Billionaire knocks Lynch on Keystone with April Fools' video

ADVERTISEMENT
The 90-second video features actors posing as oil executives "lining up to support their man in Washington," a narrator says.

"We're supporting Steve Lynch because he's got a big heart, and it's full of oil," one mock oil executive says.

It's a knock on Lynch's support for construction of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, which Steyer and and his allies charge will needlessly pollute the environment. They say the oil from Canada's oilsands is not intended for the U.S. market but would be shipped overseas after it reaches the Gulf Coast ports.  

Last month, Steyer called for the candidate to come out in opposition to the pipeline. He launched what he and his allies call an educational campaign against Lynch, against the wishes of his Democratic primary opponent, Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.).

Both have said that Steyer's actions violate the spirit of a pledge they signed meant to ban outside groups from spending on air and Web attacks in the race. 

But Steyer's efforts have exploited loopholes in the pledge — he has launched rolling billboards on the back of trucks, an airplane banner advertisement flying over Boston and a Facebook-based petition.

Conor Yunits, a spokesman for Lynch, suggested that the video runs counter to the pledge.

"This is exactly the kind of negative, false attack the People's Pledge was supposed to prevent. The fact is, Stephen Lynch is no friend to big oil. He has voted many times to repeal subsidies for big oil, while Congressman Markey has taken more than $100,000 from oil and gas interests," Yunits said.

Markey's campaign echoed the previous call for Steyer to stay out of the race.

"Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch may disagree on the Keystone XL pipeline, but they are in complete agreement about the need to keep outside special interests out of our elections. We once again ask Tom Steyer to honor the People's Pledge and end his involvement in this Senate race. No one has stood up to special interests like Big Oil and the gun lobby more than Ed Markey, and he wants to bring that fight to the Senate," said spokesman Andrew Zucker.

It's unclear how much Steyer is willing to spend on the campaign, but he previously spent more than $37 million of his own funds on ballot initiatives in California.

Watch the video:


—This post was updated at 10:10 a.m. to reflect a statement from the Lynch campaign.

More in Presidential races

Cruz: Obama's Paris absence 'dangerous'

Read more »