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October 25, 2014

Hess Corporation Builds New Pipeline for Political Contributions

An American oil company, whose former executives moved secret money to President Nixon’s 1972 re-election campaign, has set up a political action committee to give contributions to federal candidates and committees.

The Hess Corporation Political Action Committee (Hess PAC) registered with the Federal Election Commission, listing Eric Fishman in New York as the treasurer. The PAC will collect donations from employees, give contributions to candidates, and disclose the activity.

During the 1972 presidential election, Leon Hess, the founder of the Hess Oil Company, gave $250,000 in secret money to Republican Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign, prior to April 7, 1972, the effective date of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), which required disclosure of donors. Hess also gave $225,000 to the presidential campaign of Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson, D-Wash.

The Leon Hess contributions to Nixon and Jackson were disguised by giving in the names of executives and other persons, a practice that was illegal after April 6th. The Nixon contributions were obtained through a law suit that forced disclosure of a donor list maintained by Nixon’s secretary, Rosemary Woods. The list included “Amerada Hess Corp, Leon Hess (and associates), $250,000.” The Jackson contributions were disclosed by the Senate Watergate Committee.

Through the years, individual executives of the Hess Corporation have given directly to candidates and committees. In 2013, John B. Hess, CEO of the Hess Corporation, and the son of Leon Hess, gave $250,000 to the Republican Governors Association; $30,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee; among other contributions. Andrew K. Maloney, VP for Global Government Affairs, gave $25,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee; among other contributions. In 2012, John B. Hess gave $100,000 to the Republican Governors Association and $100,000 to American Crossroads.

To view all the executives giving at the Hess Corporation, use Political MoneyLine’s Donor Search, click on the tab for “Search Donors by Employer.”

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