July 13, 2010

DPW Chair Mike Tate Calls on Ron Johnson (R-BP) to Divest From Big Oil Interests and Support Compensation Fund for Gulf Oil Spill Victims

DPW Launches Petition to Have Ron Johnson Put His Money Where His Mouth Isn’t

MADISON — Following revelations over the weekend in the media that millionaire Senate Candidate Ron Johnson delayed for more than a month the release of his financial interests to hide investments in as much as $315,000 of BP and $50,000 to $101,000 in Exxon Mobil Corp. and $15,000 to $50,000 in Occidental Petroleum Corp, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate called on Johnson to divest his Big Oil interests and support the BP Victims’ Compensation Fund.

“Ron Johnson has been cheerleading for Big Oil on the campaign trail, saying that now isn’t the time to be beating up on oil companies,” said Tate. “In each and every case he didn’t say one word about the hundreds of thousands of dollars he had invested in BP and Big Oil. That doesn’t pass the smell test.”

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is also launching a petition drive on its Web site for voters to sign petitions urging Johnson to sell the BP stock he hid from the public and use it to support the BP Victims’ Compensation Fund. Viewers can also watch a slideshow highlighting Ron Johnson’s defense of Big Oil on the campaign trail, and download a copy of the slideshow for posting on their personal blogs.

Ron Johnson's Defense of Big Oil:

Before the BP oil spill in the Gulf, Johnson said in a March 21, 2010, speech that, “Big Pharma and Big Oil are not evil.” [Speech at Winnebago County Republican Party, Oshkosh, March 21, 2010]
 
Johnson said, “[T]he first thing that came to my mind,” when he heard about the BP oil spill, was to support oil drilling in national wildlife areas, saying: “Wouldn’t it be far better if we were drilling in ANWR?” [The Ed Morrissey Show: Ron Johnson, 6/2/2010]
 
Johnson also came to the defense of Big Oil, telling national right-wing talk radio host Ed Morrissey, “This is not the time to be beating up on those guys, quite honestly.” [The Ed Morrissey Show: Ron Johnson, 6/2/2010]
In the wake of the worst oil spill in U.S. history, the AP reported: “When asked whether the Gulf spill should prompt more caution before undertaking new oil-drilling projects, Johnson said no.” [“Johnson, Westlake Want Oil Drilling In Alaska,” Associated Press, 6/5/2010]
 
One month ago, Johnson was asked by the media, "Would you support drilling like in the Great Lakes, for example, if there was oil found there?" Johnson said, “Yeah. You know, the bottom line is that we are an oil-based economy. There’s nothing we’re going to do to get off of that for many, many years, so I think we have to just be realistic and recognize that fact. And I think we have to get the oil where it is…”[WisPolitics, Interview, 6/14/10]
 
Johnson opposes the BP compensation fund for the victims of the Gulf oil spill. As reported by the Capital Times: "Johnson climbed in bed with BP. The wealthy candidate derided the Obama administration's efforts to get money to pay for claims that are all but certain to exceed $20 billion ‘very troubling.’"[Capital Times, 6/22/2010]
After delaying the release of his financial interests, the media revealed that Johnson has as much as $315,000 of investments with BP and $50,001 to $100,000 in Exxon Mobil Corp., and $15,001 to $50,000 in Occidental Petroleum Corp. [Associated Press, 7/10/2010]
 
The Huffington Post recently reported: “At the same time he’s been a vocal advocate for continued and even accelerated oil and gas exploration, going so far as to express an openness to drilling in the Great Lakes. ‘The bottom line is we are an oil-based economy,’ he told the site WisPolitics in mid-June, when asked about drilling in the Great Lakes. ‘There's nothing we're gonna do to get off of that for many, many years. I think we have to be realistic and recognize that fact and, you know, I, I think we have to, get the oil where it is.’” [Huffington Post, 7/12/2010]