At a Congressional hearing today, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour attacked Senate Democrats for trying to end wasteful subsidies to oil companies by saying, “Do I think there are some people that don’t like the oil industry and think it’s a good whipping boy politically? I suspect that.”
Barbour, it should be said, is no stranger to the oil industry. Whether it was as head of the Republican Governors’ Association, through his federal PAC, or his campaign for governor in 2007, Barbour has raised millions from the oil and gas industry over the past few years.
- In his 2007 race for governor, Barbour received at least $342,298 from oil and gas interests, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. In his 2003 election, he received even more---$377,419 from oil and gas interests. This includes several donations of $25,000 and up from oil industry executives.
- During the 2010 election cycle, Barbour served as chair of the Republican Governors Association. Major oil industry contributors to its 527 committee included oil companies like Devon Energy ($1,050,450), Koch Industries ($1,050,450), and Exxon Mobil ($705,650), according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
- His federal political action committee, Haley PAC, received $24,500 in oil and gas industry contributions in 2010.
What was that about a whipping boy?