DNC - Industry Gushed Money After Reversal on Drilling

Washington, DC - In today's Washington Post Matthew Mosk details the timeline of events following McCain's June reversal to support off-shore drilling, from the weak reasoning he offered for changing his position to his next-day fundraisers with energy executives in Texas to the resultant dramatic increase in donations from oil and gas industry executives and employees -- and, of course, how McCain's shift on energy brings him even more in line with President Bush. It's 100 days until the election, and each day brings new proof of how McCain offers more of the same failed policies and old politics.

The following are excerpts of today's story:

Industry Gushed Money After Reversal on Drilling
By Matthew Mosk
Washington Post
July 27, 2008

"Campaign contributions from oil industry executives to Sen. John McCain 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."

"McCain delivered the speech before heading to Texas for a series of fundraisers with energy industry executives, and the day after the speech he raised $1.3 million at a private luncheon and reception at the San Antonio Country Club, according to local news accounts."

"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."

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