That's Why They Call Him the "Vice" President
Vice President Al Gore is coming under increasing scrutiny and criticism from enviros and others because of his cozy ties to Occidental Petroleum. Gore — who owns as much as $500,000 worth of Occidental stock and has earned about $450,000 since 1974 from a zinc-mining deal that the company helped set up — last week argued that there is nothing improper about his relationship to the company. Occidental gave $50,000 to the Democratic Party for the 1996 campaign after a telephone solicitation by Gore from his White House office and another $100,000 after its chief executive spent two nights in the Lincoln Bedroom in 1996. The Clinton administration in 1998 helped Occidental increase its oil reserves by accepting its bid for a huge California oil field previously set aside for the Navy.