At last night's meeting of the 36th District Democrats, Teamsters Political Action Director Heather Weiner, the city's most committed foe of Gael Tarleton, took to the mic to denounce Tarleton for what she said were several anti-environment, anti-worker actions during her service as a Port Commissioner.
Tarleton is now hitting back, releasing the following statement through her campaign:
I successfully passed a resolution at the Port to expedite clean air on diesel trucks two years ahead of the EPA mandate. I have never voted against clean air while on the Port. I supported an initiative to prohibit cruise-ship dumping in Puget Sound. The statement made [last night] was factually incorrect and wrong. I stand by my votes and my proven record to create a clean-fuel economy at the Port while protecting the environment
Tarleton wouldn't offer a theory as to why Weiner is so doggedly working against her this year. "She has a way of showing up," Tarleton told me last night. "That's all I have to say about that."
Weiner, for her part, responds: "I didn't just show up, though as Woody Allen says that's 80% of success, eh? I'm a long time dues paying member and volunteer with the 36th Dems and have owned a home in Interbay since December 2004."
So perhaps that explains why Weiner was at the 36th Dems' meeting last night. But, why did she say what she said? And can she support it? Weiner sent over this fact sheet to support her assertions this morning:
* * * * * *
Port Commissioner Tarleton says she is a champion for the environment, but votes the other way.
* December 2010: Port Commissioner Tarleton weakened proposals to protect south Seattle neighborhoods from diesel exhaust, a known carcinogen.
Tarleton circulated her own amendment to weaken Commissioner Rob Holland’s motion directing the port to speed up its clean truck program and bring the port up to California standards. Her amendment on behalf of the trucking companies merely restated the existing, weak clean truck program. As a result, stronger environmental standards for dangerous diesel pollution were not adopted. The Port of Seattle’s clean truck standards remain significantly weaker than those in California and New York.
PUBLICOLA: The Sierra Club issued a statement yesterday blasting Seattle Port Commissioner Gael Tarleton for blocking a vote Tuesday on a resolution directing the port’s director to come up with alternative plans to clean up the port’s dirty diesel trucks, which travel through the Georgetown and South Park residential neighborhoods. The statement reads, in part, “We are very disappointed that Commissioner Tarleton has blocked the Port’s support for common sense air pollution programs. Air pollution from the trucks at the Port hurt communities in South Seattle, provide unjust working conditions, and contribute to climate disruption. … Seems Commissioner Tarleton is duping the voters who supported her as a progressive. Now, she is using her position to protect the corporations that make money at the port, like Wal Mart and the American Trucking Association.”
* Tarleton has raised thousands of dollars from anti-environmental trucking companies and their PACs, including a maximum contribution from the Trucking Action Committee on 9/11/12.
36th District Democrats Resolution, passed 3/13/10:
WHEREAS the U.S. Congress is currently considering introducing legislation to address these lawsuits and empower ports to set environmental, safety and labor standards for port trucking operations; and
WHEREAS empowering ports to set environmental, safety and labor standards is supported by a wide range of organizations and leaders including: Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Steelworkers of America, Mayor of Seattle Mike McGinn, members of the Seattle City Council, and many others;
Therefore be it resolved that the 36th District Democrats support empowering ports to set their own environmental, safety and labor standards for port trucking operations and urge our elected Representative and Senators to do the same.
* Tarleton has raised thousands of dollars from port terminal operators, shippers and their PACs opposing the Clean Ports Act, including a maximum contribution from Pacific International Terminals on 8/15/12.
April 2012: Port Commission President Tarleton votes down the state’s proposals to prevent cruise ship dumping in Puget Sound.
As Commission President, Tarleton led the vote to reject the WA Department of Ecology’s proposed amendments to an MOU with cruise ship industry to address cruise ship dumping in Puget Sound - the proposed amendments would have banned the discharge of all cruise ship wastewater in Puget Sound. Tarleton then successfully offered her own weakened amendments on behalf of the cruise ship industry.
COALITION NEWS RELEASE: The environmental groups Friends of the Earth, People For Puget Sound, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and Surfrider Foundation proposed the amendments to the MOU in order to protect public health and aquatic resources from the discharge of treated sewage and gray water by cruise ships while they are in Puget Sound and the Northwest Straits…. The Puget Sound Partnership, Washington Department of Ecology, and the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary have all supported the call for a ban on cruise ship discharges by endorsing the MOU amendments proposed by the environmental groups last fall. All three have sent letters to the Port Commissioners stating their support for banning the discharge of treated sewage and gray water by cruise ships at dock or while traversing in Puget Sound.
Tarleton raised thousands of dollars before the cruise ship pollution vote from cruise ship corporations like Holland America.