The Washington Post is doing a series all this week on the oil situation: rising demand, rising prices, environmental concerns, the whole messy debacle. Right next to the first article in that series was this piece about some fishy timing around Sen. John McCain's (R) reversal on the offshore oil drilling ban, and an influx of campaign contributions from the oil industry.
McCain, in opposition to many members of his party, used to side with environmentalists in his opposition to offshore oil drilling. Perhaps not surprisingly, McCain hasn't raised much from the oil industry in the past. In June, McCain made a speech in which he reversed his position, calling offshore drilling a viable solution to address skyrocketing gas prices. Funny thing is, right when he made that speech Big Oil sent a lot of money McCain's way:
Oil and gas industry executives and employees donated $1.1 million to McCain last month -- three-quarters of which came after his June 16 speech calling for an end to the ban -- compared with $116,000 in March, $283,000 in April and $208,000 in May.
[ . . .]
McCain delivered the speech before heading to Texas for a series of fundraisers with energy industry executives, and the day after the speech he raised $1.3 million at a private luncheon and reception at the San Antonio Country Club, according to local news accounts.
"The timing was significant," said David Donnelly, the national campaigns director of the Public Campaign Action Fund, a nonpartisan campaign finance reform group that conducted the analysis of McCain's oil industry contributions. "This is a case study of how a candidate can change a policy position in the interest of raising money."
Boy, Big Oil really knows how to make a guy feel loved -- and they always tip 20 percent.