Thursday, November 09, 2006

Big polluters also took a "thumping" on Election Day; what would Borat say?

President Bush wasn’t the only one who took a “thumping” on Election Day.

Some of the biggest spending big polluters also took a drubbing. In many cases, their political action committees backed candidates who were tossed out. In fact, many of them backed the same losing candidates.

Take a few examples. (All this information comes from Federal Election Commission records tabulated by the Center for Responsive Politics.)

Consider, for example, ExxonMobil, http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgot.asp?strID=C00121368&Cycle=2006 , which by mid-October had reported spending $562,000 on federal candidates (92% of it to Republicans).

Among the losing Senate candidates it supported: George Allen, Conrad Burns, Lincoln Chafee, Mike DeWine, Thomas Kean, Jr., Mark Kennedy, Michael McGavick, John Raese, Rick Santorum, Michael Steele and Jim Talent. Among the losing House recipients of $10,000 from ExxonMobil: Richard Pombo, Rick O’Donnell, and Michael Sodrel.

Take another example, Duke Energy, which recently was before the Supreme Court in a big air pollution case. Duke’s PAC http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/lookup2.asp?strID=C00083535 spent $283,000 (79% to Republicans). Bad bets included George Allen, Conrad Burns, Lincoln Chafee, Mike DeWine, Thomas Kean, Jr., Mark Kennedy, Rick Santorum, Michael Steele and Jim Talent. Like ExxonMobil, Duke also poured big money into Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM), whose race is still too close to call.

Or consider the Southern Company, considered by many as the most politically wired power company in America. Southern’s PAC http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/lookup2.asp?strID=C00144774&cycle=2006 spent $162,000 (77 percent to Republicans). Its slate of losers also included Allen, Burns, DeWine, Kean, Kennedy, McGavick, Santorum, Steele, and Talent as well as Harold Ford. Maybe its worst bet was its early contribution to Tom DeLay.

Now if these companies were Borat (the fictitious journalist from Kazakhstan, now of movie fame), they would probably turn to the Democrats next and say “I like-a you. You like-a my check?”

And then they would have the ceremonial running of the elephant.

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