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"Beto O'Rourke's actual political record deserves scrutiny, and it's not what progressives might expect from the overheated adulation that has sent his presidential balloon aloft."
—Norman Solomon,

Urging the Texas congressman to run for president, a group of Democratic Party activists enthusiastically launched a "Draft Beto" 2020 campaign on Tuesday—but the timing couldn't have been much worse.

Following a report by Sludge detailing how O'Rourke received dozens of large donations from oil and gas executives during his 2018 Senate run despite signing the "No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge"—a vow to reject donations of over $200 from PACs and individuals who work in the fossil fuel industry—Oil Change USA announced on Tuesday that it has decided to remove the Texas congressman from the list of candidates and lawmakers who have promised to turn away oil and gas money.

According to Sludge's Alex Kotch, a close look at campaign finance records shows that O'Rourke violated the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge dozens of times, receiving $324,650 total in donations of over $200 from executives and other individuals in the fossil fuel industry throughout his unsuccessful campaign to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Just after Kotch published his story and shared it on social media, he received an email promoting the "Draft Beto" campaign, which is the second organized effort to get O'Rourke to launch a bid for the White House.

"While we are pleased he hasn't taken fossil fuel PAC money, he needs to go further in order to be in compliance with the full No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge," David Turnbull, strategic communications director at Oil Change USA, said of the removal of O'Rourke from the list of candidates and lawmakers who have signed the pledge. "It's clear that real climate leaders need to stand up to the fossil fuel industry in many ways, and that includes standing up to the full extent of the fossil fuel industry’s influence on our politics."

Oil Change and Sludge attempted to reach O'Rourke's congressional office for comment, but they didn't receive a response. ...
Read full article at Common Dreams