A really ugly shade of green
Mystery donors. This is surely an odd episode in Sierra Club history and getting odder. Lamm and Morris have made an issue of two anonymous donations to the Sierra Club Foundation totaling $102 million. Most directors of the club don't know who the donors are, says Pope, and even the president of the Sierra Club, Larry Fahn, said he doesn't know. Transparency by do-good organizations would be nice. Morris said he wonders whether the anonymous donors are calling the shots in the campaign against the three insurgents.
Perhaps the Sierra Club thought it could brush away dissent by depicting the dissenters as sinister. To dampen the election chances of the challengers, the club attached a notice to the mail ballot warning that white supremacist groups had expressed interest in the election. Lamm, understandably, calls this "environmental McCarthyism." Early media coverage focused on incendiary charges of a hostile takeover of the club. Soon the media will be reporting that the club is actually conducting a smear campaign. This disgraceful effort has turned the spotlight back on the Sierra Club's leadership, its lack of candor about who its powerful donors might be, and its tactic of trying to sway an election with ugly charges. The organization should move quickly to make this right.