Sunday, July 27, 2008

How Big Oil Fell In Love With John W. McCain


Last night we noted more lobbyists flocking to the banner of John W. McCain. The Washington Post reports that despite his public admonition of the lobbyist profession, lobbyists know he doesn't mean a word of it and he's their best hope for continuing the rein of sleaze that has gripped Washington, DC. “We are 100 percent behind McCain,” said Kathryn Braden Huffard, a lobbyist at Fierce, Isakowitz, whose clients include Fannie Mae, the mortgage giant. “In the wake of the Abramoff affair, it seems, there has to be a villain. But Senator McCain understands that many lobbyists are smart people who have experience on the issues.”

Matthew Mosk's report in this morning's Post, Industry Gushed Money After Reversal on Drilling is even more chilling. DWT has been reporting for months how Big Oil has been a major factor in bankrolling McCain's campaign. Big Oil & Gas is doing everything it can to defeat Obama because it wants a continuation of the Bush Regime policies that have led to the greatest redistribution of wealth-- from the bottom up-- in the history of mankind, policies opposed by Obama and supported by McCain. The number $1,010,868 should look familiar to all regular readers of this blog. It's the amount Big Oil has openly and directly dumped into McCain's campaign as of the end of last month. Mosk's research shows that the amount "rose dramatically in the last half of June, after the senator from Arizona made a high-profile split with environmentalists and reversed his opposition to the federal ban on offshore drilling."
Oil and gas industry executives and employees donated $1.1 million to McCain last month-- three-quarters of which came after his June 16 speech calling for an end to the ban-- compared with $116,000 in March, $283,000 in April and $208,000 in May.

The timing of the latest in a long string of McCain flip-flops was fortuitous for his struggling campaign. According to David Donnelly of the Public Campaign Action Fund, a nonpartisan campaign finance reform group, "This is a case study of how a candidate can change a policy position in the interest of raising money." In the past McCain hasn't been a major recipient of money from Big Oil. Now he's their #1 boy, even more than the industry's three fully owned shills, John Cornyn (R-TX-$480,100), James Inhofe (R-OK-$220,350) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY-$197,150)... combined! In the past McCain has given lip service support to responsible environmental proposals, which hasn't endeared him to Big Oil. Once he indicated that he would continue all the pro-Oil Bush policies that have been so good for their bottom lines and so bad for ordinary Americans-- and for our economy-- the spigots opened and the cash started gushing into McCain's campaign.

McCain has historically sided against a number of the industry's interests, opposing efforts to open certain public lands to drilling and embracing proposals aimed at tackling global warming well before oil executives were ready to do so.

Patrick C. Oxford, chairman of the Texas-based law firm Bracewell & Giuliani, said there has been a contrast between the way the industry embraced George W. Bush, a favorite son, and McCain. Oxford said that until recently oil industry officials were motivated to back McCain because of talk by Sen. Barack Obama "about needing to tax the hell out of the oil companies."

That started changing in mid-June, he said. McCain's speech and subsequent visit to Texas served the purpose of reintroducing him to the oil industry. Oxford, whose law firm represents several large oil companies, wrote his first check to McCain on June 27.

Charting the political donations of oil executives may be the best way to evaluate the industry's level of interest in a presidential candidate, said Robin West, chairman of PFC Energy, an industry adviser. Unlike other businesses, oil and gas companies do not have a large labor force that can provide a candidate an army of volunteers. And oil and gas concerns are geographically confined, largely in states that are not viewed as central to a presidential election strategy.

"It's for those reasons that the oil industry has always tried to be a substantial contributor," West said.

And West said he thinks McCain gave energy executives what they needed to get more solidly in his corner-- a pledge to reverse a federal policy that has frustrated the industry for years.

"I think people thought it was a sensible thing that was long due," West said. "I think the industry was very appreciative."

McCain has been on TV all morning trying to persuade skeptical voters that he's a viable presidential candidate. When gently questioned by George Stephanophoulous about his phony gas tax holiday, which has been denounced as a cheap carnival trick by every economist in the country, McCain whined that if Big Oil tried keeping all the benefits for themselves-- something that there is every reason to believe is exactly what will happen-- "we won't let them. We'll shame them." Anyone who is seriously considering voting for this sham candidate of Big Business should be ashamed and deserves the fate awaiting Americans if there is another Republican administration in Washington.


By only mentioning one bizarre interaction with George Stephanopoulos, I didn't mean to imply that the rest of McCain's appearance on This Week went smoothly. In fact, I bet there are plenty of Republicans around the country who saw McCain's abysmal performance busily trying to figure out if there's any way to get a more plausible candidate-- like Dick Cheney or either of the Bush twins-- to take their party's nomination. Sam Stein runs down the whole pathetic mess, from eye-popping flip-flops on affirmative action, taxes, gay adoption, and timetables-- he now claims he never said the word although millions of Americans watched him do just that on TV this week. And more! He even claimed he would have objected if the Pentagon had been blocked him from holding an event with US troops, though that is exactly what his campaign has done in the past. This trainwreck is off the rails!

Labels: , , , , ,


At 8:20 AM, Blogger Tom Hayes, the Synergist said...

You'd think this would be old news - but it turns out that even though bloggers were pointing it out over a month ago, the mainstream folks are too busy taking McCain's advertising money to bother reporting on where it's coming from. The reason? If they shed light on this story, then the ad revenues dry up.

So, their profit motive presents all commercial media with a conflict of interest in covering the campaign. It's up to bloggers to keep digging for real truths.

"Follow the money" used to be the advice to political reporters working for big stories, and it still is. It's just that when a big existing media organization follows the money it leads to their own bottom line.


Post a Comment

<< Home