“Big Oil Bob” Is Back In Watchdog’s Latest Ad

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Washington, D.C. – Campaign Money Watch, a nonpartisan campaign finance reform watchdog, today released a new ad highlighting U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer’s (R-CO) involvement in an oil deal that Iraq war veterans have called “war profiteering,” as well as his support for $13 billion in tax breaks for his Big Oil donors.


The ad, now airing in the Denver market, is the group’s second of this month and third of the 2008 election cycle. Last week, Campaign Money Watch launched an ad detailing Schaffer’s ties to jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the sweatshop owners who have given him thousands in campaign contributions.


The new ad, titled “Deal,” spotlights an oil contract that Schaffer, while working for Denver-based Aspect Energy, helped negotiate in Iraqi Kurdistan even though the U.S. State Department, according to a Rocky Mountain News report, said it could be “problematic for Iraq and its attempts to establish a national oil policy.” A leader of a national veterans organization said Schaffer’s work on the deal made him “a war profiteer – 100 percent.”


The ad airs as a controversial group with connections to the Kurdistan government, MAF Freedom PAC, plans to endorse Bob Schaffer on Wednesday. The group’s members toured Kurdistan at virtually the same time Schaffer was trying to cut Aspect Energy’s deal with the regional government. The group’s lead strategist is a principal of a political consulting firm in Washington that led public relations and lobbying campaigns on Kurdistan’s behalf since 2005.


As the ad documents, Schaffer’s ties to the oil industry extend back to his time in Congress. While in office, he voted to give Big Oil $13 billion in tax breaks. Meanwhile, he has been on the receiving end of $224,000 in campaign contributions from the industry.


Video of this ad and of others Campaign Money Watch has aired in Colorado can be viewed at http://www.campaignmoney.org/schaffer. Validation of its contents is available at http://www.campaignmoney.org/files/SchafferOilAdValidation.pdf.


“No matter where he works, Bob Schaffer can’t seem to put anything above the interests of Big Oil, not even national security,” said David Donnelly, director of Campaign Money Watch. “Whether the oil industry is paying Schaffer’s salary or filling his campaign war chest, he does exactly what it asks. It’s time for Schaffer to put voters first, reject the wishes of Big Oil, and embrace comprehensive campaign finance reform.”


Campaign Money Watch is a project of the nonpartisan Public Campaign Action Fund. The organization works to hold politicians who are against comprehensive campaign finance reform accountable for where they get their political donations.