March 22, 2012

Democratic Congressman Blasts ‘Big Oil’ Then Fundraises With Lobbyist That Represents Exxon The Very Next Day

Representative Martin Heinrich is a Democratic Party member of Congress who is running for Senate this year. On Monday, he blasted the Republican 2013 budget proposal on Twitter, writing that it must have “thrilled” Big Oil:

But the very next day, Heinrich held a fundraiser — where individuals attended at $500 a person and PACs for $1,000 a person — at VH Strategies, a bipartisan lobbying firm.

One of the lobbyists who attended was Bernie Toon. Who is Bernie Toon? According to disclosures filed with the federal government, Toon is a registered lobbyist with a number of corporate clients. One of those is ExxonMobil.

It’s difficult for campaigns to screen every fundraising event attendee for any conflicts with the politician’s policy positions.  But that demonstrates what’s wrong with allowing lobbyists to contribute to politicians — Heinrich undermines the message of his tweet when he fundraises from lobbyists who represent the very same companies he claims to oppose.