Beto Got $430,000 From Individuals in Oil and Gas. Should We Care? (Sludge)
One tweet about campaign finance set off a Twitter war between liberals and leftists that culminated in wild conspiracy theories.
It all started with one Sunday morning tweet from investigative reporter David Sirota.
On Dec. 2, Sirota was browsing through OpenSecrets.org, the most popular website for campaign finance data. On its “Oil & Gas” page, Sirota found something that surprised him: Out of all federal candidates in the 2018 election cycle, Democratic Texas representative and 2018 Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke had the second-highest total of donations linked to the oil and gas industry. (Disclosure: David Sirota was my senior colleague when we worked together at International Business Times in 2017-18, and he has collaborated with Sludge this year.)
The tweet set off an online firestorm that lasted all week. I’m a money-in-politics reporter, and I got involved in some rather regrettable Twitter battles involving the tweet. But I also took it upon myself to dig a bit deeper than the others duking it out online.