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Jun. 17 2010 - 4:27 pm | 239 views | 0 recommendations | 5 comments

How much money will Joe Barton raise off his apology to BP?


Image by aresauburn™ via Flickr

So we know that BP is putting $20 billion is an escrow account to help those hurt by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and that Texas Rep. Joe Barton dismissed the fund as a “shakedown” on the part of the Obama administration.

But what we don’t know yet is how much money the right-wing fringe will give him for saying it. In spite of whatever apology he issued for his ‘apology’ to BP, and in spite of whatever calumny he’s getting from fellow Republicans.

After all, this has been the year of Members of Congress saying and doing the indefensible, and getting rewarded for it.

Rep. Joe Wilson shattered any sense of civility and decorum on the floor of Congress during President Obama’s address on health care, shouting “you lie” in response to the argument that the Obamacare wouldn’t cover illegal immigrants. He was admonished by a bipartisan collection of his colleagues, but he was rewarded with more than a million dollars in campaign donations from Republican partisan around the nation.

And then Rep. Randy Neugebauer, a Texas Republican like Barton, disrupted a speech by Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak on the floor of Congress shouting that the health care bill was ‘a baby killer.’ After apologizing to Stupak, he proceeded to effectively take-back his apology, and then raised a serious quantity of coin on his own.

Dave Weigel showed at the Washington Post that Barton simply said clumsily what the far right core of the GOP’s base believes. Just look at this discussion thread at conservative message board Free Republic if you don’t believe me. And the Congressman himself even said he had no plans to step down as ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee:

Barton, headed into Minority Leader John Boehner’s office, said calls for his resignation are “news to me.”

Asked whether he planned to stay put as top Republican on the committee, he declared “Damn straight.”

So get ready for far right conservatives to rally to Barton’s defense, and the congressman to walk away from his act of insensitivity with his conscience light and his campaign war chest heavier.


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  1. collapse expand

    This from OpenSecrets.org:

    Industries contributing to Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC
    Congressman Joe Barton 2009 – 2010:
    Energy & Natural Resources $411,630

    And this:

    “Individuals or PACs associated with the oil and gas industry as a whole have been Barton’s biggest patron since he entered Congress, donating more than $1,448,380 since the 1990 election cycle. The figure puts him at No. 1 among all House members for donations from the industry, fifth among members of Congress and fourth among active members of Congress.”

    One has to wonder why a congressman, who has never garnered less than %62 of the general election vote, needs this amount of campaign finance.

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