Grimm Situation

Last year, climate hawks were thrilled when Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) acknowledged the reality of human-caused climate change in a segment for the Showtime documentary Years of Living Dangerously. Of course, that was before Rep. Grimm pleaded guilty to federal tax-evasion charges. Now that he has resigned, a special election will be held to fill his seat—and a most peculiar Republican could wind up replacing him.

Just four days after disgraced Rep. Michael Grimm announced his resignation from Congress, Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan on Friday wrapped up the Republican nomination to replace him.

Donovan sealed the deal when Staten Island Republican Chairman John Antoniello publicly threw his weight behind the district attorney.

“Dan Donovan’s experience, integrity and his decades of public service to the people of this City make him the most qualified,” Antoniello said in a statement.

“I am proud to support him and encourage him to make the run.”

Donovan emerged earlier in the week as the likely GOP nominee when a series of Staten Island elected officials endorsed him…

Donovan’s office presented evidence to the grand jury that cleared a white cop in the death of Eric Garner, a black man who had been placed in an apparent chokehold by the arresting officer. The lack of an indictment triggered protests.

But Donovan will be a strong favorite to win the special election, given the conservative tilt of the small band of hard-core voters expected to turn out.

I don’t know how Donovan feels about climate change; it’s reasonable to assume that in the name of wooing right-wing voters in a low-turnout election, he’ll lean strongly towards the denialist side of the ledger—this despite the fact that the 11th Congressional District was savaged by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

It’s strangely fitting, no? If he embraces denialism, Donovan will once again side with those who ignore our cries for help as we tell them we can’t breathe.

UPDATE: Donovan is now the official GOP nominee for Grimm’s vacated seat. Don’t act so surprised.

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.