Sharpton Slams Rep. Kelly Re: Big Oil (With Video)

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

Rev. Al Sharpton slammed freshman Rep. Mike Kelly an a segment last night on MSNBC, suggesting that the Congressman of acting unethically regarding his financial ties to the energy industry.

During an afternoon time slot in which the infamous Sharpton filled in for liberal commentator Cenk Uygur, he picked up on a ThinkProgress report about a recent Kelly town hall during which the Congressman defended federal subsidies for energy companies.

“A Republican Congressman defending big oil, that’s not new. What is new: doing when you have investment in big oil companies. And that’s our ‘con job’ of the day,” said Sharpton. “ThinkProgress reports Pennsylvania freshman Mike Kelly faced angry voters at a town hall when the conversation turned to oil subsidies he voted for.”

The screen flashed to segments of this town hall video, of Kelly speaking to a crowd in Meadville last week. During the meeting, Kelly argued that many pension plans rely on energy companies to remain profitable.

“Is there anybody in here that has a pension? Anybody have a portfolio,” Kelly asked. “I want you to very carefully look at those portfolios. Those are usually made up by profitable companies.”

The ThinkProgress article was more pointed in its criticism of Kelly. It estimated his investment in energy companies at $6 million, and noted that those companies are also involved in Marcellus shale gas drilling.

“It is sad but unsurprising that the Pennsylvania Republican would disparage those who call for an end to subsidies as engaging in ‘class warfare,’ while at the same time arguing that taxpayers should support the very oil and gas companies he’s invested in because “we want companies to be profitable.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee uploaded the following video of Sharpton’s segment to YouTube.

Kelly’s office did not dispute the facts or figures presented by Sharpton. Instead, spokeswoman Julie Thornton said the Congressman’s assets were hard-earned, and noted the Kellys’ history of charitable giving.

Here is the response from Kelly’s office in its entirety:

“Mike believes that with God all things are possible. Mike feels very blessed that both his family and his wife’s family have achieved success after decades of hard work, personal sacrifice, and significant adversity. By the grace of God and through the hard work of many, the Kellys have achieved the American Dream. Mike’s father, a WWII veteran, started out as a parts picker in a GM parts warehouse and Mrs. Kelly’s ancestors started off as wildcatters in Pennsylvania’s early oil rush days over 100 years ago.

“They understood that with the opportunity to succeed came the risk of failure, but like most Americans, they dared to dream and they do not apologize for that.

“Although Mr. Kelly has never met Reverend Sharpton, he is not surprised by his comments given the Reverend’s history of divisive and polarizing commentary and not telling the whole story.

“Lastly, both Mike’s and Mrs. Kelly’s families have a strong history of philanthropy and have been able to give back to their communities as a result of their success, a record of service the Reverend surely would approve.”

9 Responses

  1. Mike Kelly used to be a nice man and has been an asset to the Butler area. I don’t doubt he and his family have worked hard to build and maintain their automobile business. I don’t begrudge his success. Likewise I do not begrudge his wife’s family business. For the most part they are a down-to-earth, very generous family. My complaints and questions revolve around who Mike alleges to represent and how he campaigned and how he is now attempting to govern. I ask those that voted him in if this is what they were expecting. Of course if anyone questions his wealth and interests they are guilty of stirring up “class warfare” well the war is about over and the upper class has won and is in control. Lastly I take offense at the “flag waving”, “thank you for your military service” seasoned with God comments. The issue is who does Mike Kelly truly represent, what bills does he introduce and how does he vote? And if you’re curious about his mentor and idol, read up on the of so honorable Rep. Issa.

  2. Forget about Al Sharpton if you don’t like him. But how can you just dismiss what he is saying? Mike Kelly supports using our money to subsidize big oil while he is profiting from big oil. In fact, that is the reason that he gives for supporting big oil–it benefits his portfolio. I guess that’s ok if you have a portfolio, but I don’t. A lot of us don’t. Mike Kelly is another millionaire in Congress, and his votes benefit his fellow millionaires. And Jeff, if you don’t like welfare, you shouldn’t like corporate welfare. Exxon Mobile, made almost $11 Billion in the first three months of the year and we’re subsidizing them?

  3. I agree with Jeff and Susan. How long can the Republicans and Corbett keep asking for sacrifices from everybody except the rich and the oil industry? Corbett has made a mockery of his “shared sacrifice” statement during his inaugural address by letting Marcellus Shale skate on paying a severance tax despite the fact that in EVERY OTHER STATE that they to business in they pay one. To me (and MANY others) this is unconscionable especially when PA has a four BILLION dollar deficit. Mark my words, this will come back to haunt Corbett and in my opinion will make him a one term governer once the people see the resuls from his decisions.

  4. Jeff-

    PA-3 should have a representative that does what is in the best interest of his or her constituents. Not some shill for big oil… if Mike was serious about cutting spending, he would stop handing out taxpayer dollars to big oil companies making record profit. Instead, they should be either saving that money or directing it towards community redevelopment projects that encourage entrepreneurs to come to districts such as his.

    I have no problem with hard work=profit. I do have a problem with taxpayer dollars being dolled out to oil companies and the like. Theoretically, if this type of corporate welfare is okay, then you cannot legitimately draw the line when the government seeks to invest in other initiatives. It makes your argument weak when someone talks out both sides of their mouth.

  5. Thank you Mike for representing us and proudly stating that with God all things are possible. Your family and staff are in our prayers. DV

  6. Classic Democrat criticism. Hard work and profit = bad. Welfare and living off others hard work = good. Class warfare is all the Democrats have. No ideas, just critisisim of those who get up everyday and earn a paycheck.

  7. So God wants him to enrich himself while he collects a paycheck for “representing” us?????

  8. Sharpton never mentions an opportunity to exploit an issue. Funny he feels obligated to speak about ethics! How ironic.

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