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Marcus reports: "Chevron Corp., ranked No. 3 on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. companies, made a $2.5 million contribution on Oct. 7 to the conservative Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC dedicated to electing Republicans to the House and Senate."

Greenpeace members protest in front of the Chevron oil company headquarters in Rio de Janeiro in this November 18, 2011 file photograph. (photo: Ricardo Moraes/Reuters)
Greenpeace members protest in front of the Chevron oil company headquarters in Rio de Janeiro in this November 18, 2011 file photograph. (photo: Ricardo Moraes/Reuters)

Chevron Gives $2.5 Million to Conservative Super PAC

By Rachael Marcus, The Center for Public Integrity

27 October 12


he dearth of large contributions being made by big corporations to super PACs so far this election has ended.

Chevron Corp., ranked No. 3 on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. companies, made a $2.5 million contribution on Oct. 7 to the conservative Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC dedicated to electing Republicans to the House and Senate.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision in 2010, which allowed corporate money to be spent on elections, there were predictions that companies would tap their treasuries and flood races with unlimited cash.

Instead, the bulk of the giving has come from individuals — like casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Adelson and wife Miriam gave at least $14.5 million in the first 17 days of October, boosting his total giving to the controversial political organizations to a remarkable $53 million. It would take 10,600 contributions of $5,000, the maxiumum allowed to candidates, for Adleson to reach that amount were he giving directly to campaigns.

Super PACs filed their final reports before the Nov. 6 election on Thursday with the Federal Election Commission. Adelson is far and away the biggest donor to the organizations this election cycle.

Chevron, the No. 2 oil and gas company in the U.S. with 2011 revenue of nearly a quarter-trillion dollars, is active in nearly every aspect of the energy business, including the highly controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," a means of extracting natural gas from shale deposits.

The company spent $9.5 million lobbying the federal government in 2011 and $5.3 million so far this year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Chevron becomes at least the fifth Fortune 500 company to give to super PACs this election, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of corporate giving, and by far, the largest. Others include Florida-based Fidelity National Information Services (425th), which gave the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC Restore Our Future $75,000; CONSOL Energy (399th), which donated $150,000 to the group; Alpha Natural Resources (356th), which gave $100,000 to American Crossroads; and Caesars Entertainment Corp. (288th), which gave $150,000 to Majority PAC.

Chevron's donation to the Congressional Leadership Fund represented the bulk of the group's receipts for the reporting period. The super PAC took in $3.1 million through the first part of October, entering the home stretch with $8.7 million in the bank.

The Adelsons gave $10 million to Restore Our Future over the reporting period, bringing the organization's receipts to a whopping $20.2 million, more than it raised for the entire month of September.

Restore Our Future also benefitted from $1 million from Jerry Perenchio, former owner of Spanish-language broadcast company Univision; $1 million from super donor Harold Simmons; $1 million from real estate mogul Edward St. John; and $1 million from hedge fund pioneer Julian Robertson.

Restore Our Future's fundraising easily eclipsed that of Priorities USA Action, the super PAC supporting President Barack Obama, which brought in $13 million. The pro-Obama group had outraised Restore Our Future for the past two months.

Priorities received seven $1 million contributions all from individual donors. They include Mark Pincus, the CEO of Zynga, the online game maker, hedge fund billionaire George Soros* and LinkedIn founder Reid Garrett Hoffman.

Restore reported $24.2 million in cash going into the home stretch while Priorities had $10.1 million, according to FEC records.

In the final months of campaign, more super PACs dedicated to the election of U.S. House and Senate candidates have emerged.

Treasure Coast Jobs Coalition, a super PAC supporting Republican Rep. Allen West in Florida's 18th District, received $1 million from the Adelsons. So did Freedom PAC, which supports Rep. Connie Mack's quest for U.S. Senate in Florida.

Adelson is also helping former Virginia Gov. and Sen. George Allen in the state. Allen lost a close race to Sen. Jim Webb, the Democrat, in 2006, who is not running for re-election. He faces former Gov. Tim Kaine in a close race for the Senate seat.

Adelson gave $1.5 million to Independence Virginia, which is supporting Allen. The couple also gave $1 million to Joe Ricketts' Ending Spending Action Fund, a super PAC that supports fiscally conservative candidates.

Ending Spending, which has promised to spend at least $12 million in the weeks leading up to the election, reported $4 million in cash on hand. While it has only raised $1 million so far in October, its founder Ricketts gave more than $11 million to the super PAC in September.

American Crossroads, the conservative super PAC co-founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove, brought in $11.7 million in the first part of October, thanks largely to a $4 million contribution from super donor Simmons and $1 million each from Texas homebuilder Bob Perry and oil man and hedge fund chief T. Boone Pickens, another Texan.

American Crossroads had $6.4 million in the bank as of Oct. 17.

Democratic donors also kept their checkbooks open in October. Fred Eychaner, the CEO of Newsweb Corp., gave $2 million to House Majority PAC, which supports Democratic U.S. House candidates, and $2 million to Majority PAC, which supports Senate Democrats.

Majority PAC took in $9.9 million, including a $1 million contribution from Tennessee real estate mogul Franklin Haney and $900,000 from Arnold Hiatt, the former president of the Stride Rite footwear company.

It reported $7.5 million cash on hand as of Oct. 17.

Hiatt also gave $900,000 to House Majority PAC, which raised $6.7 million and had $5.2 million on hand as of Oct. 17.

In other outside spending news:

  • The Democratic Senatorial Congressional Committee reported spending $8.5 million opposing Republican candidates for U.S. Senate.

  • The Republican National Committee reported spending $5.2 million opposing Obama, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee reported spending $7.8 million opposing Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate.

  • Conservative nonprofit Crossroads GPS reported spending $3.7 million opposing Obama and Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate and House in several races.

  • Majority PAC, a super PAC backing Senate Democrats, reported spending $3.1 million opposing Republican candidates in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Montana, Indiana, Nevada, Virginia and New Jersey.

  • House Majority PAC reported spending $2.3 million opposing Republicans in numerous races. The super PAC released three news ads: "False Start" opposes Richard Tisei, the Republican candidate in Massachusetts' 6th District; "Person" opposing Randy Altschuler, the Republican candidate in New York's 1st District, and "Our Choice," supporting Bill Enyart, the Democratic candidate for U.S. House in Illinois' 12th District.

  • Women Vote!, a pro-abortion rights super PAC, reported spending $1 million opposing Republican House and Senate candidates.

  • Ending Spending Action Fund reported spending $1 million opposing Obama, former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey in Nebraska, who is running to get his old job back, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. The spending also supported Romney and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, Brown's Republican challenger.

  • American Action Network, a conservative nonprofit, released "Rail" opposing Democratic House candidate Jose Hernandez in California's 10th District, and "Spending" opposing former Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in New Hampshire's 1st District.

  • American Unity PAC, a conservative super PAC, released "Putting People Ahead of Politics," supporting Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., and "Politics Aside," supporting Andrew Roraback in Connecticut's 5th District and former wrestling executive Linda McMahon for U.S. Senate in Connecticut.

  • The 60 Plus Association, a conservative nonprofit, released "Strengthen," starring Pat Boone and opposing Obama.

  • American Future Fund, a conservative nonprofit, released four new ads: "Reno Gazette-Journal Endorsement" and "Orlando Sentinel Endorsement" oppose Obama, "Paper" opposes Rep. Tammy Baldwin, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin; and "Raises" opposes Democratic California Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, running for U.S. House in the state's 26th District. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+11 # cordleycoit 2012-10-27 22:50
Where does the boot they put on on our throats came from. Big oil. We recognize humanities arch emery fossil fuel companies. The buy the police and Congress with money we foolishly put in our cars to get to work to make the money to give the Oil czars so we can get to work.
Time for a change folks.
+1 # kelly 2012-10-28 11:17
Let's put this in true perspective. I did a little digging of my own, and here's something I found:
The president has the ability to draft legislation and present it to Congress as a vote. Most notably, President George W. Bush asked congress to take a look at his economic stimulus plan. He claims it would give businesses tax credits and bailouts in order to help them pay off creditors, and prevent them from laying off thousands of workers. However, under the original draft, passed by the house, large amounts ended up in the hands of the very few, namely those who donated substantial funds to the president and republican party. For example, Chevron Texaco has given the Republican Party more than $5.2m but under Bush's stimulus they were set to receive more than $572m in the form of a retroactive tax cut. There are others involved, too many to list...Enron, G.E., you get the point.
+2 # HowardMH 2012-10-29 08:57
Until there are two hundred thousand really, really pissed off people at the Capital (all at the same time) raising some serious hell absolutely nothing is ever, ever going to happen to these totally bought and paid for by the richest 50 people in the world that are becoming more and more powerful with each passing rigged election thanks to the stupid people.

Republicans and Democrats be damned. It is really all about the really Stupid People in the US that elect the Politicians.
+10 # fdawei 2012-10-27 22:54
These oil-clowns continue to donate to the climate deniers, while we just witnessed a 7.7 earthquake off the west coast of Canada all the way to Silka Alaska, and the hurricane of the century about to rip into the east coast of the United States.

What kind of poeple are these that continue to ruin the land for profit and those who accept their filthy lucre to continue their rape of the planet.

But God doesn't mind the plant being raped because there's oil there anyway.
+8 # m... 2012-10-27 23:23
Seems that organizations like OWS and others could and should loudly and broadly publish lists of Giant Corporations that give HUGE SUM$ to efforts which many millions of Americans now view as a highly corrupting force in OUR Government.
We get to vote in elections every 2,4 years... We get to vote with our shrinking Pocket Books every day...!!!
With things the way they are and have been, it may be the only way to fight back against the 5 CorpoHacktavist a SCOTUSes who delivered unto ALL of us the Citizen's United Decision---> We the People actually become 'CITIZENS UNITED' against CORPORATE PROFITS which Fund the further degradation of Our Democratic Republic and the RIGHTS of REAL PERSONS and REAL CITIZENS by simply, openly and loudly refusing to spend our money into such Corporate Entities which use and abuse our Democratic Process by corrupting it with overwhelming mountains of 'Corpo-$peech' ....
To me, such Corporate Activity represents a corruptible MISUSE of OUR Democratic Process which I personally view as a direct attack on MY RIGHTS as a REAL PERSON and REAL CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
+11 # MindDoc 2012-10-27 23:44
And not a word about the role of Condee Rice? Gee, I've seen her on TV glowing in the light of her new golf club membership, but not much else. But I do remember, even if this reporter doesn't. Chevron = Rice/Bush/Chene y et al, buddies...

How quick we forget...
+4 # Virginia 2012-10-28 11:52
That's because no one has reminded them in the last 4 years how bad the Bush years really were. The economy was on the Titanic from 2003-2008. There just weren't enough life boats and the rescue is way too late.
+7 # grouchy 2012-10-28 01:27
2.5 million? I wonder just what kind of a return they expect to get on each of these dollars invested! 4 times ? 5 times ? Even more times? This figure is, I think, actually known!

I'm betting I couldn't come even close to getting that kind of a return on my money in any known investing way possible!
+10 # postpen 2012-10-28 03:28
How can we show our disapproval of Chevron's interference in US elections?
Is there any way to boycott gas refined by Chevron?
Clearly this has to do with the conversion of small American farms to fracking sites, with huge costs for us all.
Chevron will have a lot of work to do on public opinion once this is known.
Ditto Sheldon Adelson's casinos in Las Vegas. His casinos in Macau are out of reach for us.
Problem for the informed public is that these vast contributions will generate last-minute lies about Obama in an advertising drench . . .
These attempts to take over the election process may be legal because of the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" decision to allow unlimited corporate and anonymous contributions, but they are not ethical.
Chevron can never make up for this moral gaffe.
And if we are left with MoronRomney as president, we all will suffer. Nuclear bomb on Iran, end of access to medical insurance, private companies raiding our Social Security contributions, and certainly a return to the surveillance of the Bush years. Even Wall Street will not be happy as the center of financial power moves out of the U.S. exchanges itself.
And Chevron is risking all this so that it can continue its expansion of fracking, fracturing the deep earth and then pushing any kind of oil out with toxic liquids. The permanent ruin of small communities and the land itself.
+9 # 2012-10-28 06:09
Chevron will not get anymore business from my family.
+9 # bbaldwin 2012-10-28 06:33
I hope I live long enough to see 1) All oil companies closed for lack of need 2)This country on renewable energy and 3) finally outlawing this huge flood of money from deep pockets flowing into the hands of political operatives. It is a disgrace
+11 # RMDC 2012-10-28 07:15
Bribery. The whole Washington regime runs on Bribery. Chevron will now be allowed to send its lobbiests to write the next legislation effecting oil companies.

I think most americans know that Bribery has now taken control of their government. There isn't anything they can do about it. The media is similarly bribed so they never use the word at all.

America is in decline. The most corrupt people on earth have seized control of all public institutions. They are using them to destroy the environment, loot the economy, and drive the population into poverty. The final step will be the looting of social security and medicare. Let's see how long after the dust of the elections settles before the newly sworn in president "tackles the problem" of social security and medicare. Of course, there is no problem with these programs. They are fully funded for many years. Other government agencies like the Pentagon and its wars are not funded at all. Why not tackle those? It is the Bribery that determines what the president will tackle.
+8 # Trueblue Democrat 2012-10-28 07:25
Evey time I see a Chevron station, I will pull up to a pump. Fiddle around as long as I can getting out of the car, clean the windshield and windows all around, insert the wrong card in the pay at the pump (library card, city bus pass, ATM card, whatever). Finally I will get a credit card in the machine but forget my passcode if I'm using debit or my zip code if it's a credit card. Take as much time as I can, but at length go ahead, get it all set up correctly and PUMP JUST TWO CENTS WORTH. Request a receipt. Take a while getting the receipt from the machine, getting back in my car, starting the engine and slow as molasses leaving the station. This I will try to do at the station's busiest time of the day.
+2 # MidwestTom 2012-10-28 07:48
Maybe we should collectively put those big oil companies in their place and start riding horses. Just stop using airplanes, cars, and electricity, and those bad guys go out of business.
+3 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-10-28 08:43
& who is surprised at this vile Vanity Fair & its firesale of liberty & democracy?
+4 # in deo veritas 2012-10-28 08:54
Will the rest of the world shed a tear when we self-destruct? No way in hell. Theyu will breath a great sigh of relief. They will then rely onthemselves and not us for foreign aid. They will live by their own ethics and beliefs not those forced upon them by the most hypocritical gang of thieves in history. That will be the future if the people of this country do not as a people root out the corruption in this country by means available to them-first of all by ballot. If not then it will be a test to see if we have the guts to follow in the footsteps of our founding fathers, who I am certain would not have risked their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor could they have seen what a mockery we have made of what they stood for. Sadly, Mr.Lincoln did not realize when he made his Gettysburg Address that his government of, by, and for the people had already perished from this country thanks to the war profiteers. The war that took over 600,000 lives in battle simply turned over the country to the robber barons whose descendants we must deal with today. Why do we celebrate this tragedy?
+2 # Big Jake 2012-10-28 09:05
Our entire nation is under attack. Not many democrats have been willing to stand up to this. If it continues, is there much question where this will lead us?
Since the Goldwater defeat, the elites have organized and patiently moved the ball down the field. They have been in control since Reagan and that surely includes Clinton. Many of us had hoped that Obama would turn the tide. He has not. Perhaps the crippling blows from the republicans have blocked any effective change--maybe. It does not seem that we have had enough yet. If we fail to value our heritage and the unique system that we have, perhaps we don't deserve it. Time will tell.
+4 # Corvette-Bob 2012-10-28 09:48
In the name of profits, Corporate America, which is really Corporate World, would do anything to earn a buck. How about an ad campaign that says, "Clean Coal." How is that for an immoral ad. Or how about, telling people that global warming is a lie. Or how about the Koch brothers spending millions so that they do not need to put scrubbers on their smokestacks so that they will be free to spew mercury, lead, arsenic into the atmospher to poison our children so that the rich can buy another vacation home and a new Bentley for thier grandchild while at the same time poisoning that same child. Money corrupts and greed knows no boundries or limitations.
+1 # Cassandra2012 2012-10-28 14:10
Is the Rombot really the anti-Christ ?? .... who doesn't know where Iran is? (in relation to the sea , or Syria, or the world?) ready to send OTHER PEOPLE'S SONS AND DAUGHTERS INTO WWIII? [or Armageddon?] After all,the "land of the Medes" of the prophecy is really Iran... , while his own sons do not even give elite service to the COUNTRY (rather than just the Mormon church, or their father or the Repug PARTY. Not ONE of them went to the USNA, or West Point or the Air Force Acad. And Romney the Robot dodged the Vietnam draft)(not because of moral objections to the war (which would have been understandable) but because he went to do 'missionary' work in FRANCE!!!! REPULSIVE AND UNPATRIOTIC! MITT IS UNFIT to be president.
+3 # Philso 2012-10-28 10:10
Let's face it, folks, if the Republicans get elected, two negatives will come into play that will influence our country for years to come : a coerced election process (they now have an effective formula) and corporations will run the show through our elected officials. The only solution is to ban private gifts 100% to all members of Congress.
+4 # reiverpacific 2012-10-28 10:24
Thanks SCOTUS for Citizens United and again, only in America (or a Banana Republic).
And of course Twit is their front-ghost: he poured forth his energy plan at the last "debate" which could be summed up as "Drill, baby, drill" -everywhere, everything, everyhow, pollution not even addressed (nor was it challenged by Obama at the recent spectacle but I'm pretty sure he'd be at least aware of the consequences and try to address them in some way).
This is the same reckless attitude to everything including the military and attacking Iran, shootin' from the hip and damn the consequences, without considering the impact on the planet, future generations and blowback, which distinguishes the current crop of Rethugs, and as exemplified to nicety by the Dimits crowd. No wonder the extractive polluters and military behemoth-servin g beltway-dominat ing lobbyist inflicting corporate bosses want Twit.
OK, now some of you can pour out your "More lefty than thou" rhetoric against Obama -much good it'll do you. You are stuck with one or the other for now but one will listen to you a bit and the other will screw you from day one and alienate the US from it's allies -except Nutty-yahoo's LIKUD Israel and the rest of the world more than even Cheney and Co. did.
My prediction and opinions only of course as a foreign resident taxpayer but there y'be.
+2 # Vardoz 2012-10-28 11:19
Citizens United is one of the most destructive rulings that this nation has ever seen but perhaps enough people will not be fooled by ads. It is clear that those on the Supreme Court interestd in implimenting this coup. They are not fit for the office they hold. Obama knows where this money is coming from and he should let the people know.

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