On Thursday, as BP CEO Tony Hayward testifed before Congress, one Republican lawmaker identified yet another victim: BP itself.
Rep. Joe Barton, a Texas Republican with close ties to the oil industry, apologized to Hayward and said he was "ashamed" that BP had been the victim of a "shakedown" Wednesday, when the company agreed to set aside $20 billion for claims resulting from the spill.
"I'm ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday," Barton said. "I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown, in this case a $20 billion shakedown."
Barton has received $1.4 million in contributions from the oil industry -- it's his biggest donor industry -- since 1989, according to the Center For Responsive Politics (CRP). Of course, oil companies have lavished money on members of both parties, but Barton is routinely among the top recipients.
In fact, as Nate Silver points out, Barton's largest single donor is Anadarko Petroleum (APC) -- BP's main partner in the Macondo Prospect, the very undersea oil field that blew out the Deepwater Horizon rig and has spewed millions of gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico.
This guy needs to be kicked out of his position, PRONTO. People shouldn't wait for this fool to resign. As Balderdash has said, "I think sometimes waiting for people to do the right thing is the wrong thing."
And it's good to see BOTH Republicans and Democrats giving this a$$hole hell for these statements.