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Rand Paul’s Strange Ties To Big Oil

May 27th, 2010 · 21 Comments

Fresh off the heels of our story about Rand Paul’s new campaign manager and the Campaign for Liberty, come questions raised after additional research.

Just a few days ago Rand Paul criticized President Barack Obama for suggesting BP be held accountable for its actions in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Specifically, Paul said it was un-American to criticize the company.

So. Was Rand Paul speaking with the interests of the American people at heart? Or was he speaking for his own and familial interests?

Here’s why I ask:

Andy LeBlanc, Rand Paul’s brother-in-law, is the finance leader for the Wire & Cable division at Dow. He’s married to Rand’s sister, Dr. Joy Paul-LeBlanc. His bio on the Dow website caught my attention:

In Mr. Leblanc’s previous role, he provided business finance support for the VERSENEÒ chelating agents, Quaternaries, and DAXAD/Glycine value centers.  In this role he participated in three separate strategy developments, a competitive mapping exercise and the divestiture of the DAXAD/Glycine business.

Chelating agents. What the heck are chelating agents?

According to Dow, they’re used in “several operations in the drilling, production, and recovery of oil. They can prevent plugging caused by iron precipitation during stimulation and fracturing.” They’re also used for scale removal and prevention on well casings and can prevent scaling in boilers used for enhanced oil recovery steam flooding.

Raises lots of questions… like whether or not those chelating agents could have been used in the well/rig/equipment involved in the Gulf disaster. Were they used? Are they used? Does Dow have a business relationship of any sort with BP or the company that owns the rig BP was leasing?

And for the record: there are direct ties to that particular oil rig and Dow. The Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer of the company that owns it – Transocean – is Michael Munro. Take a look at his bio:

Mr. Munro has extensive experience leading global compliance programs. Prior to joining Transocean as Chief Compliance Officer and Associate General Counsel in 2008, Mr. Munro served as Global Director of Ethics and Compliance at Baker Hughes, Director of Compliance and Associate General Counsel at the Bristow Group, and in various roles in his 17 years at Dow Chemical, including Deputy Director, Global Ethics and Compliance; Managing Counsel, International Trade and Logistics; Corporate Employment and Labor Counsel; Corporate M&A/Finance Counsel and Labor Relations Manager, North America. 

17 years at Dow Chemical. Now you know why I’ve got questions.

Additionally, Rand Paul’s brother, Ronnie, works for Dow. Ronnie’s also a member of Rand Paul’s Alchemy, LLC (more on Alchemy here and here). Which begs the question of whether or not Rand himself is directly benefiting from his attack on Obama.

More – Is Alchemy, which receives “royalties,” receiving oil royalties? Could that also be a motivator? What about the Campaign For Liberty? Is that organization invested in oil? And beyond the income Rand received from Alchemy on his PFD, how much was paid to his brother and to his dad, who didn’t report the company on his PFD?

One needs to know the answers to these questions before we can truly discover whether or not Rand Paul was speaking honestly or for his family’s personal financial gain.

Tags: Corruption · Environment · Flashback · Hypocrisy · Rand Paul · Senate

21 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jake // May 27, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Just got this awesome email:

    In your piece, Rand Paul’s Strange Ties To Big Oil, you use the phrase “…which begs the question…”.. You wanted to say which invites the question, or similar. “Begging the question” is a fallacy of logic used in an argument. See

    Thanks for the grammar schooling, folks.

  • 2 KYGuy // May 27, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Well – someone beat me to it. We only point it out because we love you. :-)

  • 3 jake // May 27, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Can’t edit it to make it look appropriate via the phone, so wanted to post the comment to let folks know I’m in the loop on my poor grammar… heh.

  • 4 UK Alumni // May 27, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    TPm has some interesting stuff on Paul today.

    New Info on Rand Paul- Paul, who runs an ophthalmology business in Bowling Green, is NOT a Board Certified Ophthalmologist; unlike the 96% of physicians practicing this form of medicine.

    Paul attempted at some point to create his own certification board, with associated credentialing fees; listing family members as paid officers in the organization.

    Neither the word ‘Scam’ nor ‘Chicanery’ appear in the news article.

  • 5 jake // May 27, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    I’m glad to see TPM re-write a story I’ve already written without giving proper credit.

    But it’s good national outlets are paying attention.

  • 6 Lisa Graas // May 27, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    The mistake is so common that it might, at this point, be considered to be “proper grammar” even though it’s not technically correct in the field of logic. Changes in common usage affect the rules of grammar.

  • 7 jake // May 27, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    P.S. Click here for my original story.

  • 8 UK Alumni // May 27, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Thanks Jake, sorry I missed the original.

  • 9 jake // May 27, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks for the heads-up!

  • 10 UK Alumni // May 27, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    FYI Jake-

  • 11 Chad // May 27, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Dow and BP both are both invested members of ChemConnect, the largest global chemical marketplace. Chemconnect purpose is to increase value for members through trading and streamlining business processes.

  • 12 Charles // May 27, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    The reason I hate the “begging the question” error is that people use the phrase to sound smart . . . but they don’t. I think I’ve lost the battle. I hear pretty bright folks use it incorrectly regularly enough that I’m trying not to notice.

  • 13 jake // May 27, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Good point. I certainly wasn’t trying to sound smart…. otherwise I wouldn’t say “ruh ro” every day.

  • 14 Roger // May 27, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    There is not much that’s more American than being at odds with a British corporation.

    I find it ironic that a Teabagger would make such a claim. Does the British East India Company ring any bells?

  • 15 le gardien de but // May 27, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Charles, KYGUY et al–I appreciate that difference being pointed out re “begs the question”–I like to be correct also….

    It’s like the word “unique”; no adjectives except for ‘truly’. Football announcers may say semi unique–what a hoot…

    On another note is the word “forte”–it’s a French word, not Italian, so the ‘e’ is silent; Saying “for-tay” sounds so pompous, as well as being incorrect…

  • 16 wondering // May 27, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    One of my fortes is correcting people who use the term “forte” incorrectly in a very loud voice. ;-)

  • 17 Boogs // May 27, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    My pet peeve is people who say, ‘between you and I’, and expect that they sound smart instead of grammatically clueless.

  • 18 kilowat // May 27, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    I think they did give you credit
    according to the organization’s founding document, filed online with the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office. Page One, a Kentucky politics blog, first noted the group’s existence last month.

  • 19 jake // May 27, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Yup. They updated a few hours later after getting called on it.

  • 20 SayWhat // May 28, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Why would it be considered “strange” that Rand Paul has ties to big oil? The man plainly stated the BP monstrous oil spill was an “accident.” That statement told me all I needed to know. He’s not only tied to big oil – he’s in bed with them, as the ole saying goes.

  • 21 Vern in TahuyaWA // May 28, 2010 at 11:50 am

    I predict you’re gonna get a lot of traffic in the next while…