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.

  • CatKinNY

    Your headline, almost as long as your story, is misleading. I assumed I was going to read a story about another hypocrite who decries an industry in the afternoon and then attends a fundraising gala for his campaign hosted by lobbyists for that same industry. Your readers all know that money in politics is the original sin of modern America; it’s not news that a lobbyist can purchase a ticket to a fundraiser. Don’t waste out time; you don’t need to report every day – in fact, it’s good news when you don’t have real dirt!

  • OldStabby

    Much ado about nothing….

  • John B.Gonzales

    Well said CatKinNY !!!! … I have know Martin Heinrich and his family personally for a dozen years here in Albuquerque, NM … my heart skipped a beat when I read the FB post … but upon reading the full story …I agree that this is much to do about NOTHING!!! guilt by association is a non-starter … your story is misleading and a real disservice to your readers and to Martin … Congressman Heinrich is an honorable and ethical public servant … a rare breed these days …there are so many unethical and dishonest politicians … please find a real story !!! there … John B. Gonzales / ABQ-NM

  • Carol Miller

    Bernie Toon used his years of Congressional experience to become a VP at Bechtel and then just a straight out lobbyist for anyone with money. The Bechtel management contract of Los Alamos raised the cost from under $10 million to $84 million this year – to do the same work. NM federal electeds, or The Lazies, as I call them, keep the state addicted to the bloated, WWII economy rather than moving the state into modern times.

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