WaPo Slams BP for Corporate Contributions

After more than two months criticizing BP for its handling of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, it seems some in the media are desperate for new angles. Now, they’re attacking BP’s corporate contributions.

In a June 30 Washington Post article, reporter Carol D. Leonnig suggested BP North America’s $4.8 million in corporate contributions over the past seven years possibly violated its corporate code of conduct against making political donations.

While a BP spokesman clarified that the company’s policy regarding political contributions referred to individual candidates in state and federal races, that didn’t stop Leonnig from emphasizing the Republican and pro-business organizations that received donations:

“Its most generous corporate contributions -- totaling about $4 million -- have gone to two Republican-aligned political action groups working to defeat state ballot initiatives in California and Colorado that could have raised oil and gas industry taxes,” Loenning wrote, citing state campaign finance reports by the Center for Political Accountability.

She noted BP donated about $112,000 to Democratic and Republicans organizations high in the story. The media love to suggest Republicans are in the pockets of Big Oil, but the actual numbers showed the Democratic Governors Associated received fives times as much from BP than the Republican State Leadership Committee received.

Leonnig didn’t provide the breakdown until the tenth paragraph. “BP gave $75,000 to the Democratic Governors Association over the past two election cycles and $15,000 to the Republican State Leadership Committee,” she wrote.

Leonnig failed to mention President Barack Obama was the top recipient of BP-related campaign contributions over the last 20 years, totaling more than $77,000. The environmental organizations BP has supported also received a pass in her report.