Barack Obama/on lobbyists

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Barack Obama, U.S. Senator (D-Ill.)
This article is part of the
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of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and
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The following relates to Sen. Barack Obama and his views on and interaction with lobbyists.


Contents

Accepting political contributions from lobbyists and PACs

"But behind Obama's campaign rhetoric about taking on special interests lies a more complicated truth," Scott Helman wrote August 9, 2007, in the Boston Globe.[1] A "review of Obama's campaign finance records shows that he collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from lobbyists and PACs as a state legislator in Illinois, a US senator, and a presidential aspirant."

  • 1996 to 2004: "almost two-thirds of the money he raised for his campaigns -- $296,000 of $461,000 -- came from PACs, corporate contributions, or unions, according to Illinois Board of Elections records. He tapped financial services firms, real estate developers, healthcare providers, oil companies, and many other corporate interests, the records show."[1]
  • Starting in 2004, Obama "has collected $128,000 from lobbyists and $1.3 million from PACs, according to the Center for Responsive Politics." Obama's "$1.3 million from PACs represents 8 percent of what he has raised overall. Clinton's Senate committee, by comparison, has raised $3 million from PACs, 4 percent of her total amount raised, the group said."[1]
  • "Obama's own federal PAC, Hopefund, took in $115,000 from 56 PACs in the 2005-2006 election cycle out of $4.4 million the PAC raised, according to CQ MoneyLine, which collects Federal Election Commission data. Obama then used those PAC contributions -- including thousands from defense contractors, law firms, and the securities and insurance industries -- to build support for his presidential run by making donations to Democratic Party organizations and candidates around the country."[1]

Roll Call: "Obama Bashes, Courts K Street. Senator Now Seeks Lobbyists"

"Even as Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has intensified his attacks on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) for her ties to K Street, he has been reaching out to lobbyists to provide volunteer manpower in early primary states," Roll Call reported October 18, 2007.[2]

Subprime mortgage industry

Obama's New Hampshire chairman, Jim Demers, "a lobbyist, is president of the New England Financial Services Association -- whose work includes defending the subprime industry."[3]

On pushing lobbyists' interests: tariff suspensions

Obama has "quietly worked with corporate lobbyists to help pass breaks worth $12 million" although he has "lambasted[4] lobbyists and moneyed interests who 'have turned our government into a game only they can afford to play'"[5] in his speeches, Justin Rood wrote July 16, 2007, in The Blotter.[6]

In 2006, Rood wrote,[6] "at the request of a hired representative for an Australian-owned chemical corporation Nufarm, Obama introduced nine separate bills[7][8][9] exempting the company from import fees on a range of chemical ingredients it uses in the manufacture of pesticides and herbicides. Nufarm's U.S. subsidiary is based in Illinois."

Also, in May 2006, "two Washington lobbyists registered to work on behalf of Astellas Pharma, a Japanese-owned drug company which also has offices[10] in Illinois [to] 'Introduce legislation to temporarily suspend customs duties for the importation of a pharmaceutical ingredient,' they wrote on their lobbying forms. Less than three weeks later, the men had earned their $20,000 fee, thanks to Obama. On May 26, he introduced S. 3155[11], a bill specifically exempting Astellas' key ingredient from tariff payments. The bill cost the federal government more than $1 million in lost revenue, according to government estimates," Rood wrote.[6]

"Only one other 2008 presidential hopeful has introduced more tariff suspension bills than Obama. Longshot GOP candidate Sen. Sam Brownback, Kan., introduced 30 such measures in the 109th Congress," Rood wrote.[6]

Resources

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Scott Helman, "PACs and lobbyists aided Obama's rise. Data contrast with his theme," Boston Globe, August 9, 2007.
  2. Tory Newmyer, "Obama Bashes, Courts K Street. Senator Now Seeks Lobbyists," Roll Call, October 18, 2007. Subscription required.
  3. Ben Smith, "Defending the subprime lenders," The Politico, October 3, 2007.
  4. Brian Early, "Obama calls for tougher restrictions on lobbyists," Reuters (The Boston Globe), June 22, 2007.
  5. "Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: Taking Our Government Back," at Manchester, NH, June 22, 2007, at BarackObama.com.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Justin Rood, "Despite Rhetoric, Obama Pushed Lobbyists' Interests," The Blotter Blog/ABC News, July 16, 2007.
  7. Memorandum on Proposed Tariff Legislation re S.3158; Nufarm Americas Inc., United States International Trade Commissioned, sponsored by Barack Obama, 109th Congress, approved October 24, 2006.
  8. Memorandum on Proposed Tariff Legislation re S.3162; Nufarm Americas Inc., United States International Trade Commissioned, sponsored by Barack Obama, 109th Congress, approved October 24, 2006.
  9. Memorandum on Proposed Tariff Legislation re S.3250; Nufarm Americas Inc., United States International Trade Commission, sponsored by Barack Obama, 109th Congress, passed October 26, 2006.
  10. Astellas Pharma US, Inc., Every Library in ILLNET; Astellas Pharma is in Obama's district.
  11. Memorandum on Proposed Tariff Legislation re S.3155; Nufarm Americas Inc., United States International Trade Commissioned, sponsored by Barack Obama, 109th Congress, approved October 24, 2006.

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