Donald Trump has nominated Sam Clovis, his longtime campaign aide, to serve as the USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, a position typically held by people with advanced degrees in science and medicine. As Under Secretary, Clovis would manage the USDA’s $3 billion research and education portfolio and serve as the USDA’s top scientist, coordinating the setup and implementation of the USDA’s policies.
The 2008 Farm Bill specified that nominees to the Under Secretary post should be “distinguished scientists with specialized training or significant experience in agricultural research, education, and economics.” However, Clovis lacks an advanced science degree and has shown blatant disregard for scientific evidence by refusing to acknowledge that humans are causing the majority of climate change. He has called climate science “junk science” and proudly declared himself a climate change “skeptic.” Because one third of our greenhouse gas emissions come from agricultural production, it is critical that the USDA’s top scientist acknowledges that climate change is real, human-caused, and a dire threat to our global security (not to mention our global food supply).
In addition, as a talk radio host and blogger from 2011 to 2014, Clovis stoked racist birther conspiracy theories about then-President Obama, made derogatory racist comments about then-Attorney General Eric Holder, and stated homosexuality is a choice and can lead to pedophilia. In light of the white supremacy rallies in Virginia, the appointment of a racist, bigoted birther to a top job in the executive branch is unacceptable. The Senate must take a firm stance against racism, and Trump’s ongoing endorsement of it, by rejecting Clovis’s nomination.
Call Rob Portman to oppose this nomination: (202) 224-3353
Here’s a script you can use:
Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from Dayton.
I’m calling to express my opposition to Sam Clovis’s nomination to be USDA Under Secretary. It is unacceptable for the USDA’s top scientist to be a climate change denier with no formal scientific training, and for the Trump administration to continue endorsing racism and bigotry by appointing a birther. I strongly urge Senator Rob Portman to reject Clovis’s nomination.
Thank you for your time and attention.
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