Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle labeled as a "slush fund" the $20 billion escrow account
that BP agreed to establish at the insistence of President Obama. She said his administration is following "rules for radicals" by using the Gulf spill crisis to push cap-and-trade energy legislation and to penalize oil companies.
Appearing on a Nevada radio station talk show Wednesday, Angle was asked by a caller "what she thought of the $20 billion slush fund and whether or not government should be able to do that to a private company." (Listen to the audio
"The short answer is 'no,' government shouldn't be doing that to a private company and I think you named it clearly as a slush fund," Angle said.
The fund was established to pay claims to individuals and businesses harmed by the spill.
Angle, who rode a Tea Party wave to victory in winning the Republican nomination for Senate, has since mostly laid low
in an apparent effort to avoid the kind of controversy that fellow Tea Partier, Rand Paul, stepped into after he won the GOP Senate nomination in Kentucky. Paul gave an interview
on a national show in which he appeared to question whether the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act should have been used to prevent private businesses from discriminating.
Angle posted a clarification
Thursday on her web site, saying, "Having had some time to think about it, the caller and I shouldn't have used the term 'slush fund;' that was incorrect."
Angle's statement said, "My position is that the creation of this fund to compensate victims was an important first step -- BP caused this disaster and they should pay for it. But there are multiple parties at fault here and there should be a thorough investigation. We need to look into the actions, (or inactions) of the Administration and why the regulatory agency in charge of oversight was asleep at the wheel while BP was cutting corners. Every party involved should be held fully accountable."
On the radio show, Angle said that "the problem, with even the EPA, is it's all about money. It's a taxing, fining agency and what we really needed was a management agency."
"What happened in the Gulf was BP didn't do their checklist. and we need somebody there to say, did you do your checklist," she said. "Well, they cut corners, didn't do their checklist (and) what we got was ... actually a criminal and local act here, because they were doing those cut corners."
"Everyone in the petroleum industry shouldn't be penalized for one bad person's actions," she said. "It would be like throwing us all in prison because one person committed murder and that's exactly what's going on here -- it's an overreaction by government for not the right reason."
Angle, who is challenging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said the administration was "actually using this crisis, if you will, because they never waste one -- Saul Alinsky's
rule for radicals. They are using this crisis now to get in cap-and-trade
and every fine and penalty and slush fund."
Alinsky was a community organizer and his book "Rules for Radicals
" was published in 1971, one year before he died.
Angle's remarks are not the first time a Republican has got into hot water by attacking the fund. Last month, Texas Rep. Joe Barton apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward for what he characterized as a "$20 billion shakedown
" of the oil company. Other Republicans quickly repudiated his remarks and Barton later backed off.