Green groups, Hurt spar over conflict of interest charges

The LCV and Sierra Club ad suggests that Hurt cast his vote because of “thousands of dollars” Hurt has received from “uranium interests” and the fact that his father — a retired Readers’ Digest editor — is an investor in a uranium company looking to mine in the state.
“It was a shocking conflict of interest,” the ad states. “Hurt should have stepped aside but he voted yes.” It adds that Hurt “doesn’t care about our community or us. He put his personal interest above ours.”
But Hurt campaign strategist Chris LaCivita is crying foul.
He notes that Hurt got clearance from a state Senate ethics panel chaired by Democrats before he cast a vote on a panel that unanimously approved the feasibility study. Hurt, he said, is also on record as opposing the lifting of the state uranium-mining ban. Both these positions, LaCivita noted, are consistent with Perriello’s views.
“I would expect nothing less from a group of people who want to ban the internal combustion engine,” LaCivita said of LCV and Sierra Club. “And they just want to get their boy reelected and they’re doing it through patently false TV and radio advertisements because the facts prove that.”
LCV “stands by our ad and we leave it to the voters to decide if it was a conflict of interest,” the group’s spokeswoman said in an e-mail.
Environmental groups have focused on helping Perriello and other embattled House Democrats who voted for last year’s House cap-and-trade bill.
LCV is nearing record spending for the group this election year, including more than $3 million in independent expenditures.
Last week, The Hill 2010 Midterm Election Poll showed Perriello trailing Hurt by a single point —44 percent to 45 percent — with 9 percent of likely voters undecided.
A new poll from Roanoke College has Hurt leading by six points, 46-40.