By Ryan Connolly

You are 40 million. You hunt.  You fish.  You preserve.  Conserve.  You learn.  You teach.  You are the league of sportsmen of voting age in this country.  On Tuesday you vote.  Your vote counts and matters.

Partisans and rhetoric often confuse the issues.  Double-talk and fence sitting can be frustrating.  HuntingLife.com offers a short take on the candidates in an effort to understand their thoughts on issues that affect you, the American sportsman.

John McCain R Senior Senator: Arizona

Senator McCain is a non-hunter but claims to fish ‘all the time’.

For fresh air he prefers hiking in the Grand Canyon.

He does not own a gun but claims to a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment though he has not always voted that way.  He has received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association (NRA)

Senator McCain’s conservation goals include, “Protecting the pristine beauty of our nation, and that means management of federal lands, much of it for multiple use…to have an environmental conservation policy that’s worth the legacy of one Theodore Roosevelt.”

Senator McCain earned a lifetime rating of 26 on conservation matters as decided by the League of Conservation Voters.

His answer to global warming includes an increased development of and reliance on nuclear power.

He hopes to increase the country’s freedom from foreign energy sources and supports off shore drilling but not drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

The Republican ticket offers Sarah Palin, Senator, Alaska as the VP candidate.

Palin grew up hunting and fishing in Alaska.   She is an enthusiastic supporter of big oil and drilling in ANWR to the tune of, ‘drill baby, drill’.

She votes to uphold the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment calling it part of her life.

Palin’s Alaska office is currently suing the federal government to prevent the listing of the polar bear as an endangered species and opposes the listing of the Cook Inlet beluga whale as endangered.

Barack Obama (D) Junior Senator: Illinois

Senator Obama is a non-hunter.  He says he did some spear fishing as a child in Hawaii.  He prefers hiking to hunting or fishing mentioning that he, ‘likes to go out there and get lost’.

He favors ‘common-sense’ gun legislation including the banning of assault weapons that he says, ‘are generally not used for hunting’.   He ‘respects’ the Second Amendment but endorses gun bans on the local level.  He’s been criticized for accusing rural American’s of clinging to their guns and religion in the face of economic hardship.

Obama has earned the endorsement of the League of Conservation Voters and has earned a lifetime score of 96.

He says, “Environmental health including air pollution, will be a major priority of mine.  As president I will significantly reduce the amount of mercury that is deposited in oceans, lakes and rivers”

Senator Obama advocates the use of ethanol to help assuage the country’s fuel and energy problems.

He told Field and Stream that sportsmen should vote for him because, “My agenda I think is going to be one that is most likely to ensure that we have the great outdoors available to the next generation.”

The Democratic running mate is Senior Senator Joe Biden representing Delaware.

Senator Biden has focused his campaign on energy with the $50 billion “Apollo Plan” that advocates energy research and slashing emission of green house gas.

The LCV has scored Biden’s lifetime efforts an 84.

Senator Biden’s voting history has earned him an “F” from the NRA for his stance on Second Amendment issues.

Please consider the brevity of this guide and do use these resources for a more comprehensive study of the candidates:
www.ontheissues.org

www.lcv.org

http://www.fieldandstream.com/article/Hunting/The-Sportsmans-Choice-Field–Stream-Interviews-the-Presidential-Candidates 

http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/index.html

http://sportsmen.johnmccain.com/Sportsmen.htm

http://my.barackobama.com/page/s/mtsportsmenmain