In The News
Callahan Calls on All Federal Elected Officials to Donate BP Money, Repeats Call for Dent to Donate BP Apologist's Money to Charity
For Immediate Release
June 24, 2010
BETHLEHEM, PA. - Today Mayor John Callahan challenged Republican Charlie Dent to join him in signing a letter that calls on all federal elected officials, regardless of party affiliation, to donate campaign contributions from BP to charities that will help with Gulf Coast recovery efforts. Demonstrating his desire to put people above politics, Callahan today signed and delivered to Dent's office a copy of the letter which in part stated:
We call on federal elected officials at all levels, both Democrats and Republicans, to donate to charity any BP contribution used to win the election in 2008 and to reject or donate BP contributions intended for this year's election in order to demonstrate a commitment to put the interests of workers and their families ahead of the interests of BP.
Callahan issued this latest challenge after initially challenging Charlie Dent to return $10,500 in contributions he has received from Republican Joe Barton's Political Action Committee, the Texas Freedom Fund. Last week Barton came under fire for apologizing to BP for making them pay for the cleanup. At the time, Callahan also asked Dent to join two of his fellow Republicans, Rep. Jo Bonner (AL-1) and Rep. Jeff Miller (FL-1), in asking for Barton to step down from his position as the top Republican on the committee responsible for energy policy and industry oversight.
In response to this initial challenge, Dent's campaign said, When John sends out a release telling President Obama and Steny Hoyer to give their BP cash to a Gulf charity, then he'll be doing something other than spouting talking pointsIf John Callahan wants to send a bipartisan letter to President Obama regarding giving his campaign contributions to charity, he knows how to reach us.
The disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has become the largest oil spill in American history and has already taken the lives of 11 workers. It is estimated that the economic impact on the region is expected to cost billions of dollars.
Mayor Callahan is now calling on Congressman Dent to do three things:
1. Dent should join Mayor Callahan by signing a letter calling for all elected officials to reject or donate all of their campaign contributions connected to BP.
2. Dent should state publicly that Rep. Barton should step down from his position as the top Republican on the House Energy & Commerce Committee.
3. Dent should donate the $10,500 he took from BP apologist Congressman Barton's PAC to a charity to help Gulf Coast Families.
The full text of the letter is included below.
June 24, 2010
To Whom It May Concern:
The ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico at the Deepwater Horizon rig operated by BP has already become the greatest environmental disaster our country has ever faced a disaster caused and subsequently made worse by BPs negligence and corporate greed, as well as ineffective oversight from the federal government.
Millions of workers along the Gulf Coast are now suffering as a result, losing not only their jobs but possibly their way of life through no fault of their own. These workers and their families deserve to know that the governments decisions during and after this crisis put their interests first and that the interests of taxpayers always come before the interests of BP. But BPs ability to contribute millions of dollars to the elected officials charged with overseeing the cleanup and recovery makes such confidence impossible.
We call on all federal elected officials who have received campaign contributions from BP either from BPs political action committee or from BP employees to donate the money to a charity for Gulf Coast families in order to avoid even an appearance of impropriety or opportunity for undue corporate influence.
We call on federal elected officials at all levels, both Democrats and Republicans, to donate to charity any BP contribution used to win the election in 2008 and to reject or donate BP contributions intended for this years election in order to demonstrate a commitment to put the interests of workers and their families ahead of the interests of BP.
Mayor of Bethlehem
(Not yet signed)