Bachmann slams Obama on BP, so we follow the money

deepwater horizon fire.jpg
Photo: USCG/Flickr
Deepwater Horizon's fiery demise
Rep. Michele Bachmann got her crazy on again this week, lobbing a factually-challenged verbal assault on the president for persuading BP to establish a $20 billion independent escrow account to administer claims against the oil giant for its destruction in the Gulf of Mexico.

In brief: Bachmann insisted we feel pity for BP.

So we wondered, is she in the pocket of Big Oil? It's true, according to FEC records parsed by, that she's received $71,450 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry during her congressional career. But that's less than half of the $129,905 pulled in by Rep. John Kline, another Obama critic.

And in fact, every member of the Minnesota congressional delegation has received contributions from oil gas during their congressional career. Here's the breakdown, with links to sources:

Claiming any kind of causal relationship between donations is problematic at best; it's probably fair to say that businesses wouldn't donate to politicians if they didn't expect something in return, however.

To be fair to all these Minnesotans, the contributions they get from the oil and gas industry are chump change compared to the largess heaped on Texas GOP Rep. Joe Barton, who has received $116,970 from the oil and gas industry in the 2010 cycle alone. Over the course of his career his campaigns have banked $1,448,380 from oil and gas.

Just to be sure that Americans understood who he's representing in Congress, Barton apologized to BP (later retracted) for the White House insisting it set up that escrow account.

BP, apparently with a better grip on reality, sided with the president on that one.

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