Democratic operatives discussed holding a press event during the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland to tie Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to the burning of the Cuyahoga River in 1969.
“More Ohio ideas: – Hold a presser on the climate change/the environment somewhere near the Cuyahoga River, calling attention to Trump’s vow to dismantle EPA,” Democratic National Committee staffer Shu-Yen Wei wrote to colleagues in a May 5, 2016 email.
Wei’s email was one of several between DNC staffers brainstorming ideas on how to attack Republicans during their convention in July. The emails were part of some 20,000 released by the site Wikileaks.
Wei suggested tying Trump’s plan to dismantle the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the burning of the Cuyahoga River in 1969 — one of the events credited for inspiring the creation of the EPA by President Richard Nixon in 1970.
“The Cuyahoga River has caught on fire at least 13 times,” Wei wrote, “it’s aptly nicknamed ‘The River That Caught Fire.’ The river was one of the most polluted rivers in the country and would catch fire after sparks from the train would fall into the water.”
“After a highly media-covered fire in 1969, Congress was inspired to clean up pollution across the country and established… the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),” Wei wrote.