CDP's "Oil Man Sam" Site Exposes Sam Blakeslee's Ties to Big Oil SD 15 Special Election Offers Voters Clear Contrast on Coastal Protection

Sacramento – The California Democratic Party has launched www.OilManSam.com, a new site devoted to exposing the extensive ties between Republican Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee and the state’s oil interests. Blakeslee, a former Exxon employee and current candidate in the Special Election for Senate District 15, led the effort to insert offshore drilling rights along the Santa Barbara coast as part of last year’s state budget negotiations.

"Considering the horrors we’re seeing play out as a result of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, it’s critical voters in SD 15 know about Oil Man Sam Blakeslee’s long-time relationship with Big Oil and his plans for the central coast," said John Burton, Chairman of the California Democratic Party.

The tight contest and hastily scheduled Special Election also features Democrat John Laird, a former Mayor and Assemblyman from Santa Cruz who decided to put his teaching duties at his alma mater UC Santa Cruz on hold to run for the open seat.

"The choice in this race couldn’t be clearer, John Laird is an educator and a life-long environmental advocate, with a distinguished record of public service standing up for Democratic values and interests," said Burton. "Sam Blakeslee is Oil Man Sam."

The site highlights Blakeslee’s ties to big oil including:

Before he joined the Assembly, Oil Man Sam worked at Exxon, so it’s no surprise that oil companies financially backed their man in his 2006 and 2008 campaigns for Assembly.

In total, Oil Man Sam has used his Assembly position to rake in more than $56,000 from his friends in Big Oil including Exxon, BP, Chevron and Valero.

When the State Lands Commission stopped a plan for new drilling off of Santa Barbara, Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee led the effort to resurrect it.

Oil Man Sam capped his efforts with a "Yea" vote for Santa Barbara Oil Drilling on the Assembly floor.

After the measure failed in the Assembly, the record was expunged. But Oil Man Sam can’t hide. News reports reveal that Oil Man Sam voted yes to allow offshore drilling off the Santa Barbara coast.

The Special Election for Senate District 15 is June 22, 2010. If no candidate garners 50+1 percent of the vote, a run-off election will be held August 17, 2010.

To learn more about Oil Man Sam go to: www.oilmansam.com.

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