The voters in Midland, Texas, weren't sold. The effort failed to get enough votes for the tax hike to pass. But this effort by these companies to get it passed was an eye opener. See Stewart Doreen's article at Oil companies donate $100,000 for tax ratification election.
To it's credit, the Midland Reporter Telegram reported a list of recipients of this money which included the newspaper itself. They came out all right on the deal. So did former city councilman and mayoral candidate John James' company.