Monday, September 11, 2006

Pryce and Republicans Get Big Money From Oil Companies

An interesting article called "The Oil Industry Lubricates Congress" shows that oil companies are pouring money to Republicans to get favorable treatment in Congress. Here are some excerpts from the article:

...ExxonMobil Corp.'s July announcement that it saw a 36 percent increase in profits over the same time last year instigated Virginia Democrat James Webb, a candidate for U.S. Senate, to demand that his opponent, Republican incumbent Sen. George Allen, return the $800,000 he received in campaign contributions from oil and energy companies since 2000. According to the Center, more than $290,000 of that came directly from the oil and gas industry....

...The liberal political group launched national television advertisements in April as part of its "Oil-Free Congress" campaign, targeting four Republicans for taking contributions from the industry and for opposing bills that Democrats argue would have kept "Big Oil" in check. The ads, which ran in the lawmakers' respective states, said the four wer "caught
red-handed" accepting money from energy companies. They compare Reps. Deborah Pryce (Ohio), Chris Chocola (Ind.), Nancy Johnson (Conn.) and Thelma Drake (Va.) to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The images from the "caught red-handed" ads just stay in your head.
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Here are some excerpts from a Houston Chronicle article describing voter discontent. Republican Pryce's re-election problems are mentioned:

...Seniority may not guarantee re-election, as several top House Republicans find themselves in peril this year, including Ohio Rep. Deborah Pryce, who ranks fourth in the House GOP leadership and is in charge of fashioning the party message.

The seven-term congresswoman has been comfortably re-elected in the past but faces a strong headwind this year in a state where the manufacturing sector is in the dumps and top state Republicans, including the current governor, have been ensnared in corruption scandals.

Pryce's Columbus-area district has become more Democratic.

Bush narrowly defeated Democrat John Kerry there in 2004. Her Democratic opponent, Franklin County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy, has accused Pryce of pushing the unsuccessful GOP proposal to create private Social Security accounts....

A story found by Raw Story and reported by Reuters shows that Bush still intends to tinker with Social Security after the midterm election. Here is a bit of the article:

President George W. Bush hopes to revive his plan to overhaul the U.S. Social Security retirement program if his Republican party keeps control of the Congress in the November midterm elections, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

Despite polls suggesting Democrats have their best chance in years to regain control of the House of Representatives, Bush told the newspaper in an interview he was confident a power shift was "not going to happen."

"I just don't believe it," he said, adding that if Republicans prevail at the polls, next year might be a good time to reintroduce the effort to reshape Social Security because he could "drain the politics out of the issue."

I think it is just his way of draining the money out of Social Security to pay for his war in Iraq. If people re-elect Pryce, then Bush will get what he wants out of Social Security.

The New York Times still rates Ohio's 15th congressional distict as a toss-up.