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WASHINGTON, D.C.-In a nod to the oil and gas industry, Republican Senators voted against cloture on the nomination of David J. Hayes to be Deputy Interior Secretary. A Public Campaign Action Fund analysis of campaign finance data found that the 38 Senators who voted against the nominee received more than four times the amount of donations, on average, from Big Oil than those Senators who voted for him-$456,757 compared to $110,696.

Senate Republican conceded they have no problem with the Hayes nomination but wanted to send a message to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the Obama administration that they are still fuming from Salazar's decision to end oil and gas leases in Utah. In an almost party line vote, Democrats, absent three members, couldn't muster the 60 votes needed to bring the nomination to a final confirmation vote. In a procedural move, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) switched his vote to no so that he could bring the matter back up next week when Hayes is expected to be confirmed.

"This vote was purely symbolic and Republicans in the Senate wanted to deliver a message to the Administration on behalf of their Big Oil donors that they're looking out for political contributors," commented David Donnelly, national campaigns director of Public Campaign Action Fund. "Americans have had enough and want to end the pay-to-play system that has dominated our Congress. All Senators should follow the lead of Sens. Dick Durbin and Arlen Specter and support the Fair Elections Now Act. This important bill will end big money's dominance and make elections about voters, not big money donors."

Public Campaign Action Fund's analysis found that just five Senators who voted "no"-Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)-received approximately $1.6 million more in campaign contributions over their career than all 61 Senators who supported the nomination and confirmation vote, according to data compiled from the Center for Responsive Politics' website. The analysis did not include newly appointed Senators in the averages who have not previously run for federal office. A full list of Senators and their total campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry follows this release.

The Fair Elections Now Act was introduced by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) on March 31, 2009. It would establish a system of small dollar contributions and public financing for congressional campaigns, freeing candidates from taking special interest dollars and the expectations that often accompany them.

Based in Washington, D.C., Public Campaign Action Fund is a national non-profit non-partisan organization dedicated to sweeping campaign reform laws and holding politicians accountable.  

Senators Who Voted Yes
Oil/Gas Money
Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Burris (D-IL)
Byrd (D-WV)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Conrad (D-ND)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kaufman (D-DE)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (D-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Warner (D-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)
Switched Vote  
Reid (D-NV)
Senators Not Voting  
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Senators Who Voted No  
Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Wicker (R-MS)