Muckraker: Grist on Politics

Barack Obama put out an ad earlier this week accusing rival John McCain of being “in the pocket of Big Oil,” and the Democratic National Committee launched Exxon-McCain 2008, a website to promote the idea that the Republican candidate is in bed with the oil industry. But as Grist noted previously, Obama himself has received nearly $400,000 in donations from contributors in the oil and gas industries this election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

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CRP has now gone a little deeper, breaking down donations by specific companies. It found that while McCain has brought in three times more money from the oil and gas industry, Obama is the favored candidate of executives from several of the biggest companies, including ExxonMobil, according to reports from Federal Election Commission as of July 29, 2008:

Through June, Exxon employees have given Obama $42,100 to McCain’s $35,166. Chevron favors Obama $35,157 to $28,500, and Obama edges out McCain with BP $16,046 vs. $11,500. McCain leads the money race with nearly every other top giver in the oil and gas industry, though — Koch Industries, Valero, Marathon Oil, Occidental Petroleum, ConocoPhillips, the list goes on … McCain also has a big edge with Hess Corp. — $91,000 to Obama’s $8,000 — which has gotten some attention. And, overall, McCain’s campaign has gotten three times more money from the industry than Obama’s has — $1.3 million compared to about $394,000.

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The report also details the sharp rise in donations for McCain following his reversal on offshore drilling in mid-June; three-quarters of his money from oil industry executives came after that reversal.