Friday, July 16, 2010

Bennet Gesture Termed Cynical, Empty; Candidate's 'Generosity Problem' Revived

Today, Bill Romjue, campaign manager for U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff issued the following statement:

Sen. Bennet campaign's Thursday announcement that it had given the $1000 contribution it had received from British Petroleum's PAC to charity is a laughable, cynical, empty gesture meant to mislead Colorado voters.

Only Sen. Blanche Lincoln among all Democratic senators on the ballot this year has received more money from the oil and gas industry than Bennet. On June 15, 2010, the rubber met the road with Congress and Big Oil, and on that day Michael Bennet sided with Big Oil, voting to let BP and the other oil giants retain $35 billion in federal tax breaks.

Perhaps Sen. Bennet saw this as a "twofer"; donating the money to charity instead of returning it to BP would remove the risk of offending the oil giant and in some small way might address his embarrassing "generosity problem". According to his own tax returns, in 2003 and 2004, Bennet gave only $2,534 to charity on a total income of $11,800,000 that he earned as a mergers and acquisitions man for corporate raider Philip Anschutz.

About Andrew Romanoff:
Elected to four terms in the Colorado legislature, Andrew Romanoff was Speaker of the House from 2005 to 2009. He led the Democrats to their first back-to-back majorities in more than 40 years. His leadership earned national recognition, including Governing magazine's top honor as Public Official of the Year.