Rep. Aric Nesbitt has been covered in this space before for his fealty to Big Oil interests, his “Environmental Zero” grade from Clean Water Action in 2011, his disregard for public input in the legislative process, and his preference for meaningless resolutions rather than focusing on things that matter, like jobs. And again, Big Oil’s favorite lawmaker is behaving in a completely predictable way, as he becomes the latest Michigan lawmaker to endorse Mitt Romney for president.

This endorsement isn’t all Mitt Romney and Rep. Nesbitt have in common. They’re really very similar politicians, each of whom equates fulfilling corporate welfare with public service and passes off enriching their polluting buddies as the kind of freedom our founding fathers really wanted. It’s unfortunate for them that corporations aren’t actually people who could donate directly to their campaigns and vote for them.

Since his election in 2010, Rep. Nesbitt has raked in campaign donations from out-of-state donors and Big Oil PACs – perhaps because he chairs the Natural Gas Subcommittee in the House. In his six-way Republican primary in 2010, Nesbitt took in $1,700 from employees of the Washington, D.C. lobbying firm Valente & Associates, and in 2011 (notably, a non-election year) he raised $1,000 from them. Valente & Associates spends millions on federal lobbying every year, including a $90,000 contract from the Moroun family-owned Detroit International Bridge Company in 2011. 

Voters in Minnesota, Colorado, and Missouri are just the latest to reject Romney’s candidacy, as he does worse with voters the closer they get to the average American’s income. Mitt Romney is also no stranger to audacious conflicts of interest and outright hypocrisy, as new reports reveal that he is heavily invested in many companies that produce the extremely common birth control medication he has incorrectly decried as “abortifacients.” His “super PAC,” Restore Our Future, has also raised at least $1.2 million so far from coal, oil, and gas companies. The corporate special interests that benefit most from a rigged system are going for the politicians who will keep it that way – and Michigan lawmakers are falling in line. I know I won’t forget about this in November.

Will you?


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