Home > Congress, Montana, The Right > E-brief misleads us again

E-brief misleads us again

From the MT GOP E-brief:

In Their Latest Ad, The Montana Democrat Party Attacks Senator Burns For Accepting Money >From The Oil And Gas Industry. “Burns took $490,000 from the big oil and gas industry, then gave them billions in tax breaks.”(Montana Democratic Party, “Not Alone” Ad Backup, montanademocrats.org/news/…, Accessed July 14, 2006)

But fail to mention that since 1979, Max Baucus Has Received $588,287 From Energy And Natural Resources Special Interests. (Political Money Line Website, http://www.tray.com, Accessed July 14, 2006)

First off, I can’t find either of those figures on Open Secrets. It’s close, though. I get (using their career profiles, which start in 1989):

Baucus: $694,161 from “Energy/Nat Resource” interests.
Burns: $517,361 from “Oil & Gas” industry.

You might be able to see the deception here. “Oil & Gas” and “Energy/Nat Resource” are not the same thing. Here’s Baucus’s total for the Oil & Gas industry: $190,498. Here’s Burns’s total for Energy/Nat Resource interests: $1,059,039. Burns has substantially outraised Baucus in both categories (Baucus has outraised Burns overall by $1 million).

The difference between the two categories is pretty simple. Oil & Gas is a subset of Energy/Nat Resource on the site. Energy/Nat Resource also includes these industries:

Electric Utilities
Environmental Svcs/Equipment
Fisheries & Wildlife
Mining
Misc Energy
Waste Management

Oil & Gas is second in spending among those industries, with Electric Utilities being the first.

There are explanations of this other than deliberate deception. Laziness is a good one. I just wonder about people who didn’t notice that what they were comparing were not the same thing.

Also, does anyone else find it amusing that Burns’s number one contributing industry is “TV/Movies/Music?” Oil & Gas is number three.

Categories: Congress, Montana, The Right
  1. July 19, 2006 at 1:18 am

    Well said. Baucus leaves a lot to be desired in the area of ‘purity’, but some distinctions do exist. Still, I am rather tired of conservatives bringing up Baucus every time we talk about honesty. You would think he was running this year.

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