Votes, Voices. Investments.

Now don’t worry, I wouldn’t ask you to listen to the whole podcast, but if you listen to the first few minutes of the following from Virginia Foxx’s interview on “Focus on the Foothills” on Christian Radio Station 3WC on April 3rd 2008.

Representative Foxx is obviously extremely pro drilling for oil. Why? Is it really just an ideological differentiation? Is there merit to the idea of drilling in ANWR? Will drilling for oil in our own country reduce our dependence on foreign oil? Perhaps her ideology is based on something that is a bit closer to home. Her pocketbook.

According to financial disclosure records, Foxx has owned between $15,001 and $50,000 of stock in Chevron Corporation since 2004. She has also accepted campaign contributions from the Petroleum Marketers Association of America as well as Exxon Mobil.

Roy J. Carter, who is facing Foxx this November, had this to say when questioned about Foxx’s personal and political ties to big oil:

“Under normal circumstances, investing in an oil company is a person’s prerogative, but when an elected official directly profits from the oil industry and then gets on her soapbox to protest against the unfairness of high gas prices, it just rings untrue and is remarkably hypocritical. Until she sells her shares in Chevron, I don’t think anyone should take my opponent seriously. While gas prices rise, cost of prescription drugs climb, and health insurance remains unaffordable, my opponent continues to show her unending support for the Bush administration and the companies that profit off of the backs of hard working North Carolinians. I call upon my opponent to join my pledge not to accept money from big oil, pharmaceutical, or health insurance companies. I further demand that she sell her stock in Chevron and give back every dime that she has accepted from those corporations. Congress is elected to represent the people, not big oil. Accepting this kind of PAC money is a betrayal to the hard working people of the fifth district. My opponent has demonstrated by her voice, vote, investments and associations that she stands for big oil and record profits at the expense of everyday Americans. I do not. We won’t see real change in our gas prices until we invest in alternative energies and get the oil folks out of Washington.”

Foxx lists on her personal financial record investments in the Transamerica Annuity whose top 10 holdings include:
• Exxon Mobil Corp
• AT&T Inc
• Bank Of America Corp.
• American International Group, Inc
• J P Morgan Chase & Co
• Chevron Corp.
• Pfizer, Inc
• General Electric Co
• Citigroup Inc
• Conoco Phillips

Her personal stock holdings in Chevron, Bristol Myers Squibb, GE, Bank Of America, Hartford, Microsoft, Walgreen’s, Wachovia and Proctor & Gamble seem to be just the tip of the iceberg when one glances at the corporations that are involved in the mutual funds she’s invested in.

The interesting fact is that not only is Foxx personally invested in these companies, they all either donate directly to her or to the PACs that donate to her. I imagine it must be difficult to serve the hard working people of her district and the interests of these large oil, pharmaceutical, insurance and banking corporations. I guess it is obvious why she would co-sponsor the American Energy Independence and Price Reduction Act, the question that remains is not whether or not she will gain personal profit off bills like these but exactly how much she’ll make.


Great Post

Foxx has been more concerned with lining her pockets than serving the fifth district since she got to Washington. She has failed as a representative.

Well, there's the Foxx spin on Gas Prices.

Good to know that the "Pelosi Premium" is going to be her meme.

"Fill 'er up Foxx" might sound good coming out of Roy's in:

"Fill 'er up Foxx looks at those record high gas prices a little differently than you or I do. Every time you empty your wallet at the gas station this summer, Virginia Foxx opens her purse and says:

"Fill er up!"

Now batting in the Clean up Spot! Boomer Frank Eaton

My 33% success rating speaks for itself* Frank Eaton

In Baseball! That would be 333.% with a amazing high price contract to go with the batting average. However, In political approval rating, that is only 5 points above George Bush by the American public.

I am still very, very inexpensive*Frank Eaton

What you do with your personal life is nobody business?

Paint the picture carefully

This is a very good post, but if you don't me suggesting, you should clearly draw out the "three sides" of the issue that Foxx is currently playing (because those three sides aren't necessarily in conflict until they are all together):

  • Foxx has an investment in these companies. By itself, that's not uncommon. Most likely, a significant portion of her investment is in mutual funds, which represent a diverse portfolio of companies. NC's state pension fund, for example, is invested in many of the same companies. I'm not saying it's a good thing or a bad thing, but those are all Fortune 500 companies. Most Americans (including progressive Democrats) have some investment, whether direct or indirect, in these same companies.
  • Foxx is influencing and advocating policy in those areas. Again, by itself, there is no problem with this. Elected officials are supposed to do that... advocacy groups are supposed to do that.
  • But, Foxx is also receiving PAC contributions to influence and advocate. Again, there is nothing wrong with that on its face. Unions have PACs. Environmental groups have PACs. Heck, BlueNC should have a PAC.

But therein lies the problem. She's playing "three sides": she's invested, she's advocating, and she's getting paid to do so (both through contributions and through dividends) all at the same time. She claims to share your pain at the pump, while she shares in the profits in the investment and while she directly enjoys the support of the oil companies.

Carter does a pretty good job of forcing her to pick one, but I'd be more explicit about her willingness to choose the profits over the people.

A Very Good Point

I don't see anything wrong with investing in mutual funds, buying stocks, people becoming successful in their investments. I am, in fact, a huge proponent of this.
I think what shocked me was going over the research and seeing that not only was she invested in these corporations, their PACs are donating to her campaign. Her mutual funds, (and true mutual funds are diversified but I've never been asked to invest in a fund without being shown the companies that have the largest holdings), are made up these same corporations.
I have no problem with corporations being successful, I have no problem with individuals maintaining their investments. What I do have a problem with is an elected official whose decisions are influenced by their personal investments. It doesn't matter to me which came first, the investment or the office, when a blatant conflict of interest arises I have to ask myself 'which master is this servant serving?

'She's playing "three sides": she's invested, she's advocating, and she's getting paid to do so (both through contributions and through dividends) all at the same time. She claims to share your pain at the pump, while she shares in the profits in the investment and while she directly enjoys the support of the oil companies.

This is exactly right, I wish I would've had the forethought to make my idea this succinct.


Note to both parties


Funny how people outside the U.S. can see the problem clearer than we can.

At some point we have to recognize that pointing the fingers of partisan politics adds nothing to this debate.

William (B.J.) Lawson
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

Double standard?

If you think receiving so many funds from corporate or special interests is bad than why aren't you attacking David Price too? This question is for not just you, but everyone here who has jumped on Virginia Foxx here for the same thing.

It sounds to me like this is a case of partisanship coming before principle. Personally, I think anyone who receives so much from corporate and special interest money is in the wrong. That includes David Price as well as Virginia Foxx.

In the case of David Price you have a guy who's been in office for 22 years (with a two year break) and in that time has managed to become quite powerful, and corrupt as well (the two, after all, do often go hand-in-hand). Yet, where's the criticism directed at him? It seems to me most of you here ignore this because, well, he's on your team. He's a Democrat.

This whole "team mentality" is one of the biggest problems facing our country today.

Where am I wrong?

Ok, two questions

1. What evidence do you have for saying that David Price is corrupt?
2. Did you pick out that username all by yourself?

Ok, wait, a third question, and a follow-up

3. What, exactly, does "fire of liberty" mean?
(Is that like when you burn a flag?)

Thank you for the questions

1. I think anyone who receives that much special interest and corporate money is automatically corrupt, especially when over have of your contributions are in the form of PAC money as is the case with Price.

Do you think that's an okay thing to be happening?

I also think his attempts to buy votes with pork projects are corrupt acts.

Do you like pork?

I also have to scratch my chin and ponder the possible connections between his support of NBAF and his top contributing industry (which might just benefit from it). It's not unlike how this post attempts to make a connection between Foxx's stock holdings and her donors and stances on issues.

Do you support NBAF? Kudos to the 4th District Democrats for passing a resolution in opposition to NBAF in spite of Price's support of it, by the way.

One more thing, I think anyone who voted for The PATRIOT Act as Price did is inherently corrupt and needs to be voted out of Congress on principle. At the very least you can argue incompetency because he, like everyone else in Congress, didn't read it before he voted for it.

What do you think? Do you not see anything wrong with Price not reading the bill before he voted for it? With the vast majority of other members of Congress (save 67 members) doing the same? Think PATRIOT Act supporters should be re-elected?

2. No. See below.

3. It's taken from a line I heard once on a radio show which was "lighting the fires of liberty one heart at a time." No, it's not like burning a flag. A flag, you see, is just a symbol of something. A representation, if you will. Therefore, the American flag, for example, is just a symbol or representation of liberty. It's what's represented that's truly important. It is for this very basic reason that I oppose a ban on flag burning (although burning a flag is not something I'd do, just not my thing), but that's another issue all together...

Thanks again for your questions and also for taking so much interest in my screen name.


Your accusation


No, I do not think that it is valid to state that someone is corrupt on the basis of his or her taking PAC money. In fact, I think you discredit yourself by calling Price corrupt on this basis.

Nor do I think it is reasonable to suggest that Price's voting for the Patriot Act renders him or anyone else "inherently" corrupt, nor do I think his voting for that idiotic bill is sufficient cause to vote him out of office. In fact, I think both suggestions are naive at best, foolish in any case.

Thank you for answering my question about your screen name. Very sweet.

You're welcome

I'm sweet like that.

I can't think of a single bill that a vote for is more inexcusable than the PATRIOT Act. It's beyond "idiotic," it's dangerous, a threat to our rights and unconstitutional.

Anyone who can vote for something like that is corrupt. They're part of a system that excuses voting for bills that are unconstitutional and part of a system that excuses voting for bills without even reading them.

A system, I might add, that needs a complete reboot which includes David Price being voted out along with almost all the rest.

For me, determining whether someone is corrupt comes down to one thing: whether or not they follow the Constitution. If they don't, they're corrupt. Accepting all of that corporate money and voting for bills like the PATRIOT Act are just symptoms of this corruption.

When members of Congress are elected they swear an oath to uphold the Constitution. If they then vote for unconstitutional bills they have broken that oath (as well as their contract with the people) and therefore have become corrupt. I don't think there's any purer basis for corruption.

Er . . . no FireofLiberty

I meant that the sentiment behind your choice of name was sweet.

I don't know whether you're sweet or not, but I don't usually factor that concern into my responses. The only person for whom I make an exception is a regular blogger on another blog whose mental faculties are so limited that I feel cruel if I don't pull my punches.

Again, notwithstanding your being "sweet" or not so, your idea that you can draw a bold line between what is or isn't "constitutional" is funny at best.

But your apparent belief in the purity of your method for determining "corruption" is not so much funny as foolish, fanatic, and otherwise f*cked up.

Thus, you're dismissed.



Bummer. I was hoping to have an intellectual and engaging conversation much like the one I've had the pleasure of having with James. Oh well, can't blame me for trying :-)

Double Standard

Once again, I don't believe this is a partisan issue. I feel very strongly that elected representatives should make decisions based on the needs of their constituents and not on personal profit. I feel like when there is enough evidence to support that a representative is profiting more personally from their ties to any industry and those ties are effecting the way that they vote, then voters have a right to know.
I think the beauty of having the members of our House of Representatives up for reelection every two years is so that we can regulate these types of issues.


Big difference between corporate and special interests

Corporate interests have profit-making as their sole objective. Pure and simple. Special interests can be much more complex. For example, I support some veteran's organizations that support candidates that will align with veteran issues. I support environmental organizations with PACs that support candidates who will watch out for our world.

You've nailed the problem.

We can't just paint all "special interests", "PACs", or even "lobbyists" with one broad brush. There are good ones, questionable ones, and some I consider downright awful. Even some profit-making corporations aren't evil. When I think of one, I will post it. :-D

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Good points

Good points from both you and Linda. I guess where I draw the line, as a Constitutionist, is special interests which make demands that are outside of what the Constitution allows for...

For instance, I'd agree with you that Veterans organizations are not bad for this reason and I am fine with taxpayer organizations like The National Taxpayers Union for the same reason. However, an organization like Family Research Council who support, among other things, federal funding for abstinence-only education I oppose (at least on that issue) because I simply can't find where funding for abstinence-only education is authorized in the Constitution (nevermind that I think abstinence-only education is a dumb and ineffective idea, but that's another issue...)

The trouble with corporate interests is they're often trying to get government funding of some kind whether it's in the form of subsidies or grants or whatever, all of which I oppose on Constitutional grounds (and for other reasons).

But let me ask you my question again in a slightly different way now that we've explained how you feel there's a big difference between corporate interests and special interests: Do you think it's perfectly acceptable that a member of Congress receive so many corporate interest contributions so long as they're not PERSONALLY profiting from them? Even if more than half of the contributions they receive are from corporate interests?

I disapprove of corporate interests and influence

without exception.


PS I really appreciate the quality of your posts, and since we're having an honest conversation, let me add this. David Price is a neighbor and a friend of mine. I know him first-hand to be ethical and above board in every regard, just as he knows I abhor the influence of corporations on public policy.

That said, the choice in our upcoming election is between him and a Republican. I also know that Republican, and I know him to be ethical and above board too. But the sad truth is, he is a Republican. And if Republicans were to gain control of Congress, the consequences for America would be nothing short of disastrous. Democrats may have their problems in the "corporate interest" department, but those problems pale in comparison to what we see from the Republican core. More to the point, a Republican majority in Congress would guarantee that the Supreme Court tilts farther to the right. A Republican majority in Congress would guarantee continued reliance on mercenary armies to fight our wars. BJ Lawson might very well be a different kind of Republican - I think he is - but he is running as part of a party that is ethically bankrupt and cannot be trusted.

I write all this as a successful businessman and as an ex-Democrat. I have no delusions about the reality of politics on both sides of the aisle, but the left side is nonetheless a hundred times more aligned with what's important to me.



Thanks and I'm enjoying our conversation. I really like having honest discussions with people. I really think that this kind of dialog is what we need a lot more of instead of people just turning the 'partisan flamethrower' on one another.

On Price, I don't know him personally so I don't have any particular personal animosity towards him. I just think he's part of the problem in Washington today. Both Democrat and Republican alike in Washington today are part of the problem and almost all of them are corrupt in one way or another, including Price. This is the non-partisan point I've seen BJ make here and elsewhere and I think he's dead on. I also think he's right when he says we need what he calls a "Congressional reboot" because again, the problem in Washington today is not isolated to just Democrats or just Republicans, it's ALL OF THEM.

(As an aside, a few of my beefs with Price include: all of his corporate donors, his vote for the PATRIOT Act, his big spending, his opposition to gun rights, his support of NBAF, his vote for the REAL ID after he voted against it, his love for pork projects, his votes in favor of bills which have provided funding for the war, etc.).

I think both parties are, as you say, ethically bankrupt and I don't think either of them can be trusted.

So what do we do? We stop thinking in partisan terms. We stop thinking in terms of parties and in terms of people. Let's look at the individuals and what they believe and their character and vote based on that, not based on what party they're in.

If people keep voting based on party our country is going to go to a place where I don't either any of us want to see it, despite what petty differences we have. It should never be about a choice between parties and the "less of two evils" between the two, it should be about a choice between INDIVIDUALS and who is best. If you vote for the "less of two evils" then guess what? You STILL get EVIL.

I don't think the question should be whether BJ is a "different kind of REPUBLICAN," I think it should be whether he's a different kind of PERSON than the people we've got "representing" us in Washington today -- a statesman rather than a politician. I KNOW he is and he's the kind of person we need a lot more of in Washington. He's the kind of person we need to FILL Washington with...

Excuse me for getting a little 'ranty' and preachy but this is something I'm just very passionate about and believe in with all my heart...

Yes ... but

(I hate it when I say that)

Here's the problem.

A Republican majority leads to chairs of committees being Republicans leads to all the problems I described above. No matter how great BJ Lawson (the person), a ton of baggage comes with him that he can't throw off no matter how hard he tries. That's the tough reality.

All that said, I consider David Price a statesman - and a person who has done much more good than harm in Congress. By a wide margin. I can't say that about any Republican Congress person in North Carolina.

See below...

James, see my comment below ;-) You don't have to worry about BJ being elected triggering a Republican majority...

On Price, the reason I don't consider him a statesman is he's too much of a politician, mainly because he has one of the biggest M.O.'s of politicians: taking tons of corporate and special interest money. Over half of his campaign donations, according to Open Secrets, come from corporate and special interests. As we've discussed, special interests aren't all bad. They're a mixed bag. Corporate interests, on the other hand, are.

One more thing...

If you're worried that BJ being elected to Congress could swing the majority to the Republicans you can relax because the Democrats are going to rack up seats this year and absolutely dominate in this election cycle. You're going to see many new Democrats elected to Congress, including a couple who I won't mind replacing the much worse Republican incumbent... ;-)

On the long term...

Well, if the Democrats keep the high ground that you seem to think they have why worry about the long term? If you think the Democrats as a whole are better than the, to use your words, "ethically bankrupt" Republicans and that's why you support them why wouldn't you support the Republicans if things changed and the shoe was on the donkey's foot?

In regards to BJ, I haven't heard him called a "Libertarian Democrat" before, heh. I'll add that to the growing list of labels I've heard given to him ;-)

I think he's a Republican because he's been one his entire life. He grew up in a Republican house hold. I also do agree that he certainly couldn't beat Price by challenging him in the primary as a Democrat, which as I just pointed out he's simply just never been anyway.

And he certainly wouldn't have a snow balls chance running as a Libertarian for obvious reasons.

But again, to me, parties are trivial as are labels so all of the above is likewise trivial. It's the individual and what the individual believes that's important to me.

Two points

Amy, you're right. I did give Price a hard time in that blog post. But I'm just jealous -- he's attracted over $250,000 in PAC funding, and we're working hard based upon individual contributions alone. Given the difficulty in raising money for campaigns, however, I've since reconsidered. I've become less concerned with where David Price gets his money:

What's critical is how he acts.

Second, I wasn't commenting on Rep. Foxx's investments, or where she gets her PAC funding. The point of my comment is that the issue of inflation is one where both parties are just blaming each other, and ignoring the fact that we are all to blame for the current crisis. Republicans call food and gas price increases the "Pelosi Premium". Democrats blame Bush and Republicans for the war and lack of a coherent energy policy, as Rep. Price did in this Chapel Hill News article:

My concern is that it's *all* true -- our federal government is just too doggone big, yet we continue adding to our $9.4 trillion debt and $70 trillion in long-term liabilities. No one's hands are clean, and most importantly, we're all on this boat together. Sink or swim?



William (B.J.) Lawson
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

A point of order considering your vested interest

in commenting about David Price:

Second, I wasn't commenting on Rep. Foxx's investments, or where she gets her PAC funding.

And therein lies my concern. Seeing's how the OP was about Foxx and not about Price this divertion of the thread seems rather selfserving on your part.

If you can show for Price a similar linking of personal interests with political ones as the OP did
for Foxx, then have at it. Otherwise your motives are suspect, at least by me.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

No, you can thank NCDem Amy

for bringing David Price into the discussion.

My original comment was not about Rep. Price, and I had no intention of bringing him into the discussion.

I simply commented on a root cause of inflation that is widely ignored, and poorly understood (esp. domestically): liquidity creation by our central bank.

Our federal government's failure to live within its means requires us to borrow and print $1-3 billion per day. Why are we surprised that our dollars buy less food and gasoline?


William (B.J.) Lawson
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

It all depends on which money dog you are kicking?

however, I've since reconsidered. I've become less concerned with where David Price gets his money* BJ

Congressman Price is really a nice guy and a hard worker, but like all Congresspersons who have serve a long period of time. Strange things happen? Congressman Price Net Worth 22 years ago was about 147 thousand as a Duke Prof. Today, Like Congresswomen Virgina Foxx whose net worth is somewhere between 3 M and 6.5 M depending on new age Republican Enron Accounting Jack Abramsoff methods.

Congressman Price net worth is somewhere between 4 M and 8 M depending how the accounting methods is used. This certainly raises the question, how did this happen as a public servent during this period of time like all entrenched long serving Congresspersons serving the poor?

Below is a favorite Democrat congresswomen of mine, who accepts no special interest money period and still lives in the same house after 30 years with no remodeling or expansion

If you Think NAFTA, CAFTA & the Economy is Bad Now? Wait...

Partisan Politics

I don't believe this post has anything to do with partisan politics except that the ideology of drilling ANWR tends to be linger on the right side of the aisle. I agree it is ridiculous that Foxx blaming Pelosi for high gas prices is inane. This is an issue that we must ALL find a solution for.

This post is about a member of the House of Representatives representing her own interests over those of her constituents.

This post is about Roy Carter, the candidate that promises not to take money from big oil companies so that his ability to represent the people in his district will never be misaligned.

I don't think poor representation is a partisan issue.



Your wife just called me. She said no sex for you for 3 months if you don't get off BlueNC right now.

I'm going to ask my question again, Mr. Lawson.

You either missed my direct response to your comment, or you chose to ignore a direct question to you.

You see no conflict between what Foxx says
and from where her support comes?

Submitted by Linda on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 7:03pm.

A simple yes or no will suffice. Thanks. :)

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

What do you mean,

"what Foxx says?" The YouTube video? The podcast referencing her support for extracting domestic oil?

All I hear in the YouTube video is her blaming inflation on Democrats. Those comments seem like the typical partisan finger-pointing that ignores the fundamental problems, but is unfortunately par for the course in Washington these days. But I don't see a "conflict" there.

Re: the podcast, I didn't listen to it. But based upon the post, I'm not surprised that she supports using domestic sources of energy. So do I -- but I don't think the federal government should be giving energy companies subsidies, tax breaks, or corporate welfare to do it. So I don't see a conflict based upon those words, either.

It's her actions that matter. Has she voted to give preferential treatment or corporate welfare to Chevron, or other companies in her portfolio? Has she voted to give preferential treatment or handouts to members of the Petroleum Marketers Association?

Honestly, though, when legislation these days runs well over a thousand pages, and unconstitutional favors sneak into bills from every angle, I'd be shocked if anyone had a "clean" voting record based upon not supporting corporate welfare. But that's part of the problem, isn't it? Here's to the One Subject at a Time Act, and the Read the Bills Act.

Finally, to put this in perspective, owning between $15k and $50k worth of Chevron stock just doesn't seem like a big deal. Certainly not relative to other Cabinet members :-/.

Guess that wasn't a Yes or No, was it...


William (B.J.) Lawson
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

What should the cap be?

Finally, to put this in perspective, owning between $15k and $50k worth of Chevron stock just doesn't seem like a big deal. Certainly not relative to other Cabinet members :-/.

Oh so its okay if the way you vote only proffers you $15K-$50K?

Where does that stop? Is it no okay if you're banking over a million off the way you vote?

Go forth, be fruitful! Invest, Invest, Invest! I am all for it! Do NOT, however, use the trust your constituents have put in you to properly represent their best interests to instead ensure your own profits.


Her Actions

You could not be more right that it is in fact her actions that matter, so lets look at her actions. While in office, she has voted against higher CAFE standards, voted no on removing gas and exploration subsidies, and voted no on criminalizing oil cartels like OPEC. The aggregate of her votes on energy bills led to a 0% rating from Campaign for America's Future (CAF), indicating opposition to energy independence. It certainly seems like preferential treatment to me...

Did someone say Chevron?

Looks like Foxx feels right at home..

Condoleezza Rice was a Chevron Director from 1991 until January 15, 2001 when she was transferred by President George Bush Jr. to National Security Adviser. Previously she was Senior Director, Soviet Affairs, National Security Council, and Special Assistant to President George Bush Sr. from 1989 to 1991.

Another Chevron Corporation giant in the Bush administration is Vice President Dick Cheney. Vice President Cheney was Chairman and Chief Executive of Dallas based Halliburton Corporation, the world’s largest oil field services company with multi-billion dollar contracts with oil corporations including Chevron. Lawrence Eagleburger, a seasoned Bush counselor who held top State Department posts under George Bush Sr., is a director of Halliburton Corporation.

Foxx = Bush. Her record says so, and this is just one example.

In Micro

Thanks for bringing out attention to this crowbar, I guess what scares me about her ties to Chevron is that, regardless if its $50,000 or $3 million, she is a micro version of what is happening with the bigger fish in the Bush Administration. Does it matter how much she stands to earn? The fact that she earns anything off the way she casts her votes on this issue is, in my mind, unethical.


And speaking of Chevron

From an Op/Ed in today's LAT:

Ten years ago this week, I was shot by Nigerian soldiers who, my federal lawsuit will show, were paid for by Chevron Nigeria Ltd., a subsidiary of Chevron Corp.

I was standing on a drilling platform in the Niger Delta run by Chevron Nigeria Ltd. More than 100 unarmed villagers joined me there to protest the loss of our fish, our clean water and our trees because of Chevron's oil production activities in our region, and to protest the loss of our traditional ways of supporting ourselves as a result of these activities.

The lawsuit I (and others) filed in 1999 contends that Chevron Nigeria's own documents show that it paid for, transported and supervised Nigerian military and police forces that responded to our protests. They opened fire on us; it is our contention that they did this without warning. Two of the protesters were killed; I and more than 10 others were wounded. Still others were arrested and beaten by the Nigerian authorities.

Chevron denies a role in the shootings, but we've sued Chevron for damages; our case will be heard this fall in U.S. District Court for the Northern Division of California, where Chevron is headquartered. A separate case against the oil company, again brought by Nigerian villagers who were met with violence when they demanded that Chevron clean up the environmental and economic danger it has caused, will be heard in California Superior Court in the fall.

Ten years of misleading Americans about its record in Nigeria is too long. It's time for Chevron to come clean with the public about its operations in Nigeria and to take responsibility for violence done in its name.

Full story here.

Breaking News: Government Investigates Oil Market

Breaking News From

Government investigates oil market

U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission discloses investigation of price manipulation in crude-oil market. May 29, 2008: 1:52 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal regulators are six months into a wide-ranging investigation of U.S. oil markets, with a focus on possible price manipulation.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission says it started the probe in December and is taking the unusual step of publicizing it "because of today's unprecedented market conditions."

Crude prices have risen more than 42% since early December, when they hovered below $90 a barrel. Gasoline prices are nearing a national average of $4 a gallon, up from about $3.20 a year ago.

The agency said details of the investigation remain confidential.

I'm an idealist without illusions. JFK

Sorry for the lack of post above

I am really busy, but wanted to share this news with you guys. I can't believe that prices have actually almost doubled since December. It's totally obscene. Fill 'er up Foxx should reap the political consequences of her choices--- getting kicked out in November.

I'm an idealist without illusions. JFK