Statesman Reports On Rep. John Carter (R-Exxon Mobil)

Posted in Election 2006, Williamson County at 12:02 am by wcnews

Here’s the story, Carter may sell oil stock, Democratic foe says shares show conflict of interest. That Democratic foe by the way is Mary Beth Harrell. There’s not much new here to readers of EOW. It’s a good article and does an excellent job of putting all the information in one place:

Carter has come under fire recently from his November Democratic challenger, Mary Beth Harrell, for owning Exxon Mobil Corp. shares valued between $1 million and $5 million, according to his latest disclosure reports.


“Carter made his stock ownership an issue when he chose to stage a press conference at a Shell station to talk about the high price of gas,” Harrell said. “He didn’t bother to disclose he owned at least a million in (Exxon Mobil) stock.”

And more here:

Carter’s general support of the energy industry and his support of drilling initiatives create a conflict of interest, Harrell said.

Carter, a Republican who has been in office since 2002, supported the 2005 energy bill spearheaded by Vice President Dick Cheney, which pushed new drilling, alternative energy and billions in tax incentives for the industry, and voted this May in support of opening Alaska to new drilling.

“He’s been doing the bidding of Big Oil,” Harrell said.

Carter disagrees.

“The oil business built Texas, and it continues to be the number one business in Texas. My opponent is from New York. Maybe that’s why she doesn’t understand it,” he said. “As for being a conflict of interest, I would like for someone to explain how that is a conflict of interest.”

Still, Carter said, “My family is looking at whether we need to diversify rather than have the whole lot (in oil). But that’s an issue that is my family’s business.”

He said the decision to diversify is a financial one and unrelated to Harrell’s accusations.

John Carter tries to dodge this conflict of interest by saying Mary Beth Harrell is a Yankee and doesn’t understand the “all bidness”. Well she definitely understands why it’s a conflict of interest for a congressman to stand in front of a Shell station and talk to the “average Joe” about the high price of gas when he owns between $1 million and $5 million in Exxon Mobil stock. He should also be able to see the obvious conflict between this stock and his support for Big Oil. Also, there is no way this is an issue if Mary Beth Harrell hadn’t brought it up. For Carter to say this is unrelated to this diversity decision is denial at best and a campaign ploy at worst.

One thing I take issue with in this article is the AAS’s statement about John Carter’s general support of the energy industry. It’s like Harrell says, “He’s doing the bidding of Big Oil”. Which his vote, just this week, for the Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act (DOER) proves. That bill will end a 25-year federal ban on drilling off most of the Pacific and Atlantic coasts and parts of the Gulf of Mexico.

The AAS tries to lay this off a little as “everyone does it” - most Central Texans in congressmen own oil stock - even liberal Lloyd Doggett owns oil stock. But no one has near the amount of Rep. Carter.

It’s about time the media picked up on this story and the AAS should be congratulated for running it. It’s definitely something the people of district 31 should be informed about and aware of when filling up their vehicle and voting in November.

You can see our reporting on Rep. Carter’s latest financial disclosure here.

1 Comment »

  1. Eye on Williamson » What Is A Politian To Do About Gas Prices? said,

    August 24, 2006 at 9:46 pm

    […] They can do a lot if they want to but If they’re profiting form the high prices don’t expect them to do much. The AAS has an article on the subject, Angry at gas prices, not the politicians, it’s pretty much worthless. It quotes people driving gas guzzlers saying they don’t think that politicians can do much about the issue. Mary Beth Harrell on the other hand knows that accountability on this issue would go a long way: Mary Beth Harrell, who is challenging Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, said voters are sensitive to gas prices but concerned with the bigger picture: Congress isn’t taking action on long-term energy solutions. […]

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