Thursday, July 22, 2010


This being an election year, I am periodically posting profiles of U.S. Representatives and Senators who have an obvious disconnect with the overwhelming majority of us citizens who aren't rich, have low or average-paying jobs or are unemployed, and who aren't far-right extremists or ultra-conservative religious right fundamentalist fanatics. These Congresspersons do not understand and are completely out of touch with average citizens. They are wholly bought out by big corporations and special interests, are thoroughly partisan ideologues, and do not deserve re-election or to continue on the public payroll. I am spotlighting where these aloof officials get their campaign money from to show who they are beholden to and whose interests they are actually serving. All data presented here can be found at the website (supplied by the Center for Responsive Politics), or, or www.ontheissues,org. Today's segment will focus on conservative Republican Representative Joe Barton of the 6th Congressional District in Texas.

There are many reasons Mr. Barton should not be re-elected. As you will see, it has become obvious that his idea of "public service" is to vote for and defend the interests of big business, especially big oil, rather than those of regular working people or innocent civilians whose lives have been disrupted by those big businesses. His recent statement comparing President Obama's demand that oil giant BP set up a $20 billion esxrow fund to help the victims of its record oil spill as a "shakedown" is abundant proof of this. It also shows how little sensitivity and compassion this man has toward those in dire need. The Middle gives him a poor 29% approval rating, meaning that he votes overwhelmingly against the interests of the majority of the population to favor big business and the wealthy elite. Let's take a closer look at this guy to see who he's TRULY serving.

BP and its PACs have contributed $22,800 to Barton over his nearly 26-year Congressional career, the records show. This total includes contributions ranging from $500 in Barton's first race in 1984, up to a $5,000 contribution for his 2006 re-election campaign. The most recent contribution was $1,000 in December 2009, according to the subscription-only CQ MoneyLine's contribution records. Surprise you? It shouldn't. Below is a listing of the top 5 industries and contributors which have donated heavily to Mr. Barton's political campaigns, courtesy of the Center for Responsive Politics.

Top 5 Industries, 1989 - 2010
Industry /Total /Individxuals /PACs

Oil & Gas $1,459,030 $549,593 $909,437
Electric Utilities $1,367,985 $137,350 $1,230,635
Health Professionals $1,102,804 $430,264 $672,540
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $802,738 $77,206 $725,532
Lawyers/Law Firms $561,415 $269,602 $291,813

Source of Funds
Individual Contributions $6,643,019 (39%)
PAC Contributions $8,840,463 (51%)
Candidate self-financing $2,000 (0%)
Other $1,753,412 (10%)

NOTE: All the numbers on this page are for the 1989 - 2010 election cycles and based on Federal Election Commission data available electronically on July 17, 2010 (for Fundraising totals, Source of Funds and Total Raised vs Average) and on June 13, 2010 for Top Contributors and Industries. ("Help! The numbers don't add up...")

Top 5 Contributors, 1989 - 2010
Contributor /Total /Individuals /PACs

Anadarko Petroleum $146,500 /$90,000 /$56,500
Lockheed Martin $109,550 /$11,250 /$98,300
RRI Energy$97,109 $16,350 $80,759
AT&T Inc $94,559 /$13,775 /$80,784
Energy Future Holdings Corp $83,650 /$42,650 /$41,000

Mr. Barton has a long history of voting to protect the oil industry from regulation and competition. He has consistently voted on the wrong side of dozens of issues, especially those directly affecting working people and the middle class. Reading his voting record is like reading a long pro-big business, anti-worker/consumer/environment litany:

Voted NO on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution. (Jun 2009)
Voted NO on tax credits for renewable electricity, with PAYGO offsets. (Sep 2008)
Voted NO on tax incentives for energy production and conservation. (May 2008)
Voted NO on tax incentives for renewable energy. (Feb 2008)
Voted NO on investing in homegrown biofuel. (Aug 2007)
Voted NO on criminalizing oil cartels like OPEC. (May 2007)
Voted NO on removing oil & gas exploration subsidies. (Jan 2007)
Voted NO on keeping moratorium on drilling for oil offshore. (Jun 2006)
Voted YES on authorizing construction of new oil refineries. (Oct 2005)
Voted YES on passage of the Bush Administration national energy policy. (Jun 2004)
Voted YES on implementing Bush-Cheney national energy policy. (Nov 2003)
Voted NO on raising CAFE standards; incentives for alternative fuels. (Aug 2001)
Voted NO on prohibiting oil drilling & development in ANWR. (Aug 2001)
Voted NO on starting implementation of Kyoto Protocol. (Jun 2000)
Rated 0% by the CAF, indicating opposition to energy independence. (Dec 2006)
Voted NO on $192B additional anti-recession stimulus spending. (Jul 2009)
Voted NO on modifying bankruptcy rules to avoid mortgage foreclosures. (Mar 2009)
Voted NO on additional $825 billion for economic recovery package. (Jan 2009)
Voted NO on monitoring TARP funds to ensure more mortgage relief. (Jan 2009)
Voted NO on $60B stimulus package for jobs, infrastructure, & energy. (Sep 2008)
Voted NO on defining "energy emergency" on federal gas prices. (Jun 2008)
Voted NO on revitalizing severely distressed public housing. (Jan 2008)

Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. (Nov 2007)
Voted YES on making the PATRIOT Act permanent. (Dec 2005)

Voted NO on letting shareholders vote on executive compensation. (Jul 2009)
Voted NO on allowing stockholder voting on executive compensation. (Apr 2007)

Voted NO on $40B for green public schools. (May 2009)
Voted NO on additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects. (Nov 2007)
Voted NO on $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges. (Mar 2006)

Voted YES on giving federal aid only to schools allowing voluntary prayer. (Mar 1994)
Rated 17% by the NEA, indicating anti-public education votes. (Dec 2003)

Voted NO on assisting workers who lose jobs due to globalization. (Oct 2007)
Voted NO on expanding the Children's Health Insurance Program. (Jan 2009)
Voted NO on allowing reimportation of prescription drugs. (Jul 2003)
Voted NO on increasing minimum wage to $7.25. (Jan 2007)
Voted NO on extending AMT exemptions to avoid hitting middle-income. (Jun 2008)
Voted NO on paying for AMT relief by closing offshore business loopholes. (Dec 2007)
Voted YES on making the Bush tax cuts permanent. (Apr 2002)
Voted YES on $99 B economic stimulus: capital gains & income tax cuts. (Oct 2001)
Voted YES on eliminating the Estate Tax ("death tax"). (Apr 2001)
Voted NO on investigating Bush impeachment for lying about Iraq. (Jun 2008)

SUMMARY: Joe Barton holds the seat once held by Phil Gramm, the notorious conservative Republican who pushed for and got the deregulation of Wall Street banks which led to the economic meltdown we currently find ourselves in. Like Gramm, Barton is a proponent of further deregulation, failed "free trade" economic policies, and more and permanent tax breaks for the rich. He ranks first among members of the House of Representatives for the most contributions received from the oil and gas industry, and number five among all members of Congress. His largest corporate contributor, Anadarko Petroleum, owns a 25 percent share in the Macondo Prospect, the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Like most conservatives, he scoffs at the idea of global warming and resists any attempt by the federal government to develop alternate forms of energy other than oil and gas. In 2009, he made the ridiculous and Bachmann-esque claim that using up wind with wind power would cause global warming. Like Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Virginia Foxx, and a number of other conservative Republicans, he makes rash, baseless statements like that without any solid empirical evidence to back them up. His criticism of the President's attempt to get BP to pay for the economic damage it caused Gulf of Mexico residents is unforgivable and indefensible. Irresponsibility of that nature, plus his appalling voting record against working and middle-class people, make him unworthy of holding office any longer.

WHO JOE BARTON REALLY REPRESENTS: NOT YOU, Texas 6th District voters, unless you are tall remendously wealthy and don't care about the majority of your countrymen, or are a large multi-national oil company. This guy is a shill for big oil and big money, and has never consistently delivered for the overwhelming majority of Americans. This guy belongs on a private oil company's board of directors, NOT on the public payroll doing the bidding of private business. PLEASE do the country a huge favor and retire this man from government permanently, voters of the 6th District in Texas!



Suzan said...


That's a lot of research.

And you've only shown what we've known to be true for decades.

That the rich will do anything to keep their riches.


Love ya,


They are wholly bought out by big corporations and special interests, are thoroughly partisan ideologues, and do not deserve re-election or to continue on the public payroll.

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks, Suzan. They are indeed a most avaricious and devious lot! That's why we must keep them and their toadies out of Congress!

Tim said...

Your doing a great service here. So much about this guy gets forgotten.
I hope a local Paper or three in Texas run your post.
Thanks Jack

mud_rake said...

Excellent muck-raking, Jack. You are doing a fine job, Jack, raking through the muck to find what Barton and others like him hoped that they had covered up.

The dumbed-down residents of his Texas district surely have to have been hypnotized and thoroughly propagandized to vote for this guy as their 'representative' to Congress.

He and Boehner have thoroughly hoodwinked their constituents-- at OUR expense!

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks, Tim. I hope so, too.
Thanks for the encouraging words. It's CRIMINAL that these shills are blatantly out doing private corporations' work for them and are getting a public paycheck for it!

Manifesto Joe said...

Joe is a pretty dimwitted guy -- if you look at it one way. In perhaps another way, he's very cagey. He certainly seems to know which side his "bread" is buttered on.

Coming from down here, I despair of any chance of getting rid of this cretin anytime soon. The particular district that he represents is packed with semiliterate, bourgeois right-wing voters who get their world view from Fox News. I don't think he even has a viable challenger this time.

But he makes a very good target at the national level. His bout of foot-in-mouth disease on BP was valuable in a higher perspective. He might be good to have around as an exemplary idiot.

Jack Jodell said...

Manifesto Joe,
"...semiliterate, bourgeois right-wing voters who get their world view from Fox News." That seems to be a major problem with this country these days. A large segment of the population has just enough stuffed into their pocket that they think nothing or nobody else matters, least of all fact or reason. I know the type very well, and it's cousin in Indiana keeps sending me these far-right emails she gets that look as if some imbecile from deepest, darkest backwoods 1950s Mississippi created them. Her latest one was a real gem: it glorified some rifle-toting redneck who loudly proclaims his belief in God, but also believes he and his family should be able to keep all the money they make totally to themselves, all foreigners must speak English at all times, minorities should just quit complaining, and those who don't agree with him can just go live in some socialist country somewhere else. Typical nonsense, but people like that really believe it. You have a good point about his being kept around as an exemplary idiot. But the problem today is that we have a bumper crop of them, from Minnesota's Michele Bachmann to Alaska's Sarah Palin to North Carolina's Virginia Foxx to Michigan's Pete Hoekstra to Nevada's Sharon Angle to Fox's Glenn Beck to your own Rick Perry...the list of them just goes on and on, doesn't it? :-(

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

I've reposted ala all over net. Excellent piece Professor! Gods Jack, you do your homework. It's a pleasure to come and read some good work!

Jack Jodell said...

Thank you, Gwendolyn. That's very nice. I just hope somewhere, somehow, it does some good. Blog onj, sister!

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