercise. There’s a good reason for this: That’s exactly how it began nearly 40 years ago…”

“Jane Elliott herself, ironically, knows her training methods carry an ugly power. She once told an interviewer, “It was just horrifying how quickly they became what I told them they were.””

At least on the subject of child sexual abuse, Elliott seems to put her empathy skills to work.


Tucked somewhere between this creepy mind control vibe is Jane O’Meara Sanders who, when asked what her cause would be if she became FLOTUS, “how the brain processes information.”

We’ve seen another Sanders surrogate, actress Susan Sarandon become abusive at the 2016 Nevada Caucus, twice targeting and harassing 85 year old Medal of Freedom activist, Dolores Huerta, and caught in this video collection (6 videos):

When viewed as a progression and not isolated random essays and activism, simple ‘Bernie baggage’ looks more like a truck load of crazy.

Bernie’s Sweet Tooth and Simmons

By J. Eller @SDzzz  SandersGuide 2016 YouTube


  • Sanders received SuperPAC funding from American Crystal Sugar in 2012 in two $5000 donations.
  • Sanders went so far supporting sugar subsidies he tabled a vote on legislation to repeal sugar subsidies, preventing its’ passage.
  • To further his support, he voted against allowing EPA to conduct surveillance flights over Big Ag sites to more efficiently detect potential water contamination of nearby waterways.
  • After shutting down EPA surveillance, he wrote a letter to EPA demanding better air quality measures, which he uses as evidence to prove his environmental activism.

Canada has no sugar subsidies and is still successful. Sugar subsidies caused negotiating problems with TPP because it’s considered protectionism.

In 1997, President Bill Clinton used his line-item veto on Harold Simmons. He was the first American president to do this : Simmons has been an adversary of the Clintons since Bill Clinton’s second term as president. In 1997, Clinton became the first president in history to issue a line-item veto in a federal budget bill, removing a provision that would have granted Simmons a $104 million tax break on the sale of his sugar plant, the Amalgamated Sugar Company, to beet farmers in Oregon.
Anti-Obama Backer Simmon

Bernie Sanders – Trader of “The People”

By J. Eller @SDzzz  SandersGuide 2016 YouTube

The Bernie Sanders world is a constant this-for-that transaction. Hiding behind a red herring of ‘nothing moral has money attached to it’, his concept of quid pro quo blame applies only to others. Winning elections on trade-offs and legislative favors like the establishment politicians he derides, while describing himself as an “outsider” has become the standard Sanders meme. Being weighed on the Sanders Scale can be catastrophic for those not politically heavy:

  • Poor Texas Latinos have less value than White Vermonters.
  • Black Lives Matter is less than All Lives Matter.
  • War protesters have less right to assemble than union strikers.
  • Tax payers have jobs and jobs are more important than immigrants.
  • A woman is less than an “important issue”.
  • Rural gun owners have more rights than urban gun owners.

In a February 05, 2016 opinion piece for the Boston Globe, When Bernie Sanders ran Against me in Vermont – Madeleine Kunin, first female governor of Vermont, we see his offhanded treatment of gender bias and women’s issues as a “distraction”: “When Sanders was my opponent he focused like a laser beam on “class analysis,” in which “women’s issues” were essentially a distraction from more important issues. He urged voters not to vote for me just because I was a woman. That would be a “sexist position,” he declared.”

His obsession with attacking wealth and power as the source of all evil has blinded him to his own actions. It isn’t the wealthy shutting down dissent, it’s Bernie.
“The problem with Washington, and politics in the US, is NOT that ordinary people have too much power and influence. It’s not that the needs of the rich and large corporations are ignored. The problem is that groups representing the wealthiest people in this country are able to decisively influence the legislative process so that public policy reflects the interests of the privileged few and not the needs of the general population.” Source: Outsider in the House, by Bernie Sanders, p. 75-6 , Jun 17, 1997

Speaking of the Wealthiest People…
This is exactly what Bernie Sanders has done to the people of Sierra Blanca, represented the wealthiest people and voted for a bill that reflects the public policy and interests of a privileged few; the white people of Vermont and a Texas tycoon, but wait, it gets worse with time. The Texas Tycoon dies and is replaced by someone from Bernie’s most reviled company…a former star of Goldman Sachs, WCS’ new owner. And yes, they own frac sand and drilling companies, among two dozen other energy related companies. Meanwhile, he opines another hypocritical issue, that of “fracking”, which Sanders dumps on his political opponent, Hillary Clinton, while maintaining that holier-than-thou attitude he has honed to a fine edge.

The New Owners of WCS

Starting in 1983 and prior to founding ECP, Senior Partner Douglas W. Kimmelman was instrumental in developing the Constellation Power Source concept as the initial entry point for Goldman Sachs as a principal into electricity markets and spent 22 years with Goldman Sachs in the firm’s Pipeline and Utilities Dept within the Investment Banking Division.
Who is Energy Capital Partners? Layers and layers of holding companies and private equity companies on the fast track to becoming the “too big to fail” of energy acquisition firms. From their website:
Energy Capital Partners is a private equity firm with over $13 billion in capital investments. The firm focuses on investing in the power generation, midstream oil and gas, electric transmission, environmental infrastructure and energy services sectors of North America’s energy infrastructure. EnergyCapital Partners
Energy Capital Partners is a private equity firm specializing in investing in buyouts, loan, infrastructure and mezzanine investments formed in 2005. Equity Funds Energy Capital Partners’ flagship private equity funds invest predominantly in control opportunities in North American energy infrastructure. We intend to opportunistically pursue both the purchase of existing assets, contracts and businesses and the development and construction of new ones. We seek to add value to these assets and businesses in several ways… Members of the senior management team have worked with one another over the past 16 years and have played leading roles as principals in nearly $20 billion in energy asset purchases across more than 150 separate assets. The team has extensive energy industry experience and expertise spanning multiple energy-related disciplines, including deal origination, commodity risk management, transaction structuring, asset valuation, project and structured financing, operational oversight and regulatory knowledge. EnergyCapital Partners Team

No doubt there will be more news on the many holdings of Energy Capital Partners to come. Too big to fail? Frac sand and pipelines, anyone?

Playing Dumb

Unintended consequences for Bernie Sanders or does Mother Nature have a superb sense of humor? He doesn’t hesitate to score political points with innuendos about Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches to Goldman Sachs, yet his wife is a Vermont commissioner who oversees deals with WCS and millions of dollars from Vermont’s taxpayers to get rid of their nuclear waste problem. A few suggestions:

  • Vermont could pull out of the compact like Maine and take the high road to another company.
  • Jane Sanders could resign her nuclear waste commission post, easily citing ethics and conscience.
  • Any linkage to Goldman Sachs as Bernie has told us, no matter how small, past or present, is insidious.
  • Bernie Sanders should walk the talk, but then he should have from the beginning.

Keeping Your Enemies Closer...

Two Sanders campaign aides have prior experience using Sierra Blanca as a political weapon. Blue Nation Review reports in Sanders NV State Director Who Unexpectedly Quit Assailed Bernie’s Sierra Blanca Bill as ‘Blatant Environmental Injustice’:

In May of 2003, Democratic strategist Jim Farrell wrote a Nation article in which he assailed Dean’s support for the Sierra Blanca bill pushed by Bernie Sanders:

Dean advocated sending nuclear waste from his state to the poor, mostly Hispanic town of Sierra Blanca, Texas. Wellstone called the proposal “blatant environmental injustice” and fought to delay the measure in the Senate. It ultimately passed but was later determined unsafe.

Another Sanders aide, Tad Devine, was also involved in using Sierra Blanca against then Governor Howard Dean, blaming him for “environmental racism”. When Devine was asked in a recent television interview about Sierra Blanca, he laughed nervously, crudely joking about the Sierra Blanca issue as a political “oppo-dump” on the Sanders campaign.

While Sierra Blanca residents still fend off companies soliciting them with nuclear waste offers (new laws now permit high-level radioactive waste in Texas), the Andrews County WCS location is facing opposition because of it’s close perimeter to the Ogallala aquifer. Seems some Texans are willing to trade the slowing oil business for nuclear waste. Jobs. Any job will do.

The Man Behind Sierra Blanca’s Woes

By J. Eller @SDzzz  SandersGuide 2016 YouTube

Hang onto your hats for the cold winds of corporate greed meet the hot rhetoric of socialist revolution to coalesce as a dark, menacing cloud over a town for 20 years, a town whose name has come to represent a veritable superstorm of political quid pro quo and environmental racism…Sierra Blanca.

The powerful man behind Sierra Blanca was Harold Simmons, but who was he? Among his many lucrative interests, Harold Simmons was owner of Waste Control Specialists (WCS), the politically designated disposal site for the Texas-Vermont-Maine Nuclear Waste Compact. The Sierra Blanca nuclear waste site was eventually legislated in H.R. 629 (105th) after Simmons had spent untold sums hiring lobbyists and buying politicians. Simmons liked to win and he usually did.

This venture was the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Consent Act Sep 2, 1998 via co-sponsor Bernie Sanders (amid denials by Sanders that the site was Sierra Blanca) and introduced by Rep. Joe Barton, who received regular donations from Simmons and his wife. As you’ll see, Simmons was far more than one business venture. A mover-shaker in GOP politics, he had created so many environmental catastrophes that his Superfund sites have cost  U.S. taxpayers $4.4 billion. Would you trust this man to run a nuclear waste dump?

Harold Simmons was a right-wing Texas billionaire and corporate raider known as:

  • The King of Superfund Sites
  • Toxic Tycoon
  • Dallas’ Most Evil Genius
  • SuperPAC Sugar Daddy
    Once held 5 companies on the NYSE at one time
    Ranked 3rd GOP billionaires – Donation Bundler – SuperPAC Funder – Lobbyist contributing $40M since 1989.
    Some of Simmons’ Companies:
  • Contran Corp.
  • Valhi, Inc. TIMET- Titanium Metals Corporation (sold 2012) (world’s largest producer of titanium)
  • National Lead Industries, Inc (NL Industries) Gale Norton, later appointed as Secretary of Interior by George W. Bush was his lobbyist and lawyer against communities bringing suit for lead poisoning. NL Industries was responsible for the lead poisoning of Cadillac Heights, cursing a poor community south of Dallas with birth defects. Dallas’ Most Evil Genius
  • Halliburton (Dick Cheney was CEO)
  • Snake River Sugar Cooperative (co-op to take over ASC) Amalgamated Sugar Company (ASC)
  • WCS-Waste Control Specialists (Hazardous Waste) (Since 1995) With proper legislation and agency approval, WCS was on track to earn $100 million per year. Simmons also owned WCS-Texas Solutions Political Action Committee (PAC). Lobbied successfully to change laws to privatize radioactive waste disposal.
    • WCS bought the Sierra Blanca site (1995) even before it had performed a proper environmental study of it.
    • Immediately, H.R. 558 legislation was introduced in congress that year, failing to secure the Texas-Vermont-Maine Compact.
    • 12 million shares of Titanium Metals Corp., another Simmons company, provided financial assurance for the dump. It was a highly unorthodox arrangement that critics panned as a “polluters’ dream.” Titanium Metals’ stock plummeted not long after the deal was sealed. Eventually, in November, another company purchased Titanium Metals for $2.9 billion. Simmons then used 9.8 million shares of Kronos, another Simmons company (also sold). Texas Observer

Among top hard-right tycoons: Foster Friess (mutual funds), Harold Simmons (chemicals and metals), Bob Perry (home-building), and Sheldon Adelson (casinos)

Legal Defense Funds:

  • Oliver North, John Poindexter (Reagan aides implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal) You may recall Bernie Sanders deep involvement and support for the Sandinistas. It earned his followers the nickname Sanderistas.
  • Tom Delay Political crook extraordinaire.


  • Simmons owned WCS-Texas Solutions PAC (Sierra Blanca) Ethics violation 2012 (donations returned)
  • GOPAC (For Reagan) Swift Vets and POWS for Truth (Against John Kerry)
  • American Issues Project (Against Obama)
  • American Crossroads (Karl Rove – 2010 Midterms)
  • Make Us Great Again (Rick Perry)
  • Restore Our Future (Mitt Romney)
  • Restoring Prosperity Fund
  • Restore Our Future
  • George W. Bush’s 2005 inaugural ball Total donations to George W. Bush: $18 million

Before his death in 2013, Simmons proclaimed he was responsible for 83 GOP wins in midterm elections. Of course that doesn’t count the presidents he’s helped elect; Reagan and the father-son Bush family presidencies.

Prior to Citizens United, Simmons was a talented campaign bundler. Along the way he had to pay a few fines, a simple annoyance for a man of his $9 billion wealth. He was the most prominent donor for 2011:

” This was the role Sheldon Adelson, Harold Simmons and Bob Perry played in 2012 (see Table 3). A second strategy is to aggregate $500,000 and $1 million dollar contributions, as Restore our Future (Romney) did in 2012 (Magleby and Goodliffe, forthcoming). Interviews with some associated with 2012 Super PACs indicated that some individuals who before Citizens United and Speech Now would bundle $500,000 or more now preferred to write a single check. This is not to say there were not bundlers in 2012, as there were for both the candidates and for their Super PACs.” David B. Magleby -A Classification of Super PACs Into Three Types: Candidate, Party and Interest Group.

In an interview with Wall Street Journal covered by Texas Monthly, Simmons says of the midterm elections, “Any of these Republicans would make a better president than that socialist, Obama,” said Mr. Simmons during two days of rare interviews at his Dallas home and office. “Obama is the most dangerous American alive…because he would eliminate free enterprise in this country.”

He had to know all socialists wouldn’t eliminate free enterprise because self-avowed socialist Bernie Sanders had become one of his biggest nuclear waste customers at $20 million a pop, plus $25 million construction costs, a delicious victory to a man like Simmons whose acquisition strategy was about using other people’s money to build his fortune. Maine would also have to pony up $25 million, to assist in building the waste site. On financial strategy, Simmons once said, “the beauty of small banks is that you can buy so many of them and never use a dime of your own money”,  sounds like a proponent of breaking up large banks.

Foundations and Charities

Simmons also funded a few liberal causes and Democrats. Simmons’ politics are “pro-business, anti-government,” but he lacks interest in the abortion debate and other issues important to social conservatives. “I’d probably be pro-choice. Let people make decisions on their own bodies,” he said. Wall St. Journal

Harold Simmons Foundation (controlled by two of his daughters who later sued him over misuse of funds for his causes). A few of Simmons’ favorites:

  • Eric Cantor (R-VA) $32,500
  • David Dewhurst(R-TX) $20,000
  • Josh Mandel (R-OH) $10,000
  • Michael Williams (R-TX) $5,000
  • Pete Sessions (R-TX) $5,000
  • Marco Rubio (R-FL) $5,000
  • Roger Williams (R-TX) $4,800
  • John Thune (R-SD) $4,000
  • Kenny Marchant (R-TX) $2,500
  • Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) $2,400
  • Mike Conaway (R-TX) $2,000
  • Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) $1,000
  • Lamar Smith (R-TX) $1,000
  • Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) $1,000

How the Simmons daughters used their trust fund:

  • 2012: Planned Parenthood Federation of America $200,000 and Planned Parenthood of North Texas $101,750.
  • Approved $800,000 in future grants to Planned Parenthood Federation of America and $300,000 to Planned Parenthood of North Texas

Public Campaign (nonpartisan)
“…dedicated to sweeping campaign reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics,” received $350,000 from the Harold Simmons Foundation for a “campaign finance reform project.” It’s due another $250,000 in future cash. Harold Simmons Bankrolled Liberal Causes
According to the Center for Public Integrity, “Simmons donation dissonance springs from tumultuous relationships with his children and continues a long-standing pattern.”

Bernie Sanders could not have escaped knowing what was happening around him, with Simmons’ lobbyists scurrying through congress and Governor George W. Bush’s very public support of Sierra Blanca.