Ed note: This article and its title have been updated since this piece was first published and includes statements from NOW and Chevron.
So, it seems kind of weird at first glance that the National Organization of Women would come down in support of Chevron. Coincidentally, just months after Chevron donated $50,000
million bucks to the National Organization of Women, the legal arm of NOW, Legal Momentum, filed a legal brief in favor of the oil company in its legal plight in Ecuador.
This isn’t as out of left field as it might seem, since NOW has its own reasons for supporting a particular ruling on the RICO injunction. But the substantial donation and its timing sure raises eyebrows, particularly since the toxic waste at the root of the ruling had a particularly strong impact on Ecuadorian women and their children.
Money really complicates something that should seem simple and raises questions of corruption. NOW may have had good intentions, but that donation sure makes it seem like quid pro quo. Ironically, that sort of corruption is one of NOW’s reasons for siding with Chevron, as the organization cites the integrity of RICO injunctions as their reason for getting involved at all — RICO being the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, and “corruption” traditionally defined as “dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.”
So, if NOW was motivated to urge the court to uphold the integrity of the RICO Act in part because of a healthy donation, that would be … kind of funny. And definitely ironic.
This case is complicated. Let’s back up a bit with a little history:Click to continue reading »