LETTER: Headline about Varilek was badly inaccurateYour front page headline in today’s Daily Republic (Oct. 3) about Big Oil is misleading.
By: Gordon R. Plowe, Mitchell
To the Editor:
Your front page headline in today’s Daily Republic (Oct. 3) about Big Oil is misleading. In fact, according to the report written by Tom Lawrence, the headline is a flat out lie. The headline tells us that “Varilek has shares in Big Oil company he criticizes,” but the following report tells us that is not true.
In fact, Varilek bought Valero Energy (the big oil company) stock in June 2008 for $1,045 and sold it in July 2009, a minor purchase that had no influence on his political views. On the other hand, Noem received donations from Valero Energy’s PAC in the amounts of $5,000 in 2011 and $2,500 in 2012, making a total of about $70,000 in donations from oil companies.
Varilek’s campaign manager David Benson states “Unlike Kristi Noem, Matt has never taken a penny in contribution from Big Oil and he never will … It’s a desperate stretch to say that an investor once owing 20 shares of stock is the same as a member of Congress accepting corporate PAC contributions and doing those companies bidding in office.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: The headline referenced in the above letter was the result of human error. It inadvertently said “has” instead of “had.”