FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Walter Ludwig, Bornstein for Congress, 202-251-0670, email@example.com
Campaign website: juliebornstein.com
DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE JULIE BORNSTEIN
CALLS MACK MAILER "MISLEADING"
Says Republican's Ideas Won't Help Middle-Class Families
PALM DESERT, CA, August 25, 2008 — Democratic Congressional candidate Julie Bornstein called Rep. Mary Mack's (formerly Mary Bono) recent taxpayer-paid campaign mailing "mostly misleading, and full of bad ideas that will hurt the environment but won't lower gas prices for middle-class families."
"Drilling in ANWR and increasing oil shale development will provide no price relief to the families of Riverside County, will have potentially catastrophic environmental consequences and will make billions for huge oil and gas companies like ExxonMobil," Bornstein said.
Energy conglomerates have contributed over $250,000 to Rep. Mack since she has been in Congress, and her financial disclosure forms show she owns substantial stock in several of them. "When voters look at the candidates, they should ask why Mack supports these ideas, and votes to give big oil and gas companies billions in taxpayer money," Bornstein said.
Earlier this month, Rep. Mack sent postcards — resembling campaign mail, but costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars — to voters throughout the 45th District. The postcards were printed and mailed using Mack's Congressional "franking privilege," originally designed to allow members of Congress to communicate actual news to constituents.
From the postcard: Mack called for opening ANWR (the Alaskan Natural Wildlife Refuge) for drilling and for increasing oil shale development.
Fact: The US Department of Energy estimates that even in full production, drilling in ANWR would lower the price of crude oil between 41 cents and $1.44 per barrel — in the year 2025. That's between a penny and three cents a gallon of gas, 17 years from now. For that small possible benefit, the real price would be permanent damage to one of the last pristine places in North America.
Fact: Oil-shale extraction also does little to decrease the price of fuel to consumers, and releases more greenhouse gas than regular oil extraction. Most processes are only in experimentation now, use huge amounts of water and cause devastating pollution.
From the postcard: Mack says: "The sooner we expand our domestic energy supply, the sooner we can realize a more secure energy future."
Fact: Oil is traded on a global market. Increasing US oil and gas production will not affect the price of gasoline in this country very much, if at all. It will, however, benefit the bottom lines and stock prices of US-based oil companies, who will sell the oil on the international market.
From the postcard: The postcard features a photo montage of windmills and solar panel arrays. In the text, Mack says: "Our region is home to abundant sources of renewable energy — from wind to solar to geothermal." She also writes about the importance of tax subsidies for conservation.
Fact: Rep. Mack voted NO on HR 3221, the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2007 (roll call no. 832, 110th Congress, 1st session). This bill, which passed the House, promoted alternative energy purchases by electric utilities, increased development loans for conservation, created grants for small business to improve energy performance, and authorized up to $1 billion in loan guarantees for bio-fuel refinery construction. She also voted NO on HR 5351 (roll call 84, 110th Congress, 2nd session), which extended tax credits for wind farms, geothermal and solar energy facilities, extended the 30% tax credit for solar property, and increased the homeowners' tax credit for solar from $2,000 to $4,000. Both bills' provisions would have promoted alternative fuel industry and created jobs in the 45th District.
Other Notable Mack Votes on Energy: 1) NO on HR 6251, requiring oil companies to to develop existing leases before applying for new off-shore drilling (roll call no. 469, 110th Congress, 2nd session); 2) YES on HR 4 (roll call 320, 107th Congress, 2nd session), which provided over $30 billion in taxpayer subsidies for oil and gas conglomerates.
Mary Mack Has Received Over a Quarter-Million Dollars in Energy Company Contributions
According to the Federal Election Commission and opensecrets.org, Rep. Mack has received $227,295 in campaign contributions from energy and natural resources company PACs and executives since she was first elected to Congress, including over $75,000 from the oil and gas business, and over $95,000 from electric utilities.
Mary Mack Owns Significant Stock in Energy Companies
According to the Sunlight Foundation, Rep. Mack's most recent personal financial disclosure form to the Clerk of the House shows direct ownership of between $22,000 and $155,000 in oil and gas industry stock. (Disclosures are made in very broad ranges). Among the companies whose stock she owns are ExxonMobil, Devon Energy, Dominion Resources, Emerson Electric, Progress Energy, and Baker Hughes. The disclosure form (and those for previous years) also shows that Rep. Mack is an active trader in energy stocks.
NOTE TO REPORTERS/EDITORS: A scanned copy of the Mack mailer is available on request. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.