Monday, February 20, 2006

Exxposing Hypocrisy

A brief break from my vacation for this - I get so few things right, I am obligated to point out when I am:

Kudos to Stacy Forster at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for her blog post exposing the hypocrisy of Senate Democrats who criticize oil companies for their "obscene" profits. Hardcore Yorkheads might remember me beating this issue to death (here's the best example).

Here's the text of Forster's post:

The next time lawmakers think about taking oil companies to task for their high profits, they might want to check their own investments first.

For example, Senate Democratic Leader Judy Robson of Beloit is fond of criticizing oil company profits; her Jan. 30 press release noted that Exxon-Mobil Corp. earned record profits of $36.13 billion in 2005.

“How many more billions of dollars will companies like Exxon have to pilfer from hard-working Wisconsinites before legislative Republicans stand up for Wisconsin families?” Robson said in a statement.

But according to her 2005 economic interest statement for holdings in 2004, Robson owned shares of mutual funds that count Exxon-Mobil among their top holdings. For example, according to mutual fund Web site Morningstar.com, Exxon is the top holding in Vanguard’s Institutional Index fund, of which Robson reported owning shares worth $50,000 or less. Robson also reported owning $50,000 or less of shares in Fidelity’s Contrafund, which counts Exxon-Mobil as its 5th biggest holding.

In the press release, Robson called for passage of a bill by Sen. Russ Decker (D-Schofield) that would return a portion of those profits to taxpayers.“These extravagant profit reports are extra insulting at a time when Wisconsin families are struggling to pay to heat their homes and afford their next trip to the doctor,” Decker said in the statement with Robson.

Decker, too, reported owning $50,000 or less of the Vanguard Institutional Index fund that has Exxon as its top holding.

Nice to see the big shots are paying attention. For more info on Democratic hypocrisy, go here, here, and here.