Who’s your Daddy? Big oil has greased the palms of most Black elected officials which has resulted in those politicians backing off of energy efficient legislation as a direct result. Legislation that would require 15% of new cars be emission free, extension of cap & trade and a host of other pollution solving bills have all been stalled due to the influence of oil lobbyists. Who are the suspects? In an article titled California Democrats Who Got Big Gifts From Oil Industry Gave Big Gifts Back constituents can peruse how much elected officials pocketed to ignore their voters health concerns.
Related: California lawmaker (Asm. Autumn Burke) drops electric-vehicle bill
A review of Cal-Access, which lists campaign filings for state lawmakers, shows that most of the electeds listed below have failed to turn in Form 460’s in a timely manner.
Examples of gifts that oil-affiliated groups gave to California’s legislators in 2016 included:
- The California Independent Petroleum Association (CIPA), a trade association for oil companies, paid for the meals and hotel for 13 legislators at a “symposium” in Newport Beach from December 8th to 9th. The legislators were Thomas Berryhill (R), Kansen Chu (D), James Frazier (D), Cathleen Galgiani (D), Mike Gipson (D), Christopher Holden (D), Patrick O’Donnell (D), Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (D), and Blanca Rubio (D), Steven Choi (R), Vince Fong (R), Rudy Salas (D), Thomas Berryhill (R).
- The California Issues Forum (CIF) feted eight legislators, all Democrats, with a hotel room, meals, and transportation to Napa, California. CIF’s funders include Chevron and other oil companies, and it focuses on influencing “moderate” Democrats on behalf of corporations. The legislators were Autumn Burke, Jim Cooper, Jim Frazier, Mike Gipson, Adam Gray, Rudy Salas, Freddie Rodriguez, and Timothy Grayson.
- The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), regarded as the most powerful voice for California’s oil industry, paid $1,600 for Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D) to attend its annual conference on October 4th at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay. Salas was the top recipient of gifts from oil-affiliated groups in 2016.
- The Independent Voter Project, which receives funding from oil companies including Chevron, spent an average of about $3,000 per legislator flying, hosting and feeding nine lawmakers at its infamous annual Maui conference, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. The legislators were James Cooper (D), Mike Gipson (D), Reginald Jones-Sawyer (D), Freddie Rodriguez (D), Tom Daly (D), Joes Medina (D), Miguel Santiago (D), Thomas Berryhill (R), Cathleen Galgiani (D) and Franklin Bigelow (R).
Top Recipients: The legislators who received the highest value of gifts from oil-affiliated groups in 2016 were:
|Legislator||Value of Gifts Received, 2016|
|Rudy Salas (D-32nd Assembly District)||$24,549.33|
|Robert Wieckowski (D-10th Senate District)||$23,156.51|
|Rocky Chavez (R-76th Assembly District)||$13,747.99|
|Christopher Holden (D-41st Assembly District)||$13,690.49|
|Anthony Cannella (R-12th Senate District)||$13,274.63|
|Ricardo Lara (D-33rd Senate District)||$12,633.71|
|Cristina Garcia (D-58th Assembly District)||$12,369.13|
|Evan Low (D-28th Assembly District)||$11,908.95|
|Chad Mayes (R-42nd Assembly District)||$11,664.99|
|James Wood (D- 2nd Assembly District)||$11,182.31|
The legislators who received the highest value of gifts from oil-affiliated groups from 2012 to 2016 were:
|Legislator*||Value of Gifts Received, 2012 – 2016|
|Anthony Cannella (R-12th Senate District)||$84,355.17|
|Cristina Garcia (D-58th Assembly District)||$63,066.56|
|Steven Bradford (D-62nd Assembly District)||$48,963.69|
|Kristin Olsen (R-12th Assembly District)||$47,966.15|
|Robert Wieckowski (D-25th Assembly District (2012-2014), 10th Senate District (2015-2016))||$47,568.00|
|Ricardo Lara (D-33rd Senate District)||$43,981.19|
|Shirley Weber (D-79th Assembly District)||$42,884.39|
|Marc Levine (D-10th Assembly District)||$39,613.52|
|Henry Perea (D-31st Assembly District)||$37,902.15|
|Rudy Salas (D-32nd Assembly District)||$32,480.28|
|*All office position reflect title during analysis|
While I do believe in ‘going green’ and sustainable energy, I grew up in oil fields. My father came to Signal Hill in 1927 to work in those oilfields and it was oil that paid for our home and put food on our table. We will never outgrow our need for oil and related products, so I still support the industry.