Big Oil companies launch TV ad blitz, spending hundreds of thousands in support of Campos for State Senate

Ravel Calls on Campos to Reject, Return Money from Big Oil 

SAN JOSE, CA –– Public Interest Attorney Ann Ravel today called on opponent Nora Campos to return the campaign contribution and reject hundreds of thousands of dollars in support from Big Oil for her State Senate campaign. This week, oil companies spent at least $378,000 in TV air time to support Campos’ campaign for State Senate through a dark money PAC. Campos previously accepted a maximum donation of $4,700 from Chevron in December. This comes as Campos had promised to not take support from special interests harmful to the community.

Ravel said, “When I pledged to reject money from Big Oil at a public forum, Nora Campos followed by promising voters that she would reject money from special interests like Big Oil – but she turned around and broke that promise. She must immediately return their money, ask them to take down their ad, reject future support from oil companies and explain to voters why she violated their trust.”

At a May 2019 forum held by the Silicon Valley Democratic Club, Campos said, “If there are special interests in California harming our community, we should not be taking money from them” after candidates were asked about taking contributions from oil companies. The video can be found here:

In 2016, a spokesperson for Senator Jim Beall told The Sacramento Bee, “Big oil companies are not spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to support Nora Campos because they have the best interests of Silicon Valley in mind. Big Oil doesn’t want to lose an ally in Sacramento, so they are spending whatever it takes to try to keep her in Sacramento.”

Big Oil has now spent nearly three-quarters of a million dollars to elect Campos to the State Senate. In her previous run for State Senate, oil companies, led by Chevron, spent nearly $350,000 to support her campaign. That came after she skipped major votes that the oil industry opposed, including refusing to support SB32 in 2015, a landmark environmental bill that would have limited greenhouse gas emissions.

The Coalition to Restore California’s Middle Class is a special interest PAC funded with millions from oil companies, including Chevron, Valero and Phillips 66. Information on the group can be found here:

Ann Ravel has spent her career taking on dark money and special interests, including oil companies. She served as the Santa Clara County Counsel for 11 years, and, as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice under President Obama, she held oil giant BP’s accountable after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Governor Jerry Brown appointed her to chair the Fair Political Practices Commission, and President Obama appointed her to chair the Federal Elections Commission.

Because of her integrity and track record, Ravel has been endorsed for State Senate by environmental leaders, including the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV), and End Citizens United, a national organization working to overturn Citizens United and shine light on dark money in elections.

California’s State Senate District 15 includes San José, Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and Saratoga. This is an open seat – current State Senator Jim Beall is termed out in 2020.



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