Texas Rep. Joe Barton, who apologized to BP’s top executive at a marathon Congressional hearing today, collected tens of thousands of dollars from the company’s affiliated political action committees over his career, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of the campaign finance records.
Barton, the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, apologized to BP’s Tony Hayward, saying he was “ashamed of what happened” in what he described as a “shakedown” of the company by the Obama administration. President Obama announced earlier this week that BP agreed to create a $20 billion fund to help rebuild the Gulf Coast region that has been damaged by a massive BP oil spill.
Barton later apologized for what he said was misconstrued as an apology during the hearing.
BP and its PACs have contributed $22,800 to Barton over his nearly 26-year Congressional career, the records show. This total includes contributions ranging from $500 in Barton’s first race in 1984, up to a $5,000 contribution for his 2006 re-election campaign. The most recent contribution was $1,000 in December 2009, according to the subscription-only CQ MoneyLine’s contribution records.
Barton’s office did not respond to a Center request for comment.