U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole's latest TV ad attacks Democratic rival Kay Hagan for her ownership of oil and gas wells and her stance on offshore drilling.
What it says: The ad shows images of Hagan, oil wells and gas pumps. Narrator: "Fibber Kay Hagan claims she's against Big Oil, but Kay Hagan is Big Oil. Each time you buy gas, her cash register goes 'ka-ching!' Kay and her husband own multiple oil and gas wells in Kansas, Oklahoma, Indiana, West Virginia, Ohio. But Kay is against offshore drilling. Must not own any of those." Dole: "I'm Elizabeth Dole and I approve this message."
The background: According to a U.S. Senate financial disclosure form, Hagan and her husband, Chip, have stakes in five companies: Ace Midwest Partners, Psigen Sullivan Partners, Jasmine Oil Wells, Chrisjo Energy Inc. and Ergon Oil Co.
The companies operate oil and gas wells in Kansas, Oklahoma, Indiana, West Virginia and Ohio.
Though the exact amount was not disclosed, each of the investments was listed as being worth between $15,000 and $50,000. That puts the couple's overall stake somewhere between $90,000 and $300,000.
"These are Chip's," said Hagan spokeswoman Colleen Flanagan. "He has investments in domestic oil wells, which are local businesses contributing to the economy."
Both Dole and Hagan previously supported a federal moratorium on oil exploration off the North Carolina coast.
In June, Dole reversed herself, citing high gas prices. At the time, Hagan criticized her, saying the U.S. "cannot drill ourselves enough oil to solve this problem."
But a month later, Hagan also reversed herself, saying she supports a bipartisan proposal by a group of U.S. senators that would leave the decision on offshore drilling up to North Carolina and other states, promote alternative energy and encourage conservation.
Dole has said she would also support that proposal.
Is it accurate? No. Hagan's investments in oil and gas wells are substantial, but they hardly qualify her for membership in OPEC. Like Dole, she no longer supports a federal ban on offshore drilling in North Carolina and would leave the decision up to the state.
— Ryan Teague Beckwith