When Americans vote for congressional representatives, they assume their interests are well-represented and take precedence over special interest groups and lobbyists. The potential for legislators’ conflict of interest and vote-selling will never disappear until corporate campaign contributions are brought under control and it reminds concerned citizens why campaign finance reforms are desperately needed to restore a semblance of democracy to government. America’s political system is polluted by the enormous amount of corporate and special interest money paid to legislators for their favorable votes, and the Citizens United decision has magnified the problem exponentially. However, the recent Keystone XL pipeline controversy exposed House speaker John Boehner’s related problem of actively promoting an agenda that benefits him financially apart from selling his votes to special interests.
Boehner has a history of selling votes on the floor of the House to financially benefit corporations, so it is not shocking that he has a conflict of interest in executing his job as a legislator and especially Speaker of the House. Revelations this past week from his financial disclosure forms that John Boehner invested $10,000 to $50,000 each in seven firms that had a stake in Canada’s oil sands should raise red flags for the House Oversight Committee; especially in light of Boehner’s push to grant a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline ahead of the State Department and EPA studies and reports and the millions big oil spent to hasten its construction. To make matters worse, after President Obama denied TransCanada’s permit to build the pipeline, Boehner’s spokesman lied about the number of jobs the President killed. One thing is certain; Boehner would profit from the Keystone pipeline. Profiting politically by selling votes and influence is a career-long habit of Speaker Boehner
In June 1995, Boehner handed out checks from the political action committee of tobacco company Brown & Williamson Corp. to fellow Republicans on the floor of the House. The payments to “about half-a-dozen” Republican legislators prior to a vote on discontinuing subsidies to the cigarette industry were rewarded when Republicans killed the bill. Boehner’s excuse for using the House chamber to pay legislators for favorable votes was that it was common and that the tobacco company told him to do it; so “I complied.” Boehner went on to demand spending cuts that explain his penchant for hypocrisy. Not much has changed. Republicans killed efforts to eliminate oil industry subsidies in the past year and not surprisingly, they are the largest recipients of oil industry campaign contributions.
It is not illegal to accept contributions from the oil industry, and indeed, Democrats receive about one-third as much oil money as Republicans, but besides taking less cash, there is a stark difference. Republicans take approximately three times as much from big oil because they vote in favor of the oil industry 100% of the time. Last May, the GOP blocked a bill to repeal subsidies for the five most profitable oil companies at the same time they floated the idea of eliminating Medicare and recommended eliminating mortgage interest deductions for working Americans. The forty-eight senators who voted with the oil industry received more than $21 million in career oil contributions. Each senator who opposed eliminating the oil subsidies received an average of 5 times as much cash as those who voted to eliminate the free taxpayer dollars flowing to the oil industry. This is an important point. Taking campaign contributions and voting for the donor’s interest 100% of the time is selling votes.
John Boehner’s investments in Canada’s tar sand oil companies and lying to the American people about the fallacious number of jobs the Keystone pipeline would create should be a criminal case of conflict of interest. Of course there is no law against Boehner’s unethical activities, but he should be investigated by the House Oversight Committee for conflict of interest and lying to the American people for personal gain, as well as pandering for future foreign oil company campaign donations. It is unlikely, though, that the Republican chairman, Darrel Issa, himself a convicted criminal will lift a finger to hold Boehner accountable.
The Republicans in Congress are the reason campaign finance reform will never move forward and the American people are the losers. Yes, Democrats also take oil industry and other special interest money, but only three Democrats voted to keep oil subsidies. Also, there is absolutely nothing wrong with John Boehner investing his taxpayer-funded salary in Canada’s tar sands oil companies, but there are ethical questions about his lying and push to build the Keystone XL pipeline that would give him a better return on his investments if it is built. The truth is, regardless of the legislator’s party affiliation, it is unfair to the American people to invest in, or sell votes to any special interest whether it is the tobacco or oil industry and then vote for personal or political profit. Unfortunately, America’s political system will stay polluted by corporate money and influence as long as Republicans fail to do the job they were elected to do; work for the interests of all the American people. Perhaps it is better to let Speaker Boehner’s words on the floor of the House make the point; “Shame on each and every one of you who substitutes your will and your desires above those of your fellow countrymen.” Well said Mr. Speaker, well said indeed; you hypocrite.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.
17 Replies to “Corrupt John Boehner Invested In Oil Companies Then Pushed Keystone XL”
This may just ensure that Reid will not allow this to go to the floor, and gives Obama more ammo to veto it if it does. Boner needs to go. To jail.
The Boehner at the very least needs to step down over his investments in the Pipeline, then his lying about 100,000 jobs that it would create
Would now be an appropriate time to use the term ‘corporate whore’?
Boehner should step down. This is a million times worse than Anthony Weiner. If it was Harry Ried the House and the GOP would be going insane.
The laws need to be changed for insider trading and Bopehner needs to be investigated immediately. Doing nothing to him will further expose Issa and the GOP for what it is
When has the term not been appropriate for members of Congress?
The problem is that the rules are made by the people who directly benefit from the status quo.
Yeah I know. Comgressmen can get away with what would put bankers in prison. Its wrong. Another job for Occupy and the American people
Or is he the pimp? Selling America as a whore to the johns the oil companies and taking a cut? Does boehner think the us is a whore? Obviously he doesn’t see america like we do.
Oh Im gonna use that in a tweet!
yep.. remember abscam, over a generation ago, and has not happened since (an FBI congressional influence invetigation for those to young)
“Shame on each and every one of you REPUBLICANS who substitutes your will and your desires above those of your fellow countrymen.”
Take back the House 2012 – Madam Speaker Pelosi
True. Maybe it’s time for another ‘come to Jesus’ investigation.
This is different when then Speaker Pelosi gave her husband on the Visa credit card bill inside info. They made millions off that information, but I guess that is different, she’s a Democrat and it’s ok.
Do you have anything else you want to bring in? Perhaps some dirt on Pericles, John Quincy Adams perhaps? Was the author supposed to come up with oppsing dirt to make you happy?
Or are you telling us you approve of what Boehner is doing pushing something that will make him large sums of money and lying about the project to boot?
Look at you immoral Republicans. The best you can do is point at some other person and name their crimes, and then try to RATIONALIZE your own pathetic criminals. “It’s not my fault, HE DID IT FIRST.” Listen to your amoral, devil worshiping, crime rationalizing self.
Based on this “theory” of action, I should feel okay about cheating on my wife, because “Newt did it.” Please, go crawl under whatever rock your racist, immoral hell worshiping soul came out from under.
Wow. Chill out, dude. Bad vibes produce CO2.
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