Clean Water - The Tip of a Radical Green Iceberg

May 15, 2002

by Dave Racer

Clean Water Action (CWA) called again last night. They said that my wife had given money to their organization in the past and that they needed her support once again. (She did give … once … by accident.)

There must be another threat to the environment brewed up by conservatives, big oil and bad corporations since CWA is in such an immediate need for money.

A few weeks ago an enthusiastic young man rang my doorbell. As I opened the door, he looked me in the eye and proudly announced he was from “Clean Water Action.” I told him to leave.

How could anyone be against clean water? We drink it, bath in it, wash our clothes in it. Without it we die. I am certainly not against clean water.

How could anyone be against an organization whose purpose is to protect clean water? That is easy to answer, if one looks beneath the surface of the sea of misinformation surrounding this group. Only then can one see the dangerous iceberg lurking below.

More of the CWA (not to be confused with Concerned Women for America) iceberg lies exposed on their website where it states, “Clean Water Action is a national citizensí organization working for clean, safe and affordable water, prevention of health-threatening pollution, creation of environmentally-safe jobs and businesses, and empowerment of people to make democracy work.” [Emphasis added]

Start with, “make democracy work.”

An organization that promotes democracy should be shunned or at least shamed. America’s founding fathers strongly shunned democracy, knowing it created all sorts of mischief, and has a high failure rate. It’s a bad system of government.

Our founding fathers created a republic.

Americans elect people to represent them, to give serious consideration to ideas and issues and contemplate the potential impact of government policy. Our republican form of government helps to shield our elected representatives from the reactionary nature of private citizens.

The founding fathers knew that citizens, naturally subject to their own trials, temptations and selfish reasons, could too easily be manipulated by thought-purveyors. And they could never keep up with the flow of information necessary to make well-informed decisions. A mass of citizens could not be trusted with the daily affairs of government.

When Clean Water Action gets it wrong on such a vital issue, promoting democracy, it should sound a warning bell to all thinking people about the organization.

On the other hand, informing citizens of real risks to their life, liberty and property is a noble and good cause and one that should be supported. CWA, unfortunately, fails the smell test. It would help if they informed unsuspecting donors of where their money is actually spent.

During the late 1980s, I wrote in-depth about the unseen results of CWA’s fundraising practices. During that time, their solicitors were hired and trained by an organization known as C.L.E.C.

C.L.E.C. proudly and openly presented itself as a supporter of leftwing causes and candidates. They bragged about the millions of dollars they had given to pro-abortion supporters and those who favored their socialist economic polices. Their funds came from overrides earned by raising money through activist organizations, like Clean Water Action – one of their prime clients.

C.L.E.C. also raised money for other innocuous sounding organizations. It is likely that each of us has given something to them at some time. No one told us how our dollars supported policies and persons we openly opposed.

During the Reagan years, C.L.E.C. ran want ads to hire solicitors for CWA. To attract the kind of people they preferred, the ads read something like this: “Tired of the rightwing assault of Ronald Reagan on America? Come and help us do something about it. We’re Clean Water Action.”

Today they are more sophisticated. A current ad from the Baltimore branch of CWA states: “WORK OUTDOORS: Do something important. This summer or long term. Clean Water Action is winning campaigns to protect our air, bays and coasts. Earn $345/wk w/benefits. Call (410) 235-8808; Baltimore Sun.”

CWA’s website aggressively attacks President Bush’s environmental record. He, like Ronald Reagan, is apparently a good recruiting and fundraising tool. CWA vigorously and openly opposes President Bush on environmental issues. They will more quietly oppose him on abortion and other conservative issues, and they oppose any candidate with similar views.

CWA’s website states that they, “Organize Communities, Elect ‘Green’ Candidates, Campaign for Safe & Affordable Drinking Water, Make Polluters Pay, Build a Sustainable Economy.” [Emphasis added]

As you stand at your front door next time ready to ante up cold cash to protect your water, remember that you are giving money to those who oppose the President and the Majority Party of the US House of Representatives. Remember that you are giving money to support the further socializing of the American economy – codeword, “Sustainable Economy.”

Next time Clean Water Action comes to your door, why not engage the solicitor in a discussion about democracy, sustainable economics and abortion. Ask the solicitor for a list of the “Green Candidates” they will be supporting. Ask the enthusiastic young solicitor how he found out about the job.

Then, if you still feel CWA is really concerned just about your water, give them a huge check. But watch out for the icebergs.

I now take my leave to drink a tall cold glass of filtered water.

For more information on Clean Water Action, see