More than a week after Democratic congressional candidate and Burlington County Freeholder, Aimee Belgard, called on her Republican opponent to divest from his extensive assets in foreign oil, residents of New Jersey’s 3rd congressional district remain frustrated by his refusal to do so. Today, a group of New Jersey Democrats gathered in front of Tom MacArthur’s campaign headquarters to symbolically showcase the price of inaction.

 

Dividend Check for $66,000 Delivered to Campaign Headquarters

(Bayville, NJ) – More than a week after Democratic congressional candidate and Burlington County Freeholder, Aimee Belgard, called on her Republican opponent to divest from his extensive assets in foreign oil, residents of New Jersey’s 3rd congressional district remain frustrated by his refusal to do so. Today, a group of New Jersey Democrats gathered in front of Tom MacArthur’s campaign headquarters to symbolically showcase the price of inaction.

“It’s a simple question: does Tom MacArthur support United States interests or does he prefer to profiteer off direct investments in the foreign energy sector?” asked New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman John Currie. “He refuses to divest his holdings, so I think the answer is clear. Despite the diplomatic tension with Russia and throughout the Middle East, Tom MacArthur continues to let his concern for his financial investments trump trump American interests and values. That’s unacceptable for someone aspiring to public office.”

MacArthur, who has been dodging divestment questions, owns up to $115,000 of direct investments in overseas oil companies including Russia’s state-owned oil company, Gazprom, the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), and a Russian oil company called Lukoil.

Earlier today, protesters presented the multimillionaire and former insurance CEO’s campaign with a mock check for the up to $66,000 in dividends he received from the three foreign oil companies in which he has assets.

“So long as MacArthur keeps getting dividend checks from these oil companies, the people of the 3rd Congressional District cannot trust him to stand up for energy independence, the environment or American foreign policy,” said Dawn Jeronowitz a Democratic volunteer.

As Russian officials cut off natural gas supplies to U.S.-allied Ukraine, Gazprom, a state-owned Russian oil company, seeks to expand into the Islamic Republic of Iran. In fact, this month Russia and Iran signed a memorandum of understanding to expand trade and economic cooperation in a number of areas, including the oil and gas sector. Gazprom has, reportedly, been pushing for a return to the Iranian market since February, disregarding the strong sanctions against Iran put in place by the US and the European Union.

Meanwhile, CNOOC, a Chinese state-owned oil company, has been ignoring international sanctions and collaborating with Iran for years. In 2008, the National Iranian Oil Company agreed to a development plan for Iran’s huge North Pars gas field with CNOOC. The $16 billion contract will allow the Chinese company to produce as much as 1.2 billion cubic feet a day of gas.