This is an extended version to today’s post about Tom Wolf getting $1.5 million in campaign contributions from supporters of Big Gas, and the key players in this are Mike Mikus, Fresh Start PAC spokesman, and Rich Fitzgerald, who was Wolf’s largest individual industry contributor at $110,000.
I’ve pointed out the ties between Mike Mikus and natural gas on a couple of occasions this past year. So I’ll rehash some history again.
In 2010, Mike Mikus ran Congressman Critz’s reelection campaign, but Critz failed to get reelected. After Critz’s failed campaign, Critz was hired as a local administrator for EIS Solutions, a gas friendly astroturfed organization that has a presence in shale plays across the country. Mikus was an executive with that organization at the time, and Critz got a job. Funny how that works out.
In 2011, Mikus was (cue the drumroll) the campaign manager for Rich Fitzgerald, and at the time, Mark Flaherty, an opponent to Fitzgerald, called Fitzgerald out for having a gas industry lobbyist as his campaign manager. The Pittsburgh City Paper reported:
To further illustrate Fitzgerald’s closeness to the gas industry, Flaherty says that Fitzgerald’s campaign manager, Mike Mikus, is a vice president for EIS Solutions, a public relations firm for the energy industry.
I’m not going to get into the campaign history, but Fitzgerald wins and tries to sell everything under the sun to natural gas companies. From Allegheny County parks to the Pittsburgh Airport, While Fitzgerald was trying to sell everything, he claimed that “gravity” is will keep frack fluid from poisoning water aquifers.
Get ready Pennsylvania. Big Gas’ influence on state politics is here to stay. The wheels on the bus go round and round. Go round and round. All through the town!