Green Gold For Mccain

by Dayo Olopade | August 4, 2008

Readers of the Post already know that campaign contributions from large oil companies fairly gushed into the coffers of team John McCain after the candidate's June 16th flip flop on the moratorium on offshore oil drilling. And we know that his stance on the environment, while being marketed as both serious and moderate, has shifted rapidly and should now be viewed as gimmick-ridden and reactionary. But in case it wasn't clear, here (via TPM) is more damning evidence that, unfortunately, John McCain's various waffles on the environment may have finally settled--on the polluter's plate.

Ten senior Hess Corporation executives and/or members of the Hess family each gave $28,500 to the joint RNC-McCain fundraising committee, just days after McCain reversed himself to favor offshore drilling, according to Federal Election Commission reports.

Nine of these contributions, seven from Hess executives and two from members of the Hess family, came on the same day, June 24th, the records show. The total collected in the wake of McCain's reversal for the fund, called McCain Victory 2008, from Hess execs and family is $285,000.

When the Post story broke, the McCain campaign called any intimation that their candidate calculated his political stances for fundraising purposes "completely absurd." But it's not really a matter of current timing--it's one of future causation. The Hess cabal (which includes homemaking wives and suspiciously wealthy office assistants) is flexing its financial muscle and sending a clear signal to its wayward son: "More like this, please."

Of course, Hamburgling soft cash from a derrick-hugging corporation should seem particularly distateful to someone pretending to be a pro-environment reformer and a campaign-finance maverick. But in an election during which McCain's opponent has raised nearly $300 million without batting an eye, "more like this" is bound to occur. For the record, "more like this," while still trying to get elected means more

--hints at opposition to a "mandatory" tax on carbon (that's what cap-and-trade is--in or out, John?)

--fuzzing a position on votes for cap and trade

--huzzahs for a gas tax holiday that would pick the pocket of "pork barrel" programs such as highway repairs to pay oil companies like Hess.

It may even mean a total abandonment of prior principle to cling to an idea that would not relieve gas shocks or reduce emissions (where we began).

Last week McCain tried to skewer Barack Obama with Obama's own 2007 "straight talk," calling for a moratorium on mindless bashing of oil company profits. But just as Hillary Clinton's enormous haul from defense contracting companies, and both her and Obama's popularity with Wall Street banks are fair game for criticism, McCain's nonplussed acceptance of these greased handshakes is cause for concern. (As if on cue, Obama's camp releases "Pocket"--which you can see in full over on the Stump.)

--Dayo Olopade

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/the-vine/green-gold-mccain