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Tag: Climate Denial

Leonard Leo’s In Trouble

Dark money goon Leonard LeoLeonard Leo, everybody’s favorite dark money goon, is under scrutiny: Politico reported that  Washington D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb has launched an investigative probe into his sinister network of nonprofit groups.

The Lever has reported extensively on Leo’s shady shenanigans. From stacking the Supreme Court to bankrolling climate denial, eviscerating abortion protections, and championing the right to discriminate, the man truly does it all. But he might finally be starting to get his comeuppance. The probe follows increased media scrutiny and comes after a progressive watchdog group filed a complaint against Leo with the attorney general and the IRS.

Best known as Donald Trump’s White House “court whisperer,” Leo played a behind-the-scenes role in the nominations of all three of the former president’s Supreme Court justices and promoted them through his multi-billion-dollar network of nonprofits. Trump chose his three Supreme Court picks, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, from a list drawn up by Leo. More recently, Leo was the beneficiary of a $1.6 billion contribution, believed to be the biggest political donation in U.S. history.

It’s unclear what the scope of the investigation will be, or how much power the attorney general has to halt Leo’s influence. But hopefully, the move will bring increased scrutiny to the outsized power Leo holds over the conservative legal movement. At the very least, maybe it’ll make him sweat.

D.C. Attorney General is probing Leonard Leo’s network

Fossil Fuel Money In, Climate Denial Out

As climate change unleashed blistering heat, toxic air quality, and deadly floods on millions of Americans this year, congressional Republicans’ two super PACs raked in nearly $4 million from fossil fuel donors, according to new federal election filings reviewed by The Lever.

As the donations poured in, Republican lawmakers began adding the fine print to congressional spending bills that would hobble the federal government’s efforts to combat climate change.

Oil and gas companies were among the corporate interests that continued giving generously to the GOP’s House fundraising arm even after members it backed voted to overturn the 2020 election results, as The Lever reported previously.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, which backs GOP House candidates, reported receiving more than $950,000 from oil and gas firms and executives during the year’s first half. The donors included top executives at the firms’ Energy Transfer Partners, United Refining, and Midland Energy, whose CEO, Syed Javaid Anwar, contributed $125,000.

In total, the Congressional Leadership Fund has hauled in more than $19 million so far this year. The group’s communications director boasted this month that the combined haul with its dark money arm, the American Action Network, is significantly outpacing GOP fundraising at this point in the last election cycle.

Individual 2022 Oil & Gas Recipients (donations took place during the 2021-2022 election cycle and were released by the Federal Election Commission on Monday, March 20, 2023) as reported by

Rank Candidate Office Amount
1 Manchin, Joe (D-WV) Senate $768,859
2 McCarthy, Kevin (R-CA) House $648,161
3 Pfluger, August (R-TX) House $586,276
4 Lankford, James (R-OK) Senate $441,046
5 Hunt, Wesley (R-TX) House $424,345
6 Murkowski, Lisa (R-AK) Senate $412,351
7 Scalise, Steve (R-LA) House $379,676
8 Walker, Herschel (R-GA) $359,801
9 Cuellar, Henry (D-TX) House $355,692
10 Mullin, Markwayne (R-OK) Senate $348,890
11 Laxalt, Adam (R-NV) $335,194
12 Johnson, Ron (R-WI) Senate $310,953
13 Fletcher, Lizzie (D-TX) House $308,020
14 Kennedy, John (R-LA) Senate $305,829
15 Rodgers, Cathy McMorris (R-WA) House $305,117
16 Scott, Tim (R-SC) Senate $300,484
17 Oz, Mehmet (R-PA) $298,147
18 Crenshaw, Dan (R-TX) House $296,267
19 Vance, J D (R-OH) Senate $285,822
20 Hoeven, John (R-ND) Senate $281,723

Campaign Cash For Climate Denial

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