September 16, 2018 Dena Jensen
Here is the 22nd Doug’s Got to Go post after a long weekend of faithful doorbelling in the rain by many of those dedicated to firing Republican State Senator Doug Ericksen this year. A January 15, 2015 article by the Sightline Institute reveals to us that Senator Ericksen is one of the answers to the question: “Which Washington Legislators Take The Most Coal, Oil, And Gas Money?” Click this link to access the article: https://www.sightline.org/2015/01/15/which-washington-legislators-take-the-most-coal-oil-and-gas-money/
Sightline writers, Eric De Place and Nick Abraham explained how Senator Ericksen was bestowed with this honor back in 2015:
“Senator Doug Ericksen is probably the legislature’s most vocal climate policy opponent. Representing northern Whatcom County, his district is home to a pair of oil refineries and a coal export terminal proposal. Ericksen is chair of the Senate Energy, Environment, and Telecommunications Committee, where he works closely with [Senator Tim] Sheldon and has proven to be an intractable opponent to legislation supported by the environmental community.”
We can see on the Public Disclosure Commission website that this year fossil fuel companies are some of Senator Ericksen’s top contributors, but there are other means by which candidates amass funds from these corporations, some of whom are among those that are our state’s top carbon polluters. The article describes the ways more fossil fuel dollars end up fueling campaigns like Senator Ericksen’s. Lobbyist contributions are one way and Political Action Committees (PACs) are another:
“Companies often use PACs to pool their money and effectively launder funds to candidates without having the donor names directly attached. Technically, the PACs themselves decide where the funds go, but the donor and recipients often agree upon the money’s routing and final destination ahead of time.
“Public records show that fossil fuel companies donated to four PACs [for the 2014 election] that subsequently donated substantial sums to Washington’s legislators:
“The Leadership Council got $57,400 from the coal, oil, and gas industry. This PAC subsequently handed out $1,900 apiece to [Senator Andy] Hill and Ericksen.
“The Whatcom County Republican Party pocketed $50,500 in fossil fuel money. The party donated $20,924 to Ericksen.
“The Reagan Fund took in $19,500 from dirty energy companies. Hill later received $950 from this PAC.
“The Senate Republican Campaign Committee claimed $5,650 in fossil fuel funding. In turn, the committee contributed varying amounts of money to every Republican candidate in the state, including Hill and Ericksen, as well as a hefty sum to Sheldon, as we noted above.”