Brad Crabtree Has, By His Own Standards, Accepted Unethical And Possibly Illegal Contributions
Public Service Commisison candidate Brad Crabtree has used some pretty strong language in describe what he feels are unethical relationships between Republican members of the PSC and companies/individuals who are involved in the industries the PSC regulates.
“It’s wrong for Public Service commissioners to take political money from those they regulate,” wrote Crabtree in a recent viewpoint column for the Grand Forks Herald. “These contributions are clearly unethical. They may be illegal.”
What’s interesting is that Crabtree doesn’t appear to hold himself to this same ethical standard. A review of Mr. Crabtree’s campaign contributions reveals that he’s not at all ashamed to take contributions from those with interests before the PSC.
In 2010 Mr. Crabtree took $2,750 in contributions from C. Park Shaper and his family. The Shaper’s operate the Texas Intrastate Pipeline Group which, as you might imagine, certainly has an interest in North Dakota’s Public Service Commission. While those contributions may have come before Crabtree’s newly-found ethical standards, he continues to take money from the Shaper family. Sue Shaper contributed $500 to Mr. Crabtree’s current 2012 campaign.
It’s worth noting that the Shaper’s have a case before the PSC right now dealing with the flow of one of their pipelines in North Dakota.
Mr. Crabtree also accepted $450 from Derrick Braaten, an attorney for the Dakota Resource Council, a far-left environmental group that regularly brings cases before the PSC and is currently one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against commissioners Kevin Cramer and Brian Kalk which makes the same ethical accusations Mr. Crabtree is making. Certainly the state’s environmental activists have an interest in the outcome of PSC cases, every bit as much as coal and pipeline companies.
Mr. Crabtree has accepted $250 in the 2012 cycle from Michael Marcus who operates a Massachusetts and Texas based company dealing with land and mineral rights acquisitions. Crabtree has accepted $500 from the United Mine Workers of America, who have an obvious interest in the PSC.
Put simply, Mr. Crabtree has accepted thousands of dollars in contributions of the very sort he’s called unethical, and possibly illegal, when made to Republicans.
That’s some high-octane hypocrisy. Mr. Crabtree doesn’t have a lot of financial support for his campaign, and so he probably can’t afford to give these contributions back, but if he had any integrity he would live up to his own standards.
Though, to be clear, I don’t think any of these contributions Mr. Crabtree has accepted are unethical or illegal. But Crabtree set this standard, he should live up to it.Tags: Asshats, Brad Crabtree, Brian Kalk, dakota resource council, Kevin Cramer, North Dakota News