Big Oil Represented at ‘€œSmall Business’€ Press Conference

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Last Thursday I found myself at a press conference held by local McCain supporters. The topic was generally about the economy and ‘€œsmall business’€ and was hosted at a company that had just moved to Milwaukee’€™s Fifth Ward. When I arrived at the location I was given a packet of information and led to the waiting area for the press. While waiting, I shared an OWN press release with the media on how McCain votes have been a disaster for women and the economy in general.

First Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker spoke and then handed it off to the host CEO. The last scheduled speaker at the press conference was former State Senator Cathy Stepp. She largely focused on her business and how the out of control gas prices are hurting it. Frankly, I was surprised that she would make energy policy her central theme at this press conference given John McCain’€™s awful record in both the U.S. Senate and in recent policy statements.

After Stepp finished her original comments and the floor was opened for questions, I decided that I should ask one. I directed it towards Cathy Stepp and asked the following:

A recent analysis shows that John McCain’€™s economic plan would give some $4 billion in tax cuts to Big Oil. What do you think the average person would think about that, given the pain that they are experiencing at the pump?

I wasn’€™t sure what was happening for a second as Stepp looked a little surprised at the question and looked to both sides as if she wanted someone else to answer. Finally she stepped back up to the podium and proceeded to recite conservative talking points on energy without actually addressing the core of my question (What does she think the average person would think about McCain’€™s purposed tax cuts for Big Oil at a time when they are experiencing so much pain at the pump?). The best that I could get from her was that she thought that Big Oil getting billions more from taxpayers was merely a ‘€œdistraction’€.

I can’€™t say that I actually blame Cathy Stepp for not addressing the issue head on. I think that she knows exactly what the average person would think about Big Oil getting billions in tax giveaways on top of their record profits. Last year they made $123,300,000,000 which averages to $610 in profits for each and every driver in America. It is pretty safe to assume that the average person feels that they have paid enough to Big Oil. But unfortunately they are not represented in McCain’€™s economic plan and likewise they were not represented in Stepp’€™s comments in this particular press conference.

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