Tom Reed Takes Legalistic Bribes From Big Oil & Gas But Lies To His Constituents About It
Although Nate Shinagawa didn't get any help from Steve Israel's DCCC in his fight against corrupt Republican medical debt collector Tom Reed, Shinagawa came close enough to winning-- 126,519 (52%) to 117,055 (48%)-- to make it obvious that if Israel hadn't been wasting all his efforts and resources trying unsuccessfully to reinvigorate the reactionary Blue Dog wing of the Democratic Party (all but one Blue Dog endorsed non-incumbent was defeated), Shinagawa would be sitting in Congress today instead of Reed. Where Shinagawa had the resources he needed-- like in blue-leaning Tompkins County-- he thrashed Reed thoroughly, beating him 24,264 (70%) to 10,201 (30%).
Yesterday Zaid Jilani exposed Reed's corruption in a video (above) he posted at the PCCC blog. Zaid's been on Reed's trail for a long time and last August we looked at how Big Oil & Gas bribes Big Tom. He's one of the most avid proponents of fracking in New York State, despite the dangers to his own constituents. And he's paid well for that. This past weekend he was fending off concerned constituents again.
After defending the exemption of fracking from the Clean Water and Clean Air acts, one constituent asked him about the over $100,000 he’s gotten from the oil and gas industries. He responded that he has “no idea” where that money came from:
CONSTITUENT QUESTION: Do you think the fracking industry should remain exempt from the Clean Air and Drinking Water Acts? [...]
REED: [...] I am not a believer in expanding federal government, I believe we have to downsize federal government. What we’re on a path here by doing that I think is expanding government. [...] I would defer to the state and defer to the local bodies on that.
CONSTITUENT 1: Water and air are across state borders!
CONSTITUENT 2: Where did your $126,000 from gas companies come from? Which lobbyists? Which companies besides Chesapeake and the other lobbyists?
REED: No idea. No idea. We don’t keep track of that. I don’t keep track of that.
Reed should know that he is actually legally required to “keep track of that”-- and that it’s actually public information. The oil and gas industry was his third-largest donor in 2012. Here’s some of the biggest backers:
• Chesapeake Energy: $10,000 to Reed. Chesapeake, one of America’s largest fracking companies, has angered homeowners nationwide with its excessive use of legal maneuvers to gain access to land to drill on.
• National Fuel Gas Corporation: $10,000 to Reed. This fracking company is based in Western Pennsylvania and New York.
• America’s Natural Gas Alliance: $4,400 to Reed. This is one of the main advocacy coalitions for natural gas drillers pushing for fracking.