By Jon E. Easter
This morning, I received an e-mail from James Carville, legendary Democratic strategist and the chief architect of Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign for President. Today, he wrote Indiana Democrats an impassioned plea today for help in stopping Dan Coats in his run for Senate. Here's the text of the e-mail:
Being from Louisiana, it really chaps my hide that BP's callous irresponsibility has allowed Gulf Coast communities to be devastated by this catastrophic oil spill. This disaster will have long term consequences for the Gulf Coast ecosystem and economy for years to come.
What makes this whole situation worse is knowing that special interest money from big oil is still gushing into Washington faster than crude into the Gulf. Major corporations like BP are represented in Washington by an army of lawyers and paid professional lobbyists, whose job it is to fend off efforts to make their clients follow the rules and act responsibly. These big corporate lobbyists actually help write the laws that are meant to govern their clients' activities. It's the same old story - again and again.
And now, Dan Coats, one of those lobbyists, is trying to run for the U.S. Senate in Indiana. As absurd as this sounds, sometimes these lobbyists actually get elected to Congress!! After taking millions of dollars in lobbying fees from special interests, they use their big corporate connections to win a seat in Congress where they can continue fighting for the interests of the corporations that made them rich.
Can you donate $10 to help us ensure this doesn't happen in Indiana?
Dan Coats, the Republican nominee for Senate is a lobbyist for big corporate special interests like chemical companies, oil companies, and insurance companies. And get this: Coats' lobbying and law firm counts among its clients the two corporations directly involved in the Gulf oil disaster: BP and Halliburton.
BP is the most irresponsible - and most often fined - major oil company in the world ... by a wide margin. How could such an irresponsible company be allowed to jeopardize the health and economic livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of families along our Gulf Coast?
Let me say it again. Two companies share the responsibility for the Gulf catastrophe. They are: BP and Halliburton - they are both clients of Dan Coats' law and lobbying firm, King and Spalding.
Help us ensure Hoosiers know about Dan Coats' questionable ties to big oil.
If Dan Coats gets elected to the U.S. Senate, whose interests do you think he's going to represent? The citizens of Indiana - a state which he moved out of ten years ago? ... Or the big oil companies and other corporate interests that have helped pay his salary for years?
After eight years of a Bush administration run by oil company executives, the last thing America needs is a Senator who made his millions lobbying for them. We need to make sure the oil companies don't get their lackey, Dan Coats, elected to the Senate.
Lobbyists already have too much power in Washington. We can't afford to be electing them to the United States Senate.
The disclaimer on the e-mail says it was paid for and authorized by the Indiana Democratic Party.
While I find the use of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to raise money for an Indiana Senate race just slightly out of bounds, I have to agree, that in this case, it's effective. Dan Coats list of clients when he was a lobbyist has to concern voters, and he cannot be allowed to become an elected lobbyist in the U.S. Senate.