by Max Brantley
Nice timing. Republican U.S. Rep. Tim "Pipeline" Griffin made a point of trumpeting his visit out to Oil City, Ark., today (otherwise known as Mayflower.) He's promised to give the tar sand-fouled neighborhood his highest attention, all the while assuring one and all that the disaster in Arkansas shouldn't cause anyone to oppose his advocacy of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline to help the Koch boys process Canadian crude for shipment to China.
Griffin also filed his campaign finance report today.
You know it.
The dough included $2,500 from the PAC of ExxonMobil, which brought all that gushing oil and untold related chemicals to the shores and cove of Lake Conway. He's received $6,500 from the Exxon PAC since 2010. Exxon may have provided someone to meet with Griffin today, but residents of the neighborhoods affected by the spill say they haven't had the same level of access to officials and information, particularly those not in the subdivision where the break occurred.
UPDATE: Griffin's spokesman K. Ryan James points out that Griffin refunded ExxonMobil's $2,500 contribution this year, undoubtedly mindful of appearances. It is not the only energy contribution in his portfolio in this or any other campaign year. The report does not indicate a refund of past contributions. Griffin's spokesman preferred to answer that question by saying Mark Pryor took Exxon money, too. But he wasn't grandstanding to no effect at Mayflower today. And he didn't get elected in 2012 with a campaign heavily focused on building a pipeline to transport tar sands through the heart of America en route to China.