Polluting Our Politics

Valero Energy doesn’t like to lose. What will it do to win?

Valero has long been involved in Benicia’s politics—and it has a right to be involved. But in 2016, Valero faced a serious setback after residents rallied together to successfully stop Valero’s efforts to bring “crude-by-rail bomb trains” through Benicia.

After that embarrassing defeat, Valero invested substantially in spending for the 2018 City Council and 2020 mayoral elections. The Valero-supported PAC targeted candidates it seems to have viewed viewed as unsympathetic to Valero’s corporate interests, and backing those the Texas oil giant apparently favored.

And so began Valero’s new wave of massive spending through its PAC, and with it a pattern of unfair campaign tactics, including misleading attack ads, misrepresentation of candidates’ records and photo manipulation.

How to tell if Valero paid for political ads, mailers or calls

Benicians deserve to know who sent them political material, and perhaps even more importantly, who paid for it. Whether it’s a glossy, full-page mailer in your mailbox, a call on your phone or a Facebook ad, these materials were designed and paid for by people with an agenda.

There are several ways to check if Valero was the top funder behind the mailer, robocall or online ad you received. Read more . . .

Valero’s history of toxic campaigning

Misleading or deceptive statements

Misrepresentation of candidates’ records

Photo manipulation to make candidates appear sinister

Divisive language and unfounded attacks

The Valero-funded “Working Families” PAC has tried it all, and hurt many in the process. Read more . . .