Top Huffman donors defend corporate pollutors
The AVA takes a look at the big money — and bad actors — behind leading Congressional candidate Jared Huffman’s campaign for California’s newly formed second district. Huffman led recent polls among the pool of mostly Democratic candidates.
Like most candidates for Congress, Jared Huffman’s donor base reflects the realities of a decades-long class war waged by the top 1-5% against the bottom half of America. Huffman’s biggest and most well-organized donors are wealthy Marin County lawyers, real estate investors, bankers, and executives of major corporations. Some of them are liberals, but many are conservatives. Most of the liberals seem to make their money by representing the interests of conservative corporations.
Take Stephen Lewis for example. Lewis is one of Huffman’s largest individual donors, having given the Assemblyman $2,500 for his congressional campaign. His wife Mimi Lewis also gave Huffman’s committee $1,000. A resident of Nicasio in Marin County, Lewis is a partner in the Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp law firm (BCLT). Although Huffman is proud of his career as an environmentalist lawyer, his donor from BCLT specializes in defending corporate polluters.
Throughout his career Lewis has defended large oil and pesticide manufacturers, military contractors, and agribusiness companies sued by community groups and workers who have alleged the companies polluted ground water and soil, and exposed workers to deadly chemicals.
One of the most famous cases Lewis worked on was Delgado v. Shell Oil, a suit filed by banana plantation workers in Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua against Shell Oil, Occidental Chemical, Standard Fruit, Del Monte Fruit, Dole Fresh Fruit, and other transnational corporations that had exposed employees to dibromochloropropane (DBPC). DBPC is a pesticide banned in the US since 1977. DBPC causes liver and kidney damage, infertility in men, and is suspected of causing breast cancer in women.
Stephen Lewis defended the Occidental Chemical Corp., the California-based manufacturer of DBPC products like “Nemagon” that were used in these banana plantations. Now he’s giving money to ensure Huffman wins a seat in Congress. Can Huffman take their money today and vote against them tomorrow?
The Fisher family, owners of Humboldt Redwood Company and other timber interests in the district, have contributed $10,000 so far.
More: Huffman’s Money