Will Murkowski and Senate Committee Members hold lobbyist Bernhardt accountable during confirmation hearing?

Western Values Project Launches Ad Campaign Calling On Murkowski To Do Her Job, Ask The Tough Questions During Hearing

Today, Western Values Project is running a full-page ad in Politico calling on Senator Murkowski, Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, to do her job and ask critically important questions at today’s confirmation hearing for lobbyist turned deputy secretary nominee David Bernhardt. Washington’s Spinning Wheel of Corruption

Bernhardt and his lobbying firm’s political action committee have given thousands of dollars in campaign donations to Senator Murkowski and other committee members. As a registered lobbyist, Bernhardt has come under fire for a long list of conflicts of interest. Among the conflicts is a water deal under review at the department that could lead to Bernhardt’s lobbying firm pocketing more than $2 million.

“How can we trust Senator Murkowski and other members of the committee to fully vet their own campaign donor? Giving thousands in campaign cash to the committee members approving his nomination is just the beginning of the long list of conflicts of interest that should disqualify lobbyist David Bernhardt from this important position that oversees our public lands,” said Chris Saeger, Western Values Project Director. “This is the height of swamp politics, but it’s not surprising given the revolving door Secretary Zinke and President Trump have opened up from the oil and gas industry directly into the Interior Department. If they are serious about ‘draining the swamp,’ Bernhardt should absolutely not be confirmed.”  

If this hearing is going to be anything more than a sham, Bernhardt should answer the following questions:

David Bernhardt, since 2010, has contributed $15,100 to Republicans currently serving on the Senate Energy Committee. He has contributed:

David Bernhardt has not given money to any other members of the committee.

(CQ Political Moneyline Search for David Bernhardt)

David Bernhardt’s lobbying firm Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck, LLP operates the BHFS-E PAC, which has also made several contributions to members of the Senate Energy Committee or to their Leadership PACs.  Since 2012 the firm’s PAC has given at least:

In total the firm’s PAC has given $53,500 to Republican members of the committee since 2012.

Washington’s Spinning Wheel of Corruption

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