Today, PBS and ProPublica have posted the contents of the American Tradition Partnership’s bank records, which include some donor records from the 2010 election cycle. A Montana judge ordered that the information be made public last week. Among the groups funders is Pennsylvania Power & Light, or PP&L as it likes to be known in Montana (to eliminate the need to remind people where it is headquartered.)
Other ATP financial backers include:
- TEA Party billionaire Ray Thompson, of Kalispell ($10,000)
- John Sinrud, of Bozeman
- Intermountain Rural Electric Association ($25,000)
- Former TEA Party Legislator Tom Burnett (R-Bozeman)
- Montana and Wyoming Oil Company
- Flathead Timber, of Whitefish
- Dan O’Neil Construction, of Billings
- Soby Construction, of Bozeman
- Raemaeker Insurance, of Choteau
- Livingston developer Peter Mackenzie (various checks, thousands)
- T. Baird Construction, Big Timber
- developer Gateway Village LLC, Bozeman
- Jason Theilman, Steve Daines campaign manager
- GOP Senator Bruce Tutvedt (R-Kalispell)
- Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill (Apple Gilroy Inc.)
- Big Timber TEA Partier Bob Faw
- AAON Inc.($20 k)
- K12 Management Inc. Catholic religious private school corporation, Washington D.C. ($20k)
- Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce PAC
- Taxpayers for Liberty, Andrew J. O’Neill ($4k)
- TEA Party Rep. Dan Kennedy (R-Laurel), Campaign account
- Colorado Mine Association ($25k)
–and many others.
I haven’t had time to go through all the documents, but Cowgirl readers can do so here. It should be most interesting to see what people find. This information is from the 2010 cycle only, not 2012.
The Great Corette Cover-up
There is a giant fiction, a myth, being perpetrated by the Republicans and by PP&L (the big national power generating company) during this campaign season. They are trying persuade voters that the closure of a coal-fired plant in Billings, the Corette Power Plant, is due to new EPA mercury standards. Supposedly, the fiction goes, these standards are just too onerous and forced PP&L to shut down the plant.
It fits nicely into the GOP’s “too many regulations are killing jobs,” but is nonsense. PP&L has announced plans to shut down the plant in 2015 because they are now able to generate power at a fraction of the rate by using natural gas, which is cheaper now than it has been in 20 years and much cheaper than coal. PP&L provides power wholesale to utility companies like Northwestern Energy who then sell it retail to consumers. PP&L benefits financially by generating its power as cheaply as possible.
PP&L has actually stated in its own SEC filings that the coal plant is closing because power can be generated more cheaply with PPL’s natural gas plants.
Nevertheless, Republicans and conservative blogs have seized on the recent claims by PP&L that it is shutting down the Billings Corette Power Plant due to mercury regulations and, of all things, wind energy tax credits.
Never mind that mercury is a known neurotoxin that impairs brain development in fetuses (so much for that ‘pro-life’ stance.) And never mind that Mercury in fish from Montana lakes and streams is now a big problem in Montana–even in areas like Glacier National Park. What’s more important is that PP&L, a corporation that supports mostly Republicans in Congress and in Montana, use this economic situation as a way to make up fake claims about “regulations killing jobs.” That’s corporate America for you.
Indeed, PP&L has contributed $10,000 to Denny Rehberg, and millions to conservative candidates.