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LCV Launches $260K Ad Buy Calling on Rep. Benishek to Stop Supporting Taxpayer Handouts to Big Oil

Contact: Kate Geller, (202) 785-8683 or

November 1, 2011  

MICHIGAN – Today, the League of Conservation Voters launched a new television ad in Michigan’s 1st district calling on Representative Benishek to stop voting to protect tax breaks for Big Oil. The ad highlights the Congressman’s extensive voting record of supporting unnecessary subsidies to the oil industry as well as his recent comments that "oil companies pay their fair share." The television ad will run on broadcast and cable in the Traverse City and Marquette media markets.

"As Michigan families struggle to pay thousands of dollars in taxes, Congressman Benishek is voting to hand out billions in special tax breaks to the nation’s most profitable oil companies," said LCV President Gene Karpinski. "He may claim that oil companies pay their fair share, but there’s nothing fair about his votes to allow oil companies to profit off Michigan families twice: once at the pump and again from their federal taxes."

The five biggest oil companies made over $100 billion in profits so far in 2011, and the oil and gas industry receives $4 billion in tax breaks annually.  Yet Rep. Benishek told constituents at a public forum: “I think oil companies pay their fair share.” [Center for American Progress, 10/28/11; CNN, 4/29/11; Petoskey News, 8/24/11] Earlier this year, Rep. Benishek voted against an amendment to repeal $53 billion in oil subsidies.  Three days later, Exxon Mobil wrote him a check for $5000. [HR1, House Vote 109, 2/18/11; FEC]

Rep. Benishek has voted more than three times this year to protect tax breaks for Big Oil. [HR1, House Vote 109, 2/18/11; HJRes44, House Vote 153, 3/1/11; HRes245, House Vote 293, 5/5/11; CNN, 4/29/11] The ad urges Rep. Benishek’s constituents to contact the Congressman to tell him to vote the right way on this critical issue.

While consistently voting to protect their unnecessary subsidies in the U.S. House, Rep. Benishek has received $46,850 in campaign contributions from oil and gas companies over the course of his career. The industry is one of his top five sources of cash.  [Center for Responsive Politics]

View the ad here: 

View the ad script and documentation here: 

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