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Halliburton Continues to Flood Lawmakers With Contributions After Oil Spill

Michael Beckel

Halliburton, the company once headed by former
Republican Vice President Dick Cheney contributed $15,500 to federal
candidates during June, according to a Center for
Responsive Politics
review of their political

action committee's most recent campaign finance

That amount represents the third largest month of
donations by the PAC this election cycle.

The giving comes at a
time when the Texas-based company is weathering a
political storm for its involvement on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig
that exploded on April 20 and sunk in the Gulf of Mexico, causing a
massive amount oil to spill into the surrounding waters. Investigations
are currently underway to determine how and why the spill occurred --
and who should be held responsible -- by Congress and the Department of

In May, Halliburton's PAC contributed $17,000 to federal
lawmakers -- the most since last September. And during the second
quarter of 2010, Halliburton has contributed $46,500 to federal
lawmakers -- about one-third of the entire sum it has donated this
election cycle, the Center found.

Last month, the energy company
cut checks to 10 federal politicians, the Center found. And politicians
aren't eager to talk about the money.

Rebeca Chapa, a spokeswoman for Rep. Ciro

Rodriguez (D-Texas) -- the sole Democrat among the company's
beneficiaries last month -- declined to comment for this story.


of the nine Republican beneficiaries, just two responded to requests
for comment.

Contributions from BP,
which was operating the now-sunken oil rig, have been viewed as
undesirable by many politicians in the past two months, as OpenSecrets

Blog previously reported. Yet the Republicans that were reached
Friday did not view the money from Halliburton as toxic.

welcome the support of all who are interested in job creation," Arkansas

Republican congressional candidate Tim Griffin, who received a
$1,000 contribution from Halliburton's PAC last month, said in a
statement e-mailed to OpenSecrets Blog. "The Fayetteville Shale
is critical to job creation in Arkansas's Second District, and
Halliburton is a player there in developing our natural gas resource.


the investigation continues, I have been abundantly clear that BP and
other responsible parties must bear the entire financial burden for the
environmental and economic catastrophe in the Gulf," Griffin added.



Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina, who received $5,000
from Halliburton's PAC in June and received another $2,500 from the PAC
back in April, did not shy away from the association with Halliburton.


policy is to evaluate contributions on a case-by-case basis," said
Andrea Saul, Fiorina's press secretary e-mailed in a statement to OpenSecrets


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Blog. "Carly has not and will not take donations from BP. We make
these decisions based on facts, not speculation, and therefore, at this
point, have accepted the contribution from Halliburton."

Center found that the other federal-level Republicans to benefit from
Halliburton's cash last month included two members of the Louisiana
delegation, two members of the House

Energy and Commerce Committee, one member of the House

Natural Resources Committee and several high-profile challengers
and open seat candidates.

These recipients were:


Halliburton's PAC contributed $2,000 to the state-level campaign of
incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Perry of Texas.

Halliburton's PAC
ended the quarter with $144,600 in cash on hand. It has contributed
$148,100 to federal candidates since January 2009, mostly

to Republicans.

Halliburton contractors performed cementing
operations to seal the
offshore oil well. Some have suggested that faulty cementing contributed
to the spill, although Halliburton itself has maintained that its work
is not to blame.

Teresa Wong, manager of public relations for
Halliburton, said the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico "has had no impact
on how the PAC members are
distributing the funds."

"Halliburton's PAC, supported by the
voluntary contributions of company employees, makes contributions to
candidates and elected officials from the states where our employees
live and work and to those whose business views are aligned with efforts
that support the oil and gas industry," Wong added.

for Responsive Politics Political Action Committee Researcher Spencer
MacColl contributed to this report.

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