BP gears up to win over Washington and the rest of us – Grist

Posted by Henry Taksier, June 10, 2010

BP trash bag, Photo: abrahamhyat via Flickr

“A little less than a month ago, back before he was madly tripping over his tongue, BP CEO Tony Hayward was sounding almost inspirational as he channeled Winston Churchill: “We are determined to fight this spill on all fronts, in the deep water of the Gulf, in the shallow waters, and, should it be necessary, on the shore.”

But, alas, then was then and now is now.  These days Hayward and BP are preparing for new battles: They are determined to fight in Congress, in the courts, and on Google.

As sloppy as BP has been with little things like safety and disaster prep out in the real world, the company is one plugged-in player in the land of power and perception.

Money can buy you love: Sure, just about every politician is playing whack-a-mole with BP in public now, but in the halls and restaurants of Capitol Hill, the oil giant has an A-Team in overdrive, reminding members of Congress and their staffs that BP still provides two things their constituents want and need: oil and jobs. It helps, as Laura Strickler notes at CBS News, that BP’s top hired guns in D.C. are no less than Tony Podesta, a cleanup hitter in Lobbyland, and Ken Duberstein, Ronald Reagan’s former chief of staff. Plus, at least 29 of the 43 lobbyists now supporting BP came from the federal government or congressional staffs — including three who used to work for Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.).  And a BP advisory council includes the likes of former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, former Republican Sen. Warren Rudman, and former New Jersey governor and EPA chief Christine Todd Whitman, as ABC News reports.

Check out this map from Muckety of BP’s lobbying machine.

Let us help you help us: To cover its bases, BP and its employees have already kicked in more than $112,000 to candidates running this year, with 70 percent going to incumbents, Dave Gilson reports at Mother Jones.”

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