Campaign 2010

Sep 18, 2006

As Sherwood Sends Billions to Big Oil, Pennsylvanians Pay for Cheney Visit

DCCC Press

Sep 18, 2006

As Sherwood Sends Billions to Big Oil, Pennsylvanians Pay for Cheney Visit

As Don Sherwood Prepares to Host Vice President Dick Cheney Today, Pennsylvania Families Will be Footing the Bill. Will Sherwood Reimburse for the Cost of Cheney’s Visit?

$2,000 Amount of Money From Cheney-Run Halliburton Accepted by Sherwood

$62,600 Amount of Big Oil Money Accepted by Don Sherwood

$2.6 billion Amount in Giveaways to Big Oil Voted for by Don Sherwood

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, as Vice President Dick Cheney is flying to Pennsylvania for a campaign stop with Rubber Stamp Republican Don Sherwood, Pennsylvanians are wondering if Sherwood will cover the high cost of the Cheney fundraiser. Fundraisers from the vice president are expensive events. Between the costs of landing the vice president’s plan – Air Force Two – and the added security and police presence, local taxpayers end up spending thousands just for the campaign event to take place. In the past, some members of Congress have reimbursed their cities for the cost of these events, will Sherwood follow suit?

“In Congress, Don Sherwood rubberstamps the Bush-Cheney agenda which sends billions of tax dollars to big oil and then, back home in Luzerne County, families are footing the bill for an expensive Cheney fundraiser. It’s time for independent leadership in Pennsylvania and a break from big-spending Sherwood – it’s time for a change,” said Bill Burton, communications director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “By bringing Dick Cheney in to campaign for him, Sherwood confirms that a vote for him is a vote for the Bush-Cheney agenda. This November, Pennsylvania families will vote for a new direction in Washington because they deserve leadership that puts their interests ahead of the special interests.”

The high-dollar, special interest fundraiser that Cheney is holding for Sherwood is just the latest one likely to net money from Cheney and Sherwood’s friends in the oil industry. Cheney, the former Halliburton executive who received widespread criticism for holding secret White House meetings with oil executives now making historic profits, has long been a proponent of big oil. Cheney has helped campaigns raise money and has pushed legislation in Congress designed to benefit big oil, but not the Americans paying record gas prices. Sherwood, too, has been a supporter of big oil. He has taken more than $62,000 from the oil and gas industry over his career and $2,000 from Cheney’s old company Halliburton.

While Pennsylvanians are wondering if Sherwood will do the right thing with regard to Cheney, he is doing the wrong thing with regard to their tax dollars in Congress. Sherwood voted for an energy bill that sent $2.6 billion in taxpayer-funded giveaways to big oil and gas companies. That same energy bill did nothing to stop the skyrocketing cost of gas or prevent consumers from being gouged at the pump.

Sherwood Voted For Energy Bill That Sent Billions to Big Oil. In voting for the energy bill, Don Sherwood and Republicans in Congress supported a measure that did nothing to lower gas prices and gave short shrift to energy efficiency and renewable fuels all while sending $2.6 billion in giveaways to the oil and gas industry. [HR 6, Vote #132, 4/21/2005; Congressional Quarterly Weekly, 7/29/05]

Sherwood Opposed Cracking Down on Price Gouging & Lowering Gas Prices. In 2005, Don Sherwood and Republicans in Congress voted three times against measures to provide the Federal Trade Commission with new authority to investigate and prosecute those that engage in predatory pricing, from oil companies on down to gas stations, with the emphasis on those who profit the most. This included price gouging of gasoline and natural gas, home heating oil and propane. [HR 3893, Vote #517, 10/7/2005; HR 3893, Vote #518, 10/7/2005; HR 3402, Vote #500, 9/28/2005]

Cheney Fundraisers are Expensive

It could cost upwards of $57,000 per hour to taxpayers. President Bush's plane, Air Force One costs $57,000 per hour. With Vice President Cheney soaring in to campaign for Don Sherwood, doesn’t Sherwood have an obligation to repay taxpayers for this expense?

Question: Will Sherwood Pay for Cheney’s Visit? Having the vice president come to town is a very expensive process. Between the cost of flying a plane like Air Force Two and landing it on a runway, the cost to local police and the cost to the city for traffic and other interruptions, a Cheney visit is a pricey affair. There is precedent for campaigns reimbursing their cities for the cost of these visits, as recently as a few months ago. Sherwood’s colleague, Representative Chris Chocola, reimbursed two cities after a visit from President Bush. According to news reports, Chocola sent at least $12,000 to two cities as a result of costs incurred from extra security, and use of the airport. [Elkhart Truth, 3/4/06]