The articles here show that Chevron is campaigning on being communitarians, taking on the ideas of their political rivals, the "Richmond Progressive Alliance", so that the residents of Richmond will forget that Chevron tried to destroy their city by illegally withholding millions of dollars in taxes, and knowingly engaging in illegal pollution activities. Chevron is also a company which supports and funds politicians who seek to de-regulate the petroleum industry and abolish corporate taxes, as the second article shows. Same tiger, same stripes!
"Chevron opens doors to make amends with Richmond"
2013-10-07 by Andrew Ross from "San Francisco Chronicle" [http://www.sfgate.com/business/bottomline/article/Chevron-opens-doors-to-make-amends-with-Richmond-4876498.php]:
Fourteen months after a refinery fire that sent 15,000 residents to local hospitals, Chevron opened the gates of its 2,900-acre Richmond complex to the public on Saturday, including such treats as bus tours down "Main Street" and "Petrolite Street."
It was Chevron's third annual Community Tour Day - not held last year - and part of the San Ramon energy giant's drive to improve relations with a community that's been none-too pleased with the city's largest employer and taxpayer of late.
"The community has the opportunity to see firsthand what we do behind our fence and understand our commitment to operating safely," said the refinery's general manager, Kory Judd. "Our neighbors were able to learn more about what we do, who we are and have an open conversation with our employees."
Last week, Chevron announced a $15.5 million "community revitalization initiative" to fund an economic development plan for the city's underserved neighborhoods and education programs to help raise test scores, college readiness and Stem-based career preparation for the city's youth.
"We are committed to not only improving the quality of life for all residents but transforming the economic landscape of this community," said Judd.
In addition to causing thousands of coughing and spluttering residents to seek medical treatment during the fire, Chevron had to cough up $3 million in criminal and civil fines, and faces at least three civil lawsuits, including one by the city of Richmond.
The five-year revitalization initiative, developed in partnership with local businesses, public officials, community activists and nonprofits, will also encourage financial institutions to dole out small business and home loans plus develop job-training, adult education and other programs.
Not all residents are impressed, including the city's Green Party mayor, Gayle McLaughlin, who recently returned from a trip to Ecuador and made it clear whose side she's on in the bitter, protracted, multibillion-dollar legal battle between Chevron and Ecuadoran plaintiffs over pollution damage in the Ecuadoran rain forest.
"We're all interconnected, and this is an international struggle against corporate domination," McLaughlin declared on her return.
Others are more supportive of the initiative. "I don't always agree with Chevron, but I agree with this project," said Henry Clark, executive director of the West County Toxics Coalition, an environmental advocacy group in Richmond.
More information on the initiative at is www.chevronrichmond.com/revitalizerichmond.
"Chevron gives $2.3 million to super PAC"
2012-10-31 by Andrew Ross from "San Francisco Chronicle" [http://www.sfgate.com/business/bottomline/article/Chevron-gives-2-3-million-to-super-PAC-3994944.php]:
According to a TV ad that has been running repeatedly on local stations in California's Central Coast area, Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, "voted to take $6 trillion from our children and grandchildren to pay for failed Washington policies that are simply not working." Her "reckless spending has to stop - Defeat Lois Capps," says the 30-second spot, which features a tot in a cot overlaid by a grim-looking congresswoman.
A considerable amount of money is being wagered against Capps, who is in a particularly tight race with former Republican Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado. Much of it - $402,000 at last count - has been spent by an outfit called the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC.
This month, this same PAC received a $2.3 million contribution from Chevron Corp. of San Ramon. Chevron's contribution is by far the largest made by an American public company to a super PAC since the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court freed all constraints on corporate political spending in the Citizens United case. It's also one of only five super PAC donations made by a Fortune 500 company since 2010, according to the Center for Public Integrity.
Most super PAC contributions come from high-wealth individuals like Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who along with his wife has given $5 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund. Together, the Adelsons and Chevron account for 80 percent of the money raised by the super PAC this election season.
Chevron, one of the world's largest energy companies, is no stranger to political campaigns, especially as they relate to its corporate values. "We ... support political candidates who and political organizations or ballot measures that are committed to economic development, free enterprise and good government," the company states on its website.
When it comes to handing out money, however, Chevron's values appear to align closely with those of conservative organizations and Republican candidates. Among the big-dollar contributions listed by Chevron in 2011, for example, were $500,000 to the conservative-leaning U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and $150,000 to the Republican Governors Association (compared with $50,000 to the Democratic Governors Association).
Other recent contributions include $500,000 to the Business Industry Political Action Committee, 83 percent of whose donations went to Republican candidates in 2008, and whose stated purpose is to oppose the political influence of trade unions, along with "big government spending."
So far in 2012, Chevron contributed $417,500 to House Republican candidates nationwide, compared with $40,000 for Democrats. GOP Senate candidates have received $114,500, compared with $12,000 for Democrats; $10,000 of that went to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
The Congressional Leadership Fund, founded last October, is a subsidiary of the American Action Network, a self-described "social welfare organization" that seeks to "create, encourage and promote center-right policies."
Founded in 2010 by former Minnesota GOP Sen. Norm Coleman and Rob Collins, a former chief of staff to current House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., the 501 (c)(4) organization, which is allowed to keep the source of its contributions anonymous, spent $26 million on Republican candidates its first year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
This year, among the candidates targeted with $2.2 million in attack ads funded by American Action Network is NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez, a Democrat looking to unseat Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock (Stanislaus County). Among Hernandez's alleged sins: supporting the Obama administration's $700 billion stimulus program and the Affordable Care Act. "Take $700 billion from Medicare and call us in the morning. Say no to Jose," goes the ad, which is in heavy rotation in the Sacramento and Central California television markets.
Unstated in the ads attacking Capps is her long-standing opposition to oil drilling off the Santa Barbara coast, which the Republican-controlled House attempted to open up for exploration in the last session. We can't say whether that played into Chevron's decision to cough up $2.3 million for a Republican-leaning super PAC, although we did ask the company, which continues to benefit from the federal government's generous oil production tax break, whether its largesse had any political motivation.
"Chevron exercises its right to participate in the political process through various contributions," a spokesman e-mailed me. "All of our political contributions are fully disclosed. We support political initiatives and candidates that are committed to economic development; creating abundant, affordable energy; strengthening American businesses; and good government."
Just like it says on the website.