Forty-four members of Congress took campaign money from PG&E between 2017 and 2019, despite PG&E's six federal felony convictions and history of deadly disasters

The federal government’s laws and regulations govern major parts of PG&E’s business.

The federal courts convicted PG&E in August 2016 and sentenced the company in January 2017, yet it went on to spend $478,000 on members of Congress' campaigns and millions on state lawmakers.

In recent years, state fire investigators named PG&E equipment as the cause of six deadly wildfires that led to the deaths of 109 people.

A federal judge sentenced PG&E to five years of probation in January 2017, and the company remains under court supervision today.

California has 55 members of Congress: 53 Representatives and 2 Senators. ABC10 asked all 44 members who accepted money from PG&E to comment on the donations made to their campaigns and leadership political action committees (PACs).

Four Congress members have said they donated or plan to donate to charities the money given to their campaigns and leadership PACs by PG&E.

The 44 Congress Members who took money from PG&E

Editor’s note: This list is updated and current as of Nov. 21, 2019. The list begins with U.S. Senators representing California, followed by members of the House of Representatives from California, in order of district.

Senators

In the 2018 and 2020 election cycle, U.S. Senators from California and their leadership PACS have accepted a total of $22,500 from PG&E.

Dianne Feinstein (D)

  • Received: $8,000 to the campaign, $13,500 to the leadership PAC
  • Response: No response.

Kamala Harris (D)

  • Received: $1,000 to the leadership PAC
  • Response: "Senator Harris believes bad corporate actors must be held accountable for their negligence and greed. Throughout her career, she has made it abundantly clear that she believes PG&E has failed California and must be forced to face consequences. That’s why she wrote the Accountability for Utility Executives Act, brand new legislation that would ban bonuses for the executives at bankrupt utilities like PG&E. And when she was Attorney General, she helped spearhead a criminal investigation into PG&E that led to federal charges and a conviction against the company," a spokesperson for Harris said in an email.

U.S. Representatives

In the 2018 and 2020 election cycle, members of the House of Representatives from California and their leadership PACS have accepted a total of $455,500 from PG&E. 

District 1: Doug LaMalfa (R)

  • Received: $13,000 to the campaign
  • Response: "The PAC you reference is an employee-funded committee and all donations to that committee are voluntary and come from the company's employees, many of whom live and work in the First Congressional District," a spokesperson for LaMalfa said in an email.

District 2: Jared Huffman (D)

  • Received: $7,000 to the campaign, $3,500 to the leadership PAC
  • Response: "The PG&E employee political action committee, along with hundreds of other groups and thousands of individuals, have donated to my political campaigns. None of these donations has ever influenced my policy decisions. I pull no punches with PG&E or anyone else when it comes to fighting for consumers, public safety, the environment and corporate accountability, and my record speaks for itself," Huffman said in an email.

District 3: John Garamendi (D)

  • Received: $5,000 to the campaign
  • Response: "PG&E must be held responsible for the horrific effects of their mismanagement that have caused numerous fatalities throughout our region. PG&E is a critically important entity for our state, and I will work with them to ensure our state receives proper and reliable access to energy. However, I will also firmly push back when the company ignores proper safety standards and puts my constituents at risk," Garamendi said in an email.

District 4: Tom McClintock (R)

  • Received: $4,500  to the campaign
  • Response: No response.

District 5: Mike Thompson (D)

  • Received: $15,000 to the campaign, $10,000 to the leadership PAC
  • Response: "I make all of my policy decisions based on what will best serve my constituents and our nation. I have received campaign contributions from PG&E employees but it is not an indication of my support for the company nor does it influence my work in Congress. I have donated more than $124,000 to support fire survivors and our local recovery efforts," Thompson said in an email.

District 6: Doris Matsui (D)

  • Received: $15,000 to the campaign, $15,000 to the leadership PAC
  • Response: "Campaign contributions do not impact the work I undertake in Washington. I am a strong supporter of bold climate action and structural changes to our energy infrastructure, like the Green New Deal, to prevent these tragedies from happening again. I am in the process of donating all contributions from PG&E's political action committee to United Way of the Wine Country, Kincade Fire Emergency Relief and Recovery Fund, and California Fire Foundation.” Matsui said in an email.*

District 7: Ami Bera (D)

  • Received: $4,000to the campaign, $2,500 to the leadership PAC
  • Response: No response.

District 8: Paul Cook (R)

  • Received: $12,000 to the campaign, $5,000 to the leadership PAC
  • Response: No response.

District 9: Jerry McNerney (D)

  • Received: $10,000 to the campaign
  • Response: "The Congressman has donated those funds to organizations assisting victims of California wildfires," a spokesperson for McNerney said in an email.*

District 10: Jeff Denham (R)

  • Received: $10,000 to the campaign, $10,000 to the leadership PAC
  • Response: No response.

District 11: Mark DeSaulnier (D)

  • Received: $3,000 to the campaign
  • Response: “Previously, I hoped to be able to work with PG&E. However, it has now become clear that the company is more interested in its shareholders than its customers and public safety. For that reason, I stopped taking campaign contributions from PG&E in October, donated funds that I had received to a charity that helps fire victims recover, and believe that PG&E must be held accountable for years of negligence,” said DeSaulnier in an email. A spokesperson for Desaulnier clarified that he donated all $3,000 to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.

District 12: Nancy Pelosi (D)

  • Received: $15,000 to the campaign, $11,000 to the leadership PAC
  • Response: "Since the 2017, California communities and families have experienced the deadliest and most destructive wildfires on record. The enduring bravery of firefighters, first responders, state leaders, National Guard, and organizations responding to fires across California reminds us of the urgent threat of the climate crisis. What our state has endured cannot be the new normal. Utilities must be held accountable for mismanaged power shutoffs, minimize the extent of shutoffs to the greatest degree possible, harden the grid, and prioritize public safety and wildfire victims. That is why we have donated $26,000 in contributions from PG&E equally to the following 6 organizations: United Way of the Wine Country Kincade Fire Emergency Relief & Recovery Fund; Redwood Credit Union Community Fund; California Fire Foundation; American Red Cross; Rebuild Paradise; and Rebuild North Bay. House Democrats will keep fighting the Republicans' backwards, anti-science agenda -- and urge Senator Mitch McConnell to pass the Climate Action Now Act," a spokesperson for Pelosi said in an email.*

District 13: Barbara Lee (D)

  • Received: $6,500 to the campaign
  • Response: "Barbara Lee for Congress is not accepting any campaign donations from PG&E and has actually returned a contribution earlier this year," a spokesperson for Lee said in an email.

District 15: Eric Swalwell (D)

  • Received: $15,000 to the campaign, $15,000 to the leadership PAC
  • Response: No response.

District 16: Jim Costa (D)

  • Received: $15,000 to the campaign
  • Response: No response.

District 18: Anna Eshoo (D)

  • Received: $7,500 to the campaign
  • Response: "To assist families dealing with the aftermath of the fires, I have made a contribution in excess of the amount you note to The Diocese of Sacramento Fire Assistance Fund," Eshoo said in an email.*

District 19: Zoe Lofgren (D)

  • Received: $3,000 to the campaign
  • Response: No response.

District 20: James Panetta (D)

  • Received: $9,000 to the campaign
  • Response: No response.

District 21: David Valadao (R)

  • Received: $10,000 to the campaign, $10,000 to the leadership PAC
  • Response: No response.

District 22: Devin Nunes (R)

  • Received: $12,500 to the campaign, $15,000 to the leadership PAC
  • Response: No response.

District 23: Kevin McCarthy (R)

  • Received: $15,000 to the campaign, $15,000 to the leadership PAC
  • Response: No response.

District 24: Salud Carbajal (D)

  • Received: $4,500 to the campaign, $3,500 to the leadership PAC
  • Response: No response.

District 25: Steve Knight (R)

  • Received: $2,500 to the campaign
  • Response: No response.

District 26: Julia Brownley (D)

  • Received: $5,000 to the campaign
  • Response: No response.

District 29: Tony Cardenas (D)

  • Received: $15,000 to the campaign, $15,000 to the leadership PAC
  • Response: No response.

District 31: Pete Aguilar (D)

  • Received: $2,000 to the campaign
  • Response: No response.

District 32: Grace Napolitano (D)

  • Received: $5,000 to the campaign
  • Response: No response.

District 34: Jimmy Gomez (D)

  • Received: $5,000 to the campaign
  • Response: No response.

District 35: Norma Torres (D)

  • Received: $4,500 to the campaign
  • Response: No response.

District 36: Raul Ruiz (D)

  • Received:  $6,500 to the campaign
  • Response: No response.

District 37: Karen Bass (D)

  • Received: $1,000 to the campaign
  • Response: No response.

District 38: Linda Sanchez (D)

  • Received:  $6,000 to the campaign
  • Response: No response.

District 40: Lucille Roybal-Allard (D)

  • Received: $4,000 to the campaign
  • Response: No response.

District 42: Ken Calvert (R)

  • Received: $15,000 to the campaign
  • Response: No response.

District 44: Nanette Barragan (D)

  • Received: $5,000 to the campaign
  • Response: No response.

District 45: Mimi Walters (R)

  • Received: $10,000 to the campaign, $2,500 to the leadership PAC 
  • Response: No response.

District 46: Jose Luis Correa (D)

  • Received: $4,500 to the campaign
  • Response: No response.

District 47: Alan Lowenthal (D)

  • Received:  $1,000 to the campaign
  • Response: No response.

District 49: Darrell Issa (R)

  • Received: $1,000 to the campaign
  • Response: No response.

District 51: Juan Vargas (D)

  • Received:   $4,500 to the campaign
  • Response: No response.

District 52: Scott Peters (D)

  • Received:  $10,000 to the campaign, $2,500 to the leadership PAC
  • Response: "The Scott Peters campaign has refused contributions from PG&E's Political Action Committee since the Camp Fire. Climate change has caused fires to be triggered more easily and their effects more devastating, which means PG&E must do better."

District 53: Susan Davis (D)

  • Received: $1,000 to the campaign
  • Response: No response.

*ABC10 is working to confirm that charities received money as stated.

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