Silver Versus Shadegg. Rad.

A battle of GOP extremes pits environmentalist Robin Silver against conservative Congressman John Shadegg

While photographing a protest against the Mount Graham telescopes, Silver was arrested by University of Arizona police for trespassing, but he succeeded in having all charges dropped, then successfully sued the university for false arrest and put the proceeds from the settlement back into the Mount Graham fight.

Environmentalists suspect that Shadegg's initial campaign tack will be to ignore Silver. But Shadegg made it clear he is aware of who Silver is.

"He's a bright and articulate guy," Shadegg says. "I will take it very seriously, and we'll work hard. When you look at the successes he's had when he's taken on the University of Arizona and that whole telescope project, when you look at the success he had taking on the timber industry and the Forest Service--this is a very bright and articulate spokesman for his cause."

Silver points to his career as a physician as a credential to talk about Medicare and other medical issues, and he describes himself as a member of the community. Shadegg's campaign against him, however, seems likely to focus on characterizing him as a single-issue radical, an environmental extremist.

Silver is disputing the charge before his opponent has formally made it.
"It's not a radical view to try to save the last of our largest trees--we've already lost 95 percent of them," Silver says. "We've lost 99 percent of our desert river habitat. It's not radical to try to save the less than 1 percent that's left. It's not radical to try to force control of the brown cloud of air pollution in Phoenix that kills 1,100 additional people in the Valley each year.

"Those aren't radical positions.

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