Gardner nets $370,000 in third quarter, leans heavily again on oil and gas

STILL MORE THAN a year from Election Day, Colorado Fourth District Republican Congressman Cory Gardner today reported to the Federal Election Commission that he hauled down a whopping $371,312 over the last three months. That tops his second-quarter take by more than $70,000 to bring his total this year to $896,176. Roughly 12 percent of Gardner’s donations this quarter came from oil and gas companies or individuals and organizations tied to the oil and gas industry.

The deadline for this quarter’s House race campaign finance report is tomorrow, October 15, and Gardner filed his report today. Oil and gas corporate donors to his campaign include Conoco, Anadarko, Exxon, Spectra and Chevron corporations. Individuals with ties to Cordillera Energy Partners, Noble Energy, Ellora Energy, Duncan Oil, Bantek, among others, also donated cash in the thousands, many of them repeat donors. The list includes energy organizations such as the American Oil and Gas association and the National Petroleum Refiners Association, many of which also made second-time contributions to the Gardner campaign.

Through political committees or employees Tesoro Corporation, an oil refinery company, gave $2500; Spectra Energy, $3000; Ellora Energy, now owned by Exxon, $2500; Legacy Energy, a gas company, $2000; Bentek Energy, $7500.

Gardner’s opponent for 2012, Democratic state Senate President Brandon Shaffer, announced earlier this week that his campaign raised $180,000 for the quarter. He said the average individual contribution he received amounted to $153.78.

Gardner has championed oil and gas and mining interests on the stump and in Washington. He says cutting back environmental regulations on the energy industry is the best way to create jobs. He has voted to thin regulations, even longstanding laws like the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act put into place in the 1970s during the administration of Republican Richard Nixon. Most notably, Gardner in June introduced the Jobs and Energy Permitting Act of 2011, which would open up for drilling pristine and largely unstudied Arctic Ocean regions off Alaska’s shores.

His record has led Fort Collins-based Clean Water Action to label him the most anti-environmental representative ever sent to Congress from Colorado.

In addition to the oil and gas money, Gardner received a series of donations from executives at Colorado Bank and Dish Network, founded by billionaire Charlie Ergen, a major political donor mostly on the right.

Dish Network execs gave Gardner $23,000. Colorado Bank execs gave him $9,000.