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New Hampshire GOP Senate nominee Don Bolduc broke promise not to take Big Energy cash

The New Hampshire Republican received at least four donations from energy executives in the third quarter of 2022 after saying, ‘I have not taken money from Big Pharma, Big Ed, Big Med, Big Energy, or Big Tech. And I won’t.’

By Josh Israel - October 24, 2022
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Don Bolduc
Don Bolduc, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, gestures as he campaigns at the Auburn Tavern, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Auburn, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

New Hampshire Republican Senate nominee Don Bolduc has repeatedly vowed that his campaign will not take any funds from the energy sector. But his latest campaign finance disclosure shows he broke that promise repeatedly.

Bolduc is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan in the midterm election in November. Prior to winning his primary, he said on at least three occasions that he would not accept campaign contributions from special interests such as the oil and gas industry.

“I have not taken money from Big Pharma, Big Ed, Big Med, Big Energy, or Big Tech. And I won’t,” Bolduc pledged on the Aug. 1 episode of the podcast “Live From America With Jeremy Herrell.” “And she’s bought and paid for. That’s the biggest difference. You want someone to work for you? You gotta make sure they’re not beholden to special interests and lobbyists before they even get down there. And that’s me.”

The same day, he told Steve Bannon during an appearance on his “War Room” podcast: “We don’t have the most money because I don’t take from Big Tech, Big Med, Big Energy, Big Pharma, and all those places. I take from Granite Staters. Over 50% of my donations are under $200. And I’m very proud of that. I won’t be bought, I won’t be sold.”

And the following day he used a Pembroke, New Hampshire, campaign event to tell voters he would not be corrupted: “I have not taken money from Big Tech, Big Pharma, Big Med, Big Ed, and Big Energy. Every other Republican candidate has, or they’re self funding.”

But according to a report filed by the Bolduc campaign with the Federal Election Commission for the third quarter of 2022, during August and September it took in $2,000 from Peyton Yates, a member of the management team of Santo Petroleum; $1,476.09 from Marshall McCrea, the chief operating officer of Energy Transfer; $500 from John Cheatham, CEO of Pantheon Resources; $567.70 from Jeffrey Hildebrand, chair of Hilcorp Energy; and $100 from Kevin Shannon, president of Open Flow Gas Supply President Kevin Shannon.

Bolduc was also the beneficiary of $9.2 million spent to support him by the Senate Leadership Fund super PAC and $6.7 million spent on attacking Hassan. The PAC, aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, received at least a million dollars in donations each from Occidental Petroleum, Chevron, Koch Industries, and the American Petroleum Institute.

Though Bolduc claims not to be bought by the energy industry, his campaign site echoes much of its agenda, calling for “leasing and exploring federal lands for oil and gas, finishing pipelines, and streamlining the permitting process.”

He also said in August that he wants to slash funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, which enforces environmental regulations.

The Bolduc campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

In August, Hassan voted for the historic Inflation Reduction Act, which invested $369 billion in energy and climate change infrastructure. Her record has won her support from the campaign arms of the League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club.

“Granite Staters can’t risk sending Don Bolduc to the Senate. He has made it crystal clear he plans to undermine critical programs our seniors rely on, and you can bet he won’t stop there,” said Dustin Ingalls, director of political programs for EDF Action Votes, a super PAC that supports the work of the Environmental Defense Fund.

“Bolduc pledges to gut the EPA and de-prioritize climate action — instead of outright climate denial, it’s now climate delay,” he added. “By contrast, Maggie Hassan is acting boldly and urgently to protect her constituents’ way of life and to lower energy costs for working families and seniors on fixed incomes.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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