Barack Obama/Campaign Financing
|This article is part of the
SourceWatch and Congresspedia coverage
of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and
the 2008 presidential election
|Democratic ticket "top tier"|
On February 1, 2007, Barack Obama, through his Obama Exploratory Committee, asked the Federal Election Commission "whether, if Senator Obama becomes a candidate, [may he] provisionally raise funds for the general election but retain the option, upon nomination, of returning these contributions and [accept] the public funds for which he would be eligible as the Democratic Party's nominee."
Obama "used campaign donations generated by PACs and lobbyists to bankroll the birth of his White House bid -- though he's banning that money for his presidential 2008 race," Lynn Sweet reported February 9, 2007, in the Chicago Sun-Times.
"Obama's conversion to a laudable higher standard does not negate that money from sources he now disdains helped paved the way for his kickoff in Springfield [Illinois] on Saturday [February 10, 2007].
"Obama has been raising campaign cash for two political pots -- Obama 2010 Inc., his Senate re-election committee, and the Hopefund, another war chest. Obama, until his recent conversion on the eve of his presidential run, took more than $1 million from political action committees.
"An examination of disbursements from the two funds reveals how Obama was able to use legal loopholes commonly used by other presidential contenders to pay for White House testing-of-the-water expenses," Sweet wrote.
"Discussing the issue of campaign finance reform, Obama said, 'The argument is not that I'm pristine, because I'm swimming in the same muddy water, ... The argument is that I know it's muddy and I want to clean it up," Barack Obama said August 16, 2007, in Des Moines, Iowa.
- 1 Pledge to work with lobbyists if elected
- 2 Contributions from PACs
- 3 Campaign contributions related to lobbyists
- 4 Obama's fundraising network
- 5 Criticism
- 6 Bundlers
- 7 Campaign paraphernalia
- 8 Big industry contributors
- 9 Campaign contributor Antoin "Tony" Rezko
- 10 Resources and articles
Pledge to work with lobbyists if elected
Obama backed down from an earlier pledge that lobbyists "will not work in my White House" after the media questioned its feasibility. He then said that lobbyists would not "dominate" or "run" his administration but acknowledged that they would "have a seat at the table". Obama said he would restrict the influence of lobbyists by openly negotiating a health insurance bill with the health insurance industry "on C-SPAN", disclosing of all meetings between his political appointees and lobbyists, barring lobbyists appointed to his administration from working on regulations or contracts directly affecting their employer for two years, and restricting appointees leaving service from lobbying for the remainder of Obama's term of office. 
Obama's record on restricting the influence of lobbyists includes passing a campaign ethics reform bill while he was in the Illinois state legislature, working with Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) on a congressional ethics bill and co-sponsoring a bill to create a searchable online database of federal spending.
Contributions from PACs
While Obama pledged to refuse any money from federal lobbyists or political action committees, he did accept money from them during his 2004 Senate campaign. He also accepted lobbyist contributions during his state senate campaigns.
The Center for Responsive Politics reports that since 2004, Obama has raised the following PAC contributions:
While not taking campaign contributions from federal lobbyists themselves, Obama has raised significant amounts from individuals related to lobbyists:
- "While pledging to turn down donations from lobbyists themselves, Senator Obama raised more than $1 million in the first three months of his presidential campaign from law firms and companies that have major lobbying operations in the nation's capital," Dan Morain wrote April 23, 2007, in the Los Angeles Times.
- "Portraying himself as a new-style politician determined to reform the capitol, Mr. Obama makes his policy clear in fund-raising invitations, stating that he takes no donations from 'federal lobbyists.' ... The Illinois Democrat's policy of shunning money from lobbyists registered to do business on Capitol Hill does not extend to lawyers whose partners lobby there. Nor does the ban apply to corporations [note: contributions from the employees of corporations] that have major lobby operations in Washington. And the prohibition does not extend to lobbyists who ply their trade in state capitals including Springfield, Ill., Tallahassee, Fla., and Sacramento, Calif., although some deal with national clients and issues," Morain wrote.
- "Obama accepts money from lobbyists' spouses and other family members, their partners at the law firms where they work if the partners aren't registered to lobby, senior executives at companies that hire lobbyists, and state-level lobbyists. Among his top fundraisers are at least a few who were registered lobbyists as recently as last year. The campaign says it is making a 'best effort' to stay away from tainted money," according to FactCheck.org following the April 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate.
Stephen Weissman of the nonpartisan think tank Campaign Finance Institute said Obama "gets an asterisk that says he is trying to be different ... But overall, the same wealthy interests are funding his campaign as are funding other candidates, whether or not they are lobbyists," Morain wrote.
The following, according to Public Citizen/WhiteHouseForSale, have been identified by the Obama campaign as bundlers who are also lobbyists who contributed to Obama for America.
- Frank M. Clark is chairman and chief executive officer of Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation. As an Obama bundler, Clark raised $200,000+. FEC records show that on January 26, 2007, he personally contributed $2,000.
- Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank wrote July 4, 2007, in the Dissident Voice.
- "Barack, for the second quarter in a row, has surpassed the fundraising prowess of Hillary Clinton. To be sure small online donations have propelled the young senator to the top, but so too have his connections to big industry. The Obama campaign, as of late March 2007, has accepted $159,800 from executives and employees of Exelon, the nation’s largest nuclear power plant operator.
- "The Illinois-based company also helped Obama’s 2004 senatorial campaign. As Ken Silverstein reported in the November 2006 issue of Harper’s, '[Exelon] is Obama’s fourth largest patron, having donated a total of $74,350 to his campaigns. During debate on the 2005 energy bill, Obama helped to vote down an amendment that would have killed vast loan guarantees for power-plant operators to develop new energy projects … the public will not only pay millions of dollars in loan costs but will risk losing billions of dollars if the companies default.'"
- See Greg Sargent's January 17, 2008, TPMElection Central "Hillary And Obama Duke It Out Over Hillary's Yucca Mountain Ad."
- Scott Blake Harris is the managing partner of the Washington, D.C., firm Harris Wiltshire and Grannis, which handles such legislative issues as Communications/Broadcasting/ Radio/TV, Science/Technology, Telecommunications, and Trade (Foreign and Domestic), as well as representing the Computing Technology Industry Association. As an Obama bundler, Harris raised $200,000+. FEC records show that on March 15, 2007, he personally contributed $2,000.
- Allan J. Katz is a shareholder and chairman of the Policy Practice Group at Akerman Senterfitt in Tallahassee, Florida. Katz is a Member of the Florida Democratic Committee and Democratic National Committee, and Tallahassee City Commissioner. As an Obama bundler, Katz raised $200,000+ with Marilyn Katz of MK Communications (who personally contributed $1,000 to Obama for America on January 21, 2007).
- Robert S. Litt is a partner at the Washington, D.C. firm Arnold & Porter, a regulatory and public affairs firm which represents multiple clients in a variety of industries. As an Obama bundler, Litt raised unknown amount of money. FEC records show that Litt personally contributed $2,300 on February 26, 2007 and $2,300 on May 2, 2007.
- Thomas J. Perrilli is managing partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Jenner and Block, a Chicago general practice law firm, which includes among its clients the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and Time Warner Inc. As an Obama bundler, Perrelli raised $200,000+. FEC records show that Perrelli personally contributed $2,100 on January 16, 2007, and $200 on March 5, 2007; and $2,300 on March 21, 2007.
- Thomas A. Reed is Of Counsel at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis LLP (K&L Gates), which represents multiple industries and multiple clients. As an Obama bundler, Reed raised $200,000+. FEC records show that on March 20, 2007, Reed personally contributed $2,300.
- Paul N. Roth is a partner at the New York firm Schulte Roth & Zabel, which represents financial institutions, investments, securities, including Cerberus Capital Partners. As an Obama bundler, Roth raised at least $50,000. FEC records show that on March 20, 2007, Roth personally contributed $2,300.
- Alan D. Solomont of Solomont Bailis Ventures in Massachusetts represents Health Services/HMOs. As an Obama bundler, Solomont raised $200,000+. FEC records show that Solomont personally contributed $2,100 on January 26, 2007; $2,500 on March 30, 2007; (Rebecca Solomont at the same address made two $2,300 contributions on the same day); and $2,300 on March 30, 2007
- Tom E. Wheeler is managing director of Core Capital Partners, a private equity fund in Washington, D.C. As an Obama bundler, Wheeler raised $100,000+. FEC records show that Wheeler personally contributed $2,100 on January 16, 2007; $2,500 on May 2, 2007; and an additional $2,300 on May 2, 2007. (Note: another $2,300 was added then removed also on May 2, 2007.)
Roll Call reports the following lobbyist endorsements for Barack Obama.
- Kevin Chavous (Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal)
- Tom Daschle (Alston & Bird)
- Stan Fendley (Corning)
- Elizabeth Fox (Jolly/Rissler)
- Francis Grab (Washington Council Ernst & Young)
- Tim Hannegan (Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates)
- Tom Jensen (Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal)
- Broderick Johnson (Bryan Cave Strategies)
- Mark Keam (Verizon)
- Bob Maloney (Maloney Government Relations)
- Marcus Mason (The Madison Group)
- Andy Rosenberg (Ogilvy Government Relations)
- Bobby Sepucha (Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal)
- Tom Walls (McGuireWoods)
- Michael Williams (Credit Suisse)
Listed among the top 50 contributors to Barack Obama 2003-2004 are found the following political action committees:
- AT&T PAC IL
- Allstate Insurance PAC
- Credit Union PAC
- Community Banc PAC
- Zack PAC
- AIA IL PAC (American Insurance Assn)
- IL Road Builders PAC
- MCI Midwest Employees PAC
- Peoples Energy PAC
- Spirit PAC
- IL Manufactured Housing Assn PAC
- IL Mortgage Bankers PAC
- ACPAC (Automobile Club PAC)
Listed among the top 50 contributors to Barack Obama 2001-2002 are found the following political action committees:
- Manufacturers PAC
- Credit Union PAC
- IL Nurse CRNA PAC
- IL Merchants PAC
- IL Health Care Assn PAC
- Community BancPAC
- IL Realtors Assn RPAC
- UAW IL PAC
- Horsepower PAC
- AT&T PAC IL
- Exelon IL PAC/Com Ed
- IL Birth to Five PAC
- IL Home Builders PAC
- IL Insurance PAC
The Washington Post reported February 6, 2007, that Obama has raised "roughly $126,000 from lobbyists."
Obama's fundraising network
Obama's presidential campaign gained support early on from Robert Farmer, called the "father of soft money" because was the first to discover how to raise it in 1988 for Michael Dukakis's presidential campaign.
Obama's political action committees
Political action committees connected to Obama include:
- Hopefund, Inc. Federal Election Commission (FEC) ID# C00409052.
- Obama for America, FEC ID#: P80003338. Political Action Committee (PAC) ID#: C00431445.
- Obama for Illinois, Inc., PAC ID# C00381442.
- Obama 2010 Inc., FEC ID#: S4IL00180. PAC ID# C00411934.
- Obama for Congress 2000, FEC ID#: H0IL01087. PAC ID#: C00347583.
Criticism from the Right
- "In Obama's case, he announced that he wouldn't take money for his presidential campaign from registered lobbyists of the federal government, but the policy is about staking a claim to moral authority, not about actually excluding interested donors," John Hood wrote April 23, 2007, in the National Review Online's The Corner. (The blog of the Right-wing National Review magazine.)
- "Obama and Edwards showed up at the national convention of the lobbying group for the trial lawyers, the former Association of Trial Lawyers of America (who now call themselves the American Association of Justice).. There, they gave speeches (as did Clinton, Biden, and Richardson). A look at the largest donors for Obama and especially Edwards shows a disproportionate number of active members of that lobbying group. Indeed, John Edwards's finance chairman is Fred Baron, the former president of ATLA. If Obama and Edwards want voters to believe that Clinton is influenced by lobbyist money, what should we think about these two candidates' debts to trial lawyers? Are we to believe that the critical difference is the lobbyist registration papers, at which point money becomes tainted and dirty?" - Ted Frank commented August 5, 2007, in the Overlawyered blog. (Overlawyered is a blog written by three people, two of whom work for the Manhattan Institute and the American Enterprise Institute, Right-wing think tanks funded by corporations and active in the movement to restrict lawsuits, thus reducing corporate liability).
- Michael M. Bates wrote August 10, 2007, for The New Media Journal (a site affiliated with or connected to PR shop New Media Alliance, Right-wing think tank the Heritage Foundation and Christian-Right group Alliance Defense Fund)
In terms of money received from the oil and gas industry, Obama ranks third among the eight announced Democratic presidential candidates. He does the same with insurance, again coming in third. First place is reserved for Senator Christopher Dodd who, in his capacity as a committee chairman, can investigate the insurance industry if he wants to. Obama is number two in contributions from the pharmaceuticals and health products industry.
Senator Obama didn’t include banking interests among those nefarious special interests. Then again, with over $600,000 so far, he ranks number one among all candidates of either party in money from commercial banks. And you may have noticed he didn’t mention teachers’ unions either. Surely that has little to do with the $1.3 million he’s gotten from the education industry, again putting him at the top spot among all announced Democrats and Republicans. ... Let’s see him return the more than $5 million he’s taken from lawyers and law firms. He can also send back the more than $3 million from the securities and investment industry and attach a letter saying he doesn’t need or want special interest funding. Then there’s the $1.3 million from real estate, the $1.3 million from the entertainment industry, and the $652,000 from hedge funds and private equity sources he’s accepted so far. Send it back with regrets. He could bow out of Oprahlalooza next month, saying that he doesn’t want to give even the slightest hint of impropriety by accepting all that dough from fat cats. Moreover, he could return the $7,885 he’s taken from what used to be called Big Tobacco. Or if he’s still not been able to give up that filthy habit - smoking cigarettes that is, not taking special interest money -, he could request an in-kind contribution.
Senator Obama has benefited significantly from “bundling,” which involves supporters collecting smaller contributions, putting them all together, and giving them to a politician. According to Public Citizens’s White House for Sale Web site, Barack’s had 262 “bundlers” each gather at least $50,000 for him. One is Commonwealth Edison chairman Frank Clark. Perhaps the utility’s millions of customers who saw rates skyrocket by 24 percent on average wish he’d spend less time on politics and more on providing energy at a reasonable cost.
Barry is trying to distance himself from other candidates by suggesting that when it comes to political cash he’s different than the others. He’s purer than pure. It’d be easier to take his self-righteous pontificating about how malevolent the special interests are if he didn’t have both hands out grabbing money from those same sources. Sooner or later, even those salivating over Obama’s candidacy will come to the awareness that he’s nothing more than your standard-issue liberal hypocrite. He can only hope it’s after he’s on the national ticket.
Lobbyist contribution external articles
- Chris Cillizza, "Gaming the Money Game," The Fix Blog/Washington Post, March 8, 2007.
- Lynn Sweet, "Obama fund-raisers hush-hush? Handlers have little to say on big donor events," Chicago Sun-Times, March 9, 2007.
- Alexander Bolton, "Obama's K Street Project," The Hill, March 28, 2007.
- John McCormick, Mike Dorning and Jill Zuckman, "Obama fundraising rivals Clinton," Chicago Tribune, April 5, 2007.
- Justin Rood, "Despite Rhetoric, Obama Pushed Lobbyists' Interests," The Blotter Blog/ABC News, July 16, 2007.
- Lee Rood, "Obama TV ad's assertions are factually OK, but ...," DesMoines Register, August 3, 2007.
- Dan Morain, "Obama walks a thin green line. His message of reform puts him in a delicate fundraising situation. Especially when lobbyists solicit donors on his behalf," Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2007.
- Kate Phillips, "Revisiting the Heated Debate Exchange on Lobbying," The Caucus Blog/New York Times, August 4, 2007.
- Ron Fournier, "Democrats Court Liberal Bloggers," Associated Press (BreitBart.com), August 4, 2007: "While they don't accept money directly from lobbyists, Edwards and Obama are not above benefiting from the broader lobbying community. Both accept money from firms that have lobbying operations, and Obama in particular has tapped the networks of lobbyists' friends and co-workers."
- BigBoyBlue, "Obama Took 1.4 Million From Lobbyists' Firms (updated)," MyDD, August 4, 2007.
- ihaveclintonfever, "Do Edwards and Obama take 'Dirty Money' too?" Daily Kos, August 6, 2007.
- MissLaura, "More on Lobbyist Contributions," Daily Kos, August 6, 2007.
- Katharine Zaleski, "Obama Copies Edwards' Line On Lobbying," The Huffington Post, August 6, 2007.
- Scott Helman, "In Illinois, Obama dealt with lobbyists. But as candidate, he faults Clinton for ties," Boston Globe, September 23, 2007.
"Under current law, the names and fundraising totals of bundlers are not disclosed," Gary Kalman wrote July 26, 2007, in the Justice Talking Blog. "All that is required is for a campaign to disclose the individual contributions of donors which is limited to $2,300 per election. This grossly understates the 'contribution' bundlers make to a campaign and provides the public with an incomplete picture of who is building access through their fundraising activities."
"Bundlers to the Obama campaign are not recognized until they have raise[d] at least $50,000," Kalman wrote.
Obama "lists his bundlers of $50,000 and more — but, again, without making further distinctions to let the public know to whom he is most indebted," the Washington Post reported in a July 11, 2007, editorial.
"When former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel alleged [at the July 23, 2007, Democratic presidential primary debates] that Obama had 134 bundlers, Obama responded by telling Gravel that the reason he knows how many bundlers are raising money for him is 'because I helped push through a law this past session to disclose that'," ABC News reported July 23, 2007.
"Earlier this year, Obama sponsored an amendment in the Senate requiring lobbyists to disclose the candidates, leadership PACs, or political parties for whom they bundle. Obama's amendment would not, however, require candidates to release the names of their bundlers. What's more, although Obama's amendment was agreed to in the Senate by unanimous consent, the measure never become law as Obama seemed to suggest," ABC News reported.
Bundler articles and resources
Public Citizen relaunched the WhiteHouseForSale website for the 2008 elections.
- As of January 9, 2008, Barack Obama had 356 bundlers, including 9 lobbyist bundlers, who have raised $78,915,507. Follow Barack Obama's total funds raised and a list of bundlers and amount raised here.
- FundRace 2008, The Huffington Post's searchable database: "FundRace makes it easy to search by name or address to see which presidential candidates your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors are contributing to. Or you can see if your favorite celebrity is putting their money where their mouth is."
Related external articles
- Mary Clare Jalonik, "Daschle: Obama Has 'Unlimited Potential'," Associated Press (Washington Post), December 19, 2006.
- Greg Sargent, "War For Donors Heats Up Between Clinton And Obama; Barack Has 'Light Touch,' Top Donor Says," TPM ElectionCentral, January 20, 2007.
- Editorial: "The $1 Million Bundler. Sen. Clinton -- and her rivals -- need to let the public know the names of their campaign financiers," Washington Post, February 5, 2007.
- Justin Rood, "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?" The Blotter Blog/ABC News, February 20, 2007.
- Patrick Healy, "Obama’s 2nd-Quarter Foray in New York," The Caucus Blog/New York Times, March 21, 2007.
- Lynn Sweet, "'08 rivals dash for campaign cash. A look at the Obama fundraising operation," Sweet column/Chicago Sun-Times, March 27, 2007.
- Anne Michaud, "New York's African American Bundlers," The Hot Line/On Call Blog/National Journal, March 30, 2007.
- Mark Ambinder, "Obama's Hush Hush Donor Retreat," The Hotline On Call Blog/National Journal, April 10, 2007.
- Howard Fineman, "Obama's Secret Weapon. Endorsements. Key staffers. Fundraising lists. Brotherly advice. Former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle is making his presence felt behind the scenes in Barack Obama's presidential campaign," Newsweek/MSNBC, April 10, 2007. re Tom Daschle
- Lynn Sweet, "Obama touts small donor network but also relies on high end 'bundlers' for millions," Chicago Sun-Times, April 16, 2007.
- Dan Morain, "Obama’s Refusal of Lobbyists’ Money Has its Limits," Los Angeles Times (Common Dreams), April 22, 2007.
- "Political Alliances Break With 2008 Fundraising," NewsMax, April 23, 2007.
- Karen Tumulty, "Obama's Viral Marketing Campaign," TIME Magazine, July 5, 2007.
- Mike Dorning and Christi Parsons, "Inside Obama's inner circle. Ahead of likely presidential campaign, senator relies on core of trusted advisers," Chicago Tribune, July 17, 2007.
- Ben Smith, "Getting paid," The Politico, July 18, 2007.
- Lynn Sweet, "Oprah to host fund-raiser for Obama at California home. Jamie Fox, Beyonce may entertain," Chicago Sun-Times, July 18, 2007.
- Lynn Sweet, "Democratic debate special. Gravel hits Obama on special interest money," Chicago Sun-Times, July 23, 2007.
- ThinLine, "Mike Gravel, Youtube & Obama" and "Money Laundering," Ask Obama Why Blog, July 24, 2007.
- Tyler Mills, "Fact Check on Barack Obama's Money. Is He Telling the Truth?" Associated Content, July 25, 2007.
- Mike Dorning and John McCormick, "Big fish shadow Obama's small fry. Fundraising machine lures clout, wealth," Chicago Tribune, July 26, 2007.
- Alexander Bolton, "Democrats’ big givers play presidential field," The Hill, July 26, 2007.
- Andrew Malcolm, "Oprah's Obama party instructions," Los Angeles Times, August 17, 2007.
- Matthew Mosk, "The $75 Million Woman. Barack Obama's finance director helped transform a fledgling campaign into a fundraising machine," Washington Post (CBS News), October 8, 2007. re Julianna Smoot
- Mike Allen, "Obama Courted Hsu," The Politico, October 8, 2007. re Norman Hsu
- B Merry, "'Extreme Secrecy' Surrounds Obama Fundraising," TaylorMarsh.com, January 9, 2008.
- B Merry, "Obama's registered lobbyist bundlers," TaylorMarsh.com, January 10, 2008.
- B Merry, "Obama's K Street endorsements," TaylorMarsh.com, January 10, 2008.
- Mike McIntire, "Nuclear Leaks and Response Tested Obama in Senate," New York Times, February 3, 2008.
Inflating the numbers
"The news that Barack Obama has been counting all the people who buy his t-shirts and bumper stickers as being among his record 258,000 campaign donors is causing something of a stir," Karen Tumulty wrote July 17, 2007, in TIME Magazine's Swampland Blog.
"It turns out that Obama's contributor numbers were WAY inflated, because they included anyone who bought a bumper sticker, or a keychain with his name on it, or paid $5 to hear him talk. Yet he represented these people as if they had simply handed over cash for nothing in return, and the media went all ga-ga over his 'stunning' (the word one reporter used to describe it) contributor base. Basically, he made the mainstream media look like idiots...," Swampland contributor Paul Lukasiak commented.
Big industry contributors
Investment banks, hedge funds and Wall Street
"Obama received more donations from employees of investment banks and hedge funds than from any other sector, with Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase among his biggest sources of support.
"Individual donors included Ken Griffin, the multi-billionaire founder and chief executive of Chicago-based Citadel Investment Group, one of the world's biggest hedge fund companies," the UK's Financial Times reported July 17, 2007.
"Obama's fundraising was more heavily dominated by financial professionals than other main candidate. He received $160,760 from employees of Lehman Brothers, just over $100,000 each from employees of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase and $61,125 from Citigroup employees," the Times reported.
Related external articles
- Clay Risen, "Money Man. Barack Obama, hedge-fund candidate," The New Republic, May 11, 2007.
- Jim Kuhnhenn, "Obama Taps Wall Street for Dollars," Associated Press (Washington Post), July 17, 2007.
- Julianna Goldman and Kristin Jensen, "Obama, Clinton Draw Wall Street Donors Amid Bush Disenchantment," Bloomberg News, July 18, 2007.
- Paul Street, "Barack Obama and The Audacity of Deception. Reflections on the Manufacture of Progressive Illusion," ZNet, December 6, 2007.
Nuclear power industry
This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's focus on the fallout of nuclear "spin."
"Barack, for the second quarter in a row, has surpassed the fundraising prowess of Hillary Clinton," Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank wrote July 4, 2007, for the Dissident Voice. "To be sure small online donations have propelled the young senator to the top, but so too have his connections to big industry. The Obama campaign, as of late March 2007, has accepted $159,800 from executives and employees of Exelon, the nation’s largest nuclear power plant operator.
"The Illinois-based company also helped Obama’s 2004 senatorial campaign. As Ken Silverstein reported in the November 2006 issue of Harper’s, '[Exelon] is Obama’s fourth largest patron, having donated a total of $74,350 to his campaigns. During debate on the 2005 energy bill, Obama helped to vote down an amendment that would have killed vast loan guarantees for power-plant operators to develop new energy projects … the public will not only pay millions of dollars in loan costs but will risk losing billions of dollars if the companies default.'"
Related external articles
- Mike McIntire, "Nuclear Leaks and Response Tested Obama in Senate," New York Times, February 3, 2008.
Resources and articles
- Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank, "Barack Obama’s Nuclear Ambitions. Another Automaton of the Atomic Lobby," Dissident Voice, July 4, 2007.
- Ben Smith, "Obama Wants Public Financing Option," The Politico, February 7, 2007.
- "Yes -- Obama Is Opting Out.. But," The Hotline Blog/National Journal, February 7, 2007.
- Chris Cillizza and Matthew Mosk, "Obama to Seek FEC Ruling on Financing," Washington Post, February 7, 2007.
- Nedra Pickler, "Obama Passes on Public Funds for '08 Bid. Obama to forego public financing for 2008 presidential campaign," Associated Press (CBS News), February 7, 2007.
- David K. Kirkpatrick, "Obama Proposes Candidates Limit General Election Spending," New York Times, February 8, 2007.
- "Obama proposes candidates limit election spending," New York Times (Dallas Morning News), February 8, 2007.
- Frank James, "Obama's DOA campaign-finance idea," The Swamp/Chicago Tribune, February 8, 2007.
- "Obama questions campaign financing," The Journal-Gazette (Fort Wayne, IN), February 9, 2007.
- Lynn Sweet, "PACs helped launch bid. Cash from sources Obama spurns paid exploratory fees," Chicago Sun-Times, February 9, 2007.
- Kenneth P. Vogel, "Obama’s Presidential Finance Plan Moves Closer to Approval," The Politico, February 22, 2007.
- "LA Times ignored Obama's FEC filing in claiming he 'won't use public funds'," Media Matters for America, February 23, 2007.
- Jaon Horowitz, "Barack Attack. Chicago Democrats, Cranked by Money, Daley Machine, Seem to Be Weirdly United in Getting Obama Going: ‘It’s a Contact Sport, and He Understands How to Play’," New York Observer, March 25, 2007.
- Matthew Mosk, "As Campaigns Chafe at Limits, Donors Might Be in Diapers," Washington Post, October 24, 2007.
- Jim McElhatton, Obama favorite of outside groups, Washington Times, March 24, 2008.