BP TRIES TO TURN ON CONTRIBUTIONS: BP may still be reeling from its tarnished reputation following last year's Deepwater Horizon oil spill, but it continues its attempted comeback — at least in the political sphere.
The comeback, however, is contingent upon acceptance from elected officials, many of whom are trying to distance their re-election campaigns from BP.
And after months of little or no activity, BP's political action committee has pulled out its checkbook once again, writing two checks to congressmen in April, according to the most recent campaign finance documents it filed with the Federal Elections Commission.
Reps. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) and Michael Burgess (R-Texas) received $1,000 checks each from the BP PAC. In past election cycles, both have benefited from large contributions made by the people and PACs associated with oil companies.
But Burgess' Campaign Manager Kim Garza told OpenSecrets Blog
in an email that her boss has returned BP PAC's check — and he'll return all future contributions from the company.
Burgess, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, raised more than a $1 million during the 2010 election cycle. He received $58,600 of those funds from the oil and gas industry.
Burgess' actions fall in line with those of other congressmen who also rejected contributions from the BP PAC.
BP PAC's most recent disclosure document lists as "uncashed" a $5,000 check it wrote to Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, in March.
Upton has maintained that he will not be cashing in the amount as a result of last year's spill, which leaked an estimated 205 million gallons of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The initial Deepwater Horizon explosion also killed 11 oil platform crew members.
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