Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

The Examiner: Timothy P. Carney: Sen. Clinton: Big business liberal: Hillary And Big Business Not Like Oil And Water

EXTRACT: Bloomberg News acquired and reported on some of Penn’s in-house messages at Burson-Marsteller, which suggest that Penn, despite his denials, is also actively working with Royal Dutch Shell, an oil company. While Clinton has had little good to say about oil and the industry’s “windfall profits,” many of her “clean-energy” proposals would profit Penn’s client. For at least a decade, Shell has been investing hundreds of millions of dollars in “renewable fuels” such as solar energy and biomass, and the company supported the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. Through investments in currently uneconomical technologies, Shell could reap big profits if government action mandates or subsidizes these technologies. Sure enough, Hillary has sponsored or co-sponsored many bills pushing subsidies for renewable fuels such as those owned by Shell.

THE ARTICLE

Jul 13, 2007 3:00 AM (6 hrs ago)
By Timothy P. Carney, The Examiner

WASHINGTON – Journalists left and right recently have noted that Mark Penn, the top adviser to Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign, continues to work full time as a public relations consultant for corporate giants from the oil, pharmaceutical, software and tobacco industries. Clearly there is something contradictory, these journalists assert, in Penn’s running the campaign of a liberal politician while also laboring in Washington for the biggest companies in the most controversial industries.

In truth, Penn seems to be serving both of his masters well, as Sen. Clinton backs a series of regulations that would aid these industry giants, sometimes by hurting smaller competitors.

A veteran Democratic pollster who first hit it big on Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election, Penn is the chief strategist for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, after having served in key roles in her 2000 and 2006 Senate elections. He’s also the chief executive officer of Burson-Marsteller, one of Washington’s top PR firms, with clients that include Microsoft, Royal Dutch Shell and Altria. Penn has made it clear that he will keep up his corporate work while serving, by some accounts, as Clinton’s de facto campaign manager.

Bloomberg News has commented on this arrangement, pointing out “contradictions between Penn’s private business dealings and Clinton’s public policy positions, which Penn helps formulate. …” Similarly, The Nation, a liberal monthly, says Penn’s double-hatting “cast[s] doubt on her ability and willingness to fight for the progressive policies she claims to champion,” contrasting Penn’s “corporate ideology” with Clinton’s “consistently liberal voting record.”

These articles miss a crucial fact: “Corporate ideology” often includes such “liberal” or “progressive” positions as stricter federal regulation and more environmental or health mandates. Rather than seeing contradictions in Penn’s work for both big business and the liberal senator from New York, a cynical observer would suspect that Penn is having Hillary do the bidding of his big business clients. More likely, he’s a typical “third-way” liberal like her, who sees that big business and big government mesh very well.

Penn personally works on Burson-Marsteller’s Microsoft account, which at first glance appears odd — given that it was Hillary’s husband who prosecuted the software giant for anti-trust violations in the late 1990s. But that unpleasant experience taught Microsoft CEO Bill Gates a lesson: You can’t beat big government, so you may as well join it.

Today, a top item in Microsoft’s $8 million lobbying campaign is support for “net neutrality” legislation — which would impose new federal regulations on Internet service providers so as to help Microsoft and other content providers such as Amazon from having to pay higher rates in the future. Google and eBay are also on board with this unprecedented federal regulation of the Internet, of which Hillary Clinton is an original co-sponsor.

Bloomberg News acquired and reported on some of Penn’s in-house messages at Burson-Marsteller, which suggest that Penn, despite his denials, is also actively working with Royal Dutch Shell, an oil company. While Clinton has had little good to say about oil and the industry’s “windfall profits,” many of her “clean-energy” proposals would profit Penn’s client.

For at least a decade, Shell has been investing hundreds of millions of dollars in “renewable fuels” such as solar energy and biomass, and the company supported the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. Through investments in currently uneconomical technologies, Shell could reap big profits if government action mandates or subsidizes these technologies. Sure enough, Hillary has sponsored or co-sponsored many bills pushing subsidies for renewable fuels such as those owned by Shell.

Penn’s firm also represents tobacco giant Altria (formerly Philip Morris), which, like Sen. Clinton, supports legislation granting the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco. Smaller cigarette makers oppose this legislation, saying it will crush them and further enhance Altria’s dominance of the industry.

Certainly, Burson-Marsteller performs some work that seems to clash with Hillary’s positions. Working to defeat labor unions is one example. Media coverage of Penn, however, has assumed an automatic conflict between his big business clients and Hillary’s big-government philosophy. Indeed, Hillary’s newfound reputation in the media as a “centrist” — baffling to many conservatives — is partly based on the observation that big business likes her, as demonstrated by her campaign finance records.

But Penn, at the nexus of big business and big government, sees that his political client can help his corporate clients just by staying her liberal self.

Examiner columnist Timothy P. Carney is author of “The Big Ripoff: How big government and big business steal your money.”

http://www.examiner.com/a-826465~Timothy_P__Carney__Sen__Clinton__Big_business_liberal.html

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

0 Comments on “The Examiner: Timothy P. Carney: Sen. Clinton: Big business liberal: Hillary And Big Business Not Like Oil And Water”

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: