Conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt said Democrats on the Senate committee holding a confirmation hearing for President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are hypocrites.
Why? Democrat charging Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt with taking “dark money” from super PACs with ties to the energy industry themselves take such money from environmental PACs.
“Democrats on the committee who are attacking him, that’s what they all get — dark money,” Hewitt said on his radio show, according to a new YouTube video posted by the GOP-aligned America Rising Squared.
“The most dark money goes the Edward Markey of Massachusetts,” Hewitt said. “A total of $3 million last year, including $1,077,000 from something called NextGen. MoveOn gives Markey $406,000. The Sierra Club donated $48,000 to Markey.”
Markey has benefitted from more than $2.3 million in donations and independent expenditures since 2008 from environmental groups opposed to Pruitt’s confirmation, according to campaign data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).
CRP defines dark money as “political spending meant to influence the decision of a voter, where the donor is not disclosed and the source of the money is unknown.” Such spending can come from PACs or non-profits.
Markey’s largest single donor is the League of Conservation Voters (LCV). The environmental campaign group gave Markey $214,421 in the 2013-2014 election cycle, and supported him with nearly $1.4 million in independent expenditures.
LCV’s independent expenditures came from three different affiliated groups — a PAC, super PAC and 501c — that didn’t always disclose their donors.
“You look over and you find that every single member of the committee has received money from dark money groups,” Hewitt said. “MoveOn, Sierra Club, Environment America, NRDC, NextGen, and they’re charging Scott Pruitt with receiving dark money. It’s really amazing.”
Pruitt’s confirmation hearing is set for Wednesday. He’s expected to get a positive recommendation from the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
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