GOP pounces on Nye fundraiser with BP lobbyist
The National Republican Congressional Committee pounced Friday on a story in the Washington Post noting that Rep. Glenn Nye (D-Va.) was one of several lawmakers and candidates who had fundraisers thrown for them by lobbyists for BP -- after the oil spill that is still pouring into the Gulf of Mexico.
The Post reported that Timothy Glassco, a lobbyist for the Podesta Group who has represented BP, was a host of a "Young Professionals" happy hour for Nye on May 25, more than a month after the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon.
With Nye facing a tough reelection race in November against auto dealer Scott Rigell (R), the NRCC jumped on the report, claiming in a release that it's evidence Nye is "nestled comfortably in BP's back pocket" and making the standard campaign demand that Nye return "the sludge-soaked proceeds" from the fundraiser in question.
Why would Nye attend a BP-linked fundraiser in this environment? Perhaps because the event was only tangentially related to the oil company. As the invitation to the fundraiser shows, Glassco was just one of 17 hosts for the gathering at Good Stuff Eatery. Glassco has done work in the last two years for more than 30 different clients in a variety of industries, not just energy. And Nye, who sits on the Armed Services Committee, represents a district with a massive military presence.
"The hosts of our young professionals fundraiser were predominantly representing the defense industry, including Tim Glassco," said Jennifer Koch, Nye's campaign manager. "Congressman Nye is proud of his record on defense issues and stands behind all his actions which support our military and the Hampton Roads region."
A Nye aide adds that the lawmaker had no idea Glassco worked with BP, and that the two had only ever discussed defense issues.
Will that stop the NRCC -- and possibly Rigell -- from continuing to hammer at the issue? Probably not, as long as the oil is still flowing into the gulf and BP remains public enemy No. 1 in the political world.
June 18, 2010; 1:03 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Virginia Congressional Races , Ben Pershing , Election 2010 , Glenn Nye , Scott Rigell
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