Skip to comments.Green donors bet on Mitt Romney flip-flop
Posted on 07/31/2012 6:36:51 AM PDT by SoConPubbie
Romney and his super PAC have taken millions from funders with strong green streaks despite the fact that the former Massachusetts governor has run to the right in the primary, proclaiming doubts about global-warming science and trashing President Barack Obamas greenhouse gas emissions policies.
Julian Robertson, founder of the Tiger Management hedge fund, helped put cap-and-trade legislation on the map with $60 million in contributions over the past decade to the Environmental Defense Fund.
Now, Robertson has given $1.25 million to Romneys Restore our Future super PAC, plus the maximum $2,500 to the Romney campaign.
Other green-minded financial backers may not be giving as much as Robertson, but they still share the view that climate-change science and a solid environmental agenda wouldnt be a lost cause if Romney won the White House.
My feeling is that on these issues that people learn, said former Gov. Thomas Kean (R-N.J.), who maxed out last fall to Romney with a $2,500 check. And my hope is, as time goes on, he will understand that not everybody agrees on how you deal with these issues, but I hope he will agree with 99 percent of the scientists who believe this is an issue that we have to deal with.
As president, Kean said he hoped Romney could duplicate his Beacon Hill successes in building coalitions with Democrats on issues such as energy and the environment. In addition, Kean noted that Romney wouldnt face the same gridlocked climate debate of recent years, in large part because of the boom in domestic natural gas production thats helped lower the nations greenhouse gas emission levels. The whole game has changed, Kean said.
Rob Sisson, president of the Republicans for Environmental Protection, said hes scraping together personal funds to write a check to the Romney campaign after getting a chance to meet him for the first time last month during a town hall campaign stop in Kalamazoo, Mich.
I think his record as governor was pretty good as far as Republicans go, said Sisson, who also gave $1,000 last June to Jon Huntsmans campaign. I really get the sense from him and the folks around him with whom Ive spoken that as president hed really look at each situation, gather the data and really make a decision thats best for the country.
If that goes against the grain of how hes campaigning now, so be it, Sisson added. Hes going to be driven by data and facts and not emotions and getting pushed into one corner by one faction of the party.
Among the other green Romney donors is Texas businessman and philanthropist Trammell S. Crow, founder of Earth Day Dallas and winner of the Republicans for Environmental Protections Green Elephant Award in 2007. Crow and his family have given $71,000 this cycle to Republicans, including $15,000 to the Republican National Committee and $5,000 to Romney, according to donation data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
I am voting for Mitt Romney and I believe in global warming, Crow said in a statement to POLITICO.
Of course, for every green-minded GOP donor, theres a large segment of supporters pushing Romney in another direction on energy issues. Campaigning Thursday in North Dakota, Romney tapped Harold Hamm, an Oklahoma oil billionaire and a major GOP contributor, to head his campaigns energy advisory panel. Theres also William Koch, founder of Oxbow Corp., a West Palm Beach, Fla.-based energy firm thats given $1 million to Romneys super PAC.
A former George W. Bush administration energy official unaffiliated with any campaign said green-minded donors wont change Romneys message. If he were getting contributions from some of the guys who contribute to our president, some of the street activists, Bill Ayers, Id be worried. But that doesnt worry me, the official said.
Others are raising expectations because of heavy-hitting Republican donors such as Robertson.
Continue Reading Text Size - + reset Listen If for some climate advocates the influence of money in politics does not give pause, then such advocates can hope that Robertson will use his access and influence with the Romney team to shift the candidates position on climate change should Romney win the GOP nomination, and especially if he makes it to the White House, American University professor Matthew Nisbet wrote last month on his blog.
If Romney won, Nisbet concluded that Robertsons role as an EDF trustee and major donor should give the organization significant access to the Oval Office.
Robertson isnt trying to buy access, said his spokesman Fraser Seitel.
The reasons hes supporting Romney are very simple, Seitel said. In his view, Romney is smart enough, moral enough and fit enough to run the country.
In terms of the environment and climate-change controls, which he does believe is one of the most important issues the country and the world faces, he has confidence that Romney, once hes in there, will do the right thing, Seitel added.
Green-minded donors have also shelled out to other GOP presidential candidates this cycle.
Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, a longtime Nature Conservancy board member, gave the maximum $2,500 to Huntsman last summer. Former White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray gave $2,500 to Huntsman and then followed up with the same amount in January to Romney after Huntsman left the race. Bill Doré, a semi-retired energy consultant, has donated more than $1 million to the super PAC boosting Rick Santorums presidential campaign.
Doré made his fortune in the pipeline and offshore drilling equipment business. But for years, Doré, now 69, also butted heads with the oil and gas industry in his native Louisiana. Not only did he sue multiple oil companies for polluting 9,000 acres of marshland he had leased to them for drilling, but he also was a leading backer of bills in the Louisiana Legislature to protect other landowners ability to file similar so-called legacy site suits.
I am absolutely sure that he lost friends over that, said Butch Gautreaux, a former Democratic state senator who sponsored legislation on the issue backed by Doré.
Gautreaux, who received at least $2,500 in campaign contributions from Doré, told POLITICO that Doré not only put himself on the line, but he also spent a lot of money doing engineering studies backing what he was alleging at the time.
Before this year, Doré had given $637,000 in federal and state contributions, split about equally between the parties. His biggest contributions had been to the Republican Governors Association ($50,000 in 2010) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ($28,500 in 2008) which, interestingly, had helped defeat Santorum in 2006.
Doré did not respond to repeated requests for comment about his political views or motivation for donating to the super PAC supporting Santorum, who has pushed for expanded oil drilling and hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas.
But Gautreaux, who said he considers himself good friends with Doré, called him an oil and gas environmentalist and said his political involvement is motivated by a sense of doing what you believe is the right thing to do for the right reason.
Seems the other day there was quite the kerfluffle about Virgil Goode being helped by the Green Party to get on the VA Ballot.
Romney seems to be benifiting from the extreme left as well Global Warming crowd as this article points out.
The fact that so many of Mitt’s moderate friends have chosen to make a run to the hard left should serve as a warning but it won’t.
So far, I will vote “none of the above” for president.
If Romney wins WITHOUT my vote,
he governs as a conservative for 4 years,
I’ll vote for him in 2016.
P.S. a Freeper (I forget who) developed this strategy a while ago. It is the only one that does not violate my conscience.
When I asked her why, she told me that Obama has done nothing but increase the number of people riding on the gubmint teat milk wagon. We need to do something to increase the number of wagon pullers.
I couldn't argue with her logic.
“Article” is 5 months old. Wonder how much these old fools have given to the Democrats.
I didn’t know Virgil Goode was part of the Green Party? Eh, one third-party is as good as another I guess.
Everyone now knows that Obama is GOING DOWN in November. This, and the fact that the Kenyan can’t get any money from anyone, is just another indication that these groups don’t want to be on the side of the sinking ship. If one takes their ideological glasses off, it’s obviously clear how bad things are starting to look for the Kenyan.
So what do we have to give in return? These greentards aren’t giving out of the goodness of their hearts. They want something in return.
Most in the GOP are in love with the idea of carbon credits.
It is the next hedge-fund bubble which they think is going to enrich their fortunes.
We spend all this time fighting the democrats while we concede the war.
Romney’s supporters inthe “Green” Global Warming crowd vs. Virgil Goode and the Green Party support getting him on the VA Ballot Ping!
“We spend all this time fighting the democrats while we concede the war.” I never see you fighting the democrats. Only conservative Republicans. But at least you are consistent.
proclaiming doubts about global-warming science
When did Wee Willie do that ???
You’re nothing but the modern version of the Vichy French. Completely and utterly unworthy of respect.
The idea is to get ol'Virg enough electoral votes so that the selection can be pushed into the Congress. I think they imagine this gives them an advantage down the road. As it is Obama kept none of his promises and Romney is America's most celebrated flipflopper having been on all sides of all issues.
Ol’crip there IS a Conservative Republican. We are not supporting ANY baby killing Leftwingtards this year.
Completely false statement, ynot. Fighting Obama and Romney is not fighting conservatives. It is fighting liberals.
And you know it. The litany of Romney's liberalism is lengthy and undeniable.
I bear you no ill will for holding your nose and voting for Romney, even though you know he's a liberal, because I did that, too, in the past with John McCain, Daddy Bush, and Cialis Bob Dole, all moderate to liberal who ran to lose.
Honesty, though, should have you acknowledge that conservatives who can't do the "hold the nose" routine are still conservatives who simply see things differently than you do.
Like me, you're in a major swing state, so I understand your angst. I'm in Ohio, but I'm still voting conservative. I still hold out hope, though, that the Convention will dump Romney in favor of a conservative. In the absence of that, I'm voting my principles.
Unbelievable. Impossible. Willard Mitt Romney is as rock-solid of a man as one could ever hope to meet. He would not waver even if he were sitting on top of a flagpole in the middle of a Cat 5 hurricane. He is so firm and uncompromising in his principles, he makes a stone wall look like quivering jello. This man simply DOES NOT CHANGE. We can take his word that where he’s at today will be where he’s at tomorrow, since it’s been where he’s at for ages past.
Not voting for Mitt Pétain here in Michigan either.
What is the point of voting for one party over the other when the party you vote for adopts the same policies as the party you oppose.