Pete McCloskey registers as a Democrat

Former congressman drops his lifelong affiliation with Republicans

"Age cannot wither ...." Not Cleopatra. Pete McCloskey.

The irrepressible former Congressman from Portola Valley and Rumsey, California, may be pushing 80. Nevertheless, he was in the news three times just last week.

In Sacramento he testified in favor of campaign finance reform. On Friday he appeared at Skylawn Memorial Park, where 100 acres of open space has been preserved in his honor. It has been named the "McCloskey Preserve."

Most notably, the lifelong Republican, co-founder of the original Earth Day in 1970, and contributor to the Endangered Species Act and other seminal environmental laws, has registered as a Democrat.

McCloskey, a decorated Marine officer in the Korean War, and a Peninsula Congressman from 1967 to 1982, said the modern Republican Party is no longer the party his family has supported since 1859.

That Republican Party, he said in a statement, was the party of civil rights, free choice for women, fiscal responsibility, environmental protection, honesty and ethics.

McCloskey stated, "I finally concluded that it was a fraud for me to remain a member of this modern Republican Party."

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