Sheldon Whitehouse, the highly respected Senator from Rhode Island, sent the following emailed message, which we believe is worthy of sharing.  He writes the following:

When you’re in a fight with dirty polluters, it gets dirty.

One front group (of many) for giant polluters is the Wall Street Journal editorial page. It’s always supporting polluter schemes and flacking for the dark-money apparatus that polluters use to run their covert political ops against our own government. Just in recent days, the “Polluter Page” has gone to bat for carcinogenic chemical manufacturers, fossil fuel polluters, and predatory lenders. Great group of guys.

You know I’m a relentless advocate against climate deniers and dark money. That advocacy drives the “Polluter Page” nuts. I’ve led multiple Web of Denial call-outs on the Senate Floor to expose the climate deniers’ dark-money scheme; in the last month, I led a Senate report on the dark-money effort to capture our courts, and helped launch a congressional investigation into giant polluter Marathon Petroleum; just last week I published this piece in the Harvard Journal on Legislation that takes a deep dive into the dark-money apparatus.

Like I said, I drive the Polluter Page nuts.

In the last year, the “Polluter Page” has cranked out 15 hostile editorials about me. They don’t seem to mind when what they say is outright false. The conspiracies they peddle are getting increasingly wacky: that I’m bullying lifetime appointees of the Supreme Court; that recently reasonable decisions by Justice Roberts result from some imagined “Whitehouse Effect”; that there’s some imaginary secret scheme I’m in with a local federal judge; and now a wildly off-base claim about my advocacy for a good and honest constituent company.

It’s more than creepy, it’s desperate.

It’s also a badge of honor, given whom and what the “Polluter Page” fronts for – carcinogens, dark money, climate denial, polluter-funded court packing – they seem to love it all. The more toxic it is to our planet or our democracy, the more they seem to love it.

Here’s the message I have for the WSJ editorial board and its dirty big polluters: If you are trying to discourage me, I’m totally undiscouraged. This is a fight worth having.

It’s actually kind of sad. For years, the Wall Street Journal “Polluter Page” has trafficked in climate denial (take a look sometime at its record). Democratic Senators released a study on dark money surrounding the Supreme Court, and the “Polluter Page” went to bat for … the dark money. Marathon Petroleum covertly attacked our fuel efficiency standards (in a scheme worth billions of dollars to Marathon) and the “Polluter Page” weighed in – for the polluter! Mitch McConnell defends his climate-obstructing majority with tens of millions in dark money (probably from polluters, but who knows – it’s dark money for a reason) and there’s nothing from the “Polluter Page” but a gratified yawn.

But if you mess with these crooked schemes, oh my – 15 editorials.

It would be nice if life were always lollipops and daffodils, but when you’re in a fight with dirty polluters, this is what it looks like. I’m not backing down. Period.

I’m writing this just to thank you for your steady and principled confidence and support. When you’re in a fight like this, it’s nice to know that friends have your back and support your cause. We can be sure of this: with victory will come better days. Who knows, maybe one day even a better Wall Street Journal editorial page. 🙂

Yours in the fight,



Harvard Journal of Legislation: Policy Essay: DARK MONEY AND U.S. COURTS: THE PROBLEM AND SOLUTIONS, by Sheldon Whitehouse
Democratic Policy & Communications Committee: CAPTURED COURTS: The GOP’s Big Money Assault On The Constitution, Our Independent Judiciary, And The Rule of Law

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