June 30, 2010

For BP, “no political contributions” doesn’t mean no political contributions

By CREW Staff

Just because BP has a corporate policy that states "no political contributions" doesn't mean BP doesn't make political contributions. The company does:

BP, the global energy corporation whose massive oil spill is fouling huge swaths of the Gulf of Mexico, proclaims in its corporate code of conduct that it will "make no political contributions, whether in cash or in kind, anywhere in the world."

But BP North America -- the energy giant's U.S. subsidiary -- has donated at least $4.8 million in corporate contributions over the past seven years to political groups, partisan organizations and campaigns for federal and state elections, an analysis of campaign and tax records shows.

Its most generous corporate contributions -- totaling about $4 million -- have gone to two Republican-aligned political action groups working to defeat state ballot initiatives in California and Colorado that could have raised oil and gas industry taxes, according to an analysis of state campaign reports by the Center for Political Accountability. On the national scene, BP spent about $112,000 in corporate money to boost the coffers of Democratic and Republican organizations seeking to elect candidates to higher office, primarily the Democratic Governors Association and the Republican State Leadership Committee.

And, BP's spokesperson provides an "explanation" that would make any DC spinmeister proud:

"The types of spending that we reported here fit within our policy," BP spokesman Scott Dean said. "Our policy on not making corporate political contributions relates to candidates for political office at the state and federal level."

Got that? See, "no political contributions" doesn't really mean no political contributions.


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