Monday, October 25, 2010

Tea Party candidates funded by BP and other major polluters? HEH

The Guardian-UK published a misleading article on Sunday, entitled "Tea Party climate change deniers funded by BP and other major polluters". The sub-headline of the article reads "Midterm election campaigns of Tea Party favorites DeMint and Inhofe have received over $240,000."

This misleading statement is based upon an analysis made by the Climate Action Network which alleges that 8 major European industrial companies - emitters of carbon dioxide - contributed - via PACs - almost exclusively to the 2010 campaigns of senators who are opposed to climate change reform.

The aforementioned companies are actualy American companies whose parent companies are based in Europe. Nevertheless, the Climate Action Network alleges that these companies contributed $240,200 - almost 80% of their total spendings in the 2010 senate race - to senators who are opposed to climate change legislation. However, the Guardian's headline and sub-headline misleadingly, [perhaps unintentionally], states that Senators DeMint and Inhofe received the entire $240,000, when in truth, the money was spread out among many candidates, and Sen. Demint and Inhofe received only a fraction of that money.

Secondly, the Climate Action Network never suggested that the aforementioned companies were contributing to Tea Party candidates. In fact, many of the Senators listed as receiving money from these companies are indeed Democratic candidates, whom the Climate Action Network alleges are opponents of climate change reform, but certainly not Tea Party candidates

I perused the Open Secrets' website - the source of the Climate Action Network's analysis - and found that the aforementioned companies contributed approximately $112,500 to Democratic candidates and $175,000 to Republican candidates. Not much of a difference.

What's more, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) received roughly $11,000 from the aforementioned companies, while Democratic Sen. John Hall, another staunch proponent of climate change legislation, received $6,000 - as well as many other Democratic Senators, who received various sums of money from these companies.

Nevertheless, the Guardian-UK did a disservice to its readers [perhaps unintentionally] by misstating the facts.

Incidentally, according to the Open Secrets' website , foreign-connected PACs donated $6,271,803 to Democratic candidates in 2010 and $5,281,638 to Republican candidates.

It should also be noted that, during his time in the Senate and while running for president, Barack Obama received a total of $77,051 from BP - a British [foreign] based company and an emitter of carbon dioxide. Obama has also been the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.

It goes without saying, that were we to thoroughly vet the 2010 campaign contributions of all the Democratic Senate candidates, we would find wagon-loads of special interest money. But right now, when the Tea Party candidates are headed toward victory, the MSM can ill afford to vet the Dems, and Obama can ill afford to vet himself.