“We invite you to join us for a special evening supporting our friend, US Senator Joe Manchin,” the invitation said, signed by the hosts who are titans of the Texas oil and gas industry. They went on to call Manchin “a longtime friend since his days as Governor of West Virginia.”
“Among the hosts are oil billionaires like Jeff Hildebrand, who cofounded the energy company Hilcorp and Richard Kinder, a cofounder of Kinder Morgan, an energy infrastructure company,” The Texas Tribune reports. “Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry appointed Hildebrand to the University of Texas Board of Regents for a six-year term beginning in 2013.”
How lovely for all of them all these “prolific donors to past GOP nominees, including former President Donald Trump, and to organizations like the Republican Party of Texas, the Republican National Committee, state parties, GOP candidates across the country and to Republicans in U.S. Senate and House leadership.” Oh, and the whole current crew of Republican leadership in the state, including House Speaker Dade Phelan. The ones who are hellbent on suppressing votes in their state.
After meeting with Manchin Thursday, Texas state Rep. Joe Moody was trying to be gracious to the senator. “Senator Manchin was very generous with his time, and Texas Democrats were heartened by our talks with him,” he said. “We have no doubt that he completely shares our goal of protecting voting rights for all Americans, and we all realize that this is a struggle that won’t be over in just a few days—it’s a journey, one we look forward to taking together.”
Meanwhile back in Texas, Speaker Phelan—who has been financially supported by the same people now raising all this money for Manchin—was stripping Moody of his position as speaker pro tempore of the state House. In that position, Moody was in charge of filling in when Phelan wasn’t present.
“I followed my conscience knowing that doing the right thing could cost me, but not fighting would’ve cost even more: the civil rights of Texans,” Moody told CNN after Phelan’s action. “The job I swore an oath to do is to defend our Constitution, so I’d make that trade any day. Titles come and go, but my commitment to the people of El Paso and this state will always remain.”
That’s a man of principle. Who gave Manchin far too much benefit of the doubt for sharing his principles. Someone, preferable the goddamned president to the United States, needs to have a sit down with Manchin and remind him about his duty to the Constitution.
It also might not hurt for Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to have a talk with Manchin about just how much he does value that position as chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The one that makes him so valuable to the Republican oil and gas titans of Texas.