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Reply #22: Fiction: Obama takes no lobbyist or corporate money. In fact he does. [View All]

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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-08-08 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #9
22. Fiction: Obama takes no lobbyist or corporate money. In fact he does.
Obama takes money from lobbyists as long as they are located in states---even if they are affiliated with lobbyists who work in Washington. He takes money from big law firms that work for lobbyists and corporations.

Hillary tells the world that she takes money from everyone----special interests, private donors, working men and women. Hillary is up front--- honest . Obama takes money from the same sources, but he claims that he does not. That makes them both corporate candidates with one big exception. Obama is a hypocrite---which is just a fancy word for liar. /

While pledging to turn down donations from lobbyists themselves, Sen. Barack 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 nations capital.Portraying himself as a new-style politician determined to reform Washington, Obama makes his policy clear in fundraising invitations, stating that he takes no donations from federal lobbyists. His aides announced last week he was returning $43,000 to lobbyists who donated to his campaign.

But the Illinois Democrats 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 that have major lobbying operations in Washington. And the prohibition does not extend to lobbyists who ply their trade in such state capitals
as Springfield, Ill.; Tallahassee, Fla.; and Sacramento, though some deal with national clients and issues.
Clearly, the distinction is not that significant, said Stephen Weissman of the Campaign Finance Institute, a nonpartisan think tank that focuses on campaign issues.

The article goes on to describe how some law firms specialize in advising lobbyists but manage to avoid the title lobbyist themselves so that they can donate large sums of money without appearing to be tainted money. Obama also takes money from lobbyists who work outside of Washington, even though the same corporations may also spend money inside Washington. His largest contributor, according to the article was Exelon, a nuclear power giant. He also accepted money from state level lobbyists and attorneys representing firms which have national level interests such as AT&T, United Airlines and the Recording Industry Assn. This makes his claim that he does not accept any corporate money or lobbying money nothing but political posturing. In fact, according to the report, over half of the money he raised in the first quarter of 2007 came from donations of over $1000. This is hardly small contributions.

More on Obama's nuclear ties

In December 2007, "three anti-nuclear activists say they were forced to leave the Barack Obama presidential campaign rally Sunday in Columbia when they held up signs outside Williams-Brice Stadium that questioned his stance on nuclear waste." The protesters object to "what they say is Obamas ill-defined stance on disposal of nuclear waste."

And guess who voted for the Energy Policy Act of 2005? Not Hillary even though Obama claims that she is in bed with big corporations:

Today, the Cheney-Bush Energy bill is responsible for no fewer than 3 LNG facilities threatening Oregon coastline, rivers, forests, fish, fishermen, farmers, and neighborhoods up and down western Oregon, and most of that natural gas will ultimately go to California.

Lets see who was for this mess and who was against it:

Opposed the Cheney-Bush Energy Bill
Hillary Clinton
Ron Wyden
Earl Blumenauer
Peter DeFazio
Darlene Hooley
David Wu

For the Cheney-Bush Energy Bill
Barack Obama
Gordon Smith
Greg Walden

Here is what the law did:

Note that it was a bonanza to the nuclear energy industry, as well as Bush-Cheney long time supporters in the coal and oil industries.

Now, Obama is in Pennsylvania running ads that say that he does not take any oil money.
Barack Obama is running an ad in Pennsylvania and Indiana that makes this claim:
I don't take money from oil companies or Washington lobbyists, and I won't let them block change anymore.
The trusty points out something Obama ought to know: of course Obama hasn't gotten money from oil companies; corporations were prohibited from donating to presidential candidates in 1907. But Obama has received $213,000 from people who work for, or whose spouses work for, companies in the oil and gas industry. Also, two oil execs bundle money for Obama. George Kaiser, chairman of Kaiser-Francis Oil, has raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama, according to the candidate's website. Robert Cavnar, president and CEO of Milagro Exploration LLC, has raised the same.
Our problem comes with this statement:
Obama: I dont take money from oil companies or Washington lobbyists, and I wont let them block change anymore.
It's true that Obama doesn't take money directly from oil companies, but then, no presidential, House or Senate candidate does. They can't: Corporations have been prohibited from contributing directly to federal candidates since the Tillman Act became law in 1907.

Obama has, however, accepted more than $213,000 in contributions from individuals who work for, or whose spouses work for, companies in the oil and gas industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That's not as much as Sen. Hillary Clinton, who has received more than $306,000 in donations from people tied to the industry, but it's still a substantial amount.

Obama also has ties to the pharmaceutical industry. (Keep in mind that he has publicly criticized Hillary for her big contributions from the medical industry even though these were mostly from providers---nurses, doctors, techs---whom polls show are in favor of universal health coverage which Hillary represents) /

In one of last nights debate exchanges Senator Clinton charged that Sen. Obamas New Hampshire co-chair Jim Demers is a lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry. Obama said the charge wasnt true. Meanwhile Mark Halperin finds that Jim Demers is indeed a registered lobbyist for both Pfizer and PhRMA.
So, basically, either Obama did not know his campaign co-chair was a registered lobbyist, or he lied?

The above link shows that Demers really is on the list a lobbyist for the pharmaceutical companies. That means that Hillary was telling the truth.

I love Edwards denunciation of corporate moneys influence on politics. It shows why the corporate media drove him from the race and nurtured Hillary and Obama, the two corporate candidates:
And the problem is you can't be with those people, take their money and then challenge them. It doesn't work. You have to be willing to actually stand up and say no -- no to lobbyist money, no to PAC money, no corporate lobbyists working for me in the White House. If you intend to take them on, and if it is personal for you -- and this is extraordinarily personal for me -- if it's personal for you, then you can be successful bringing about the change.
Teddy Roosevelt -- just one quick example -- Teddy Roosevelt -- Teddy Roosevelt, a great American president -- he didn't make deals with the monopolies and the trusts. Teddy Roosevelt took them on, busted the monopolies, busted the trusts. That's what it's going to take.
We have a battle in front of us. We do. I don't think we have a problem with politicians in Washington spending enough time with lobbyists and going to cocktail parties. They do it all the time. They do it every single day, and I'll tell you who's paying the price for those cocktail parties: Natalie Sarkisian, every single American who doesn't have health care coverage, everybody who's going to the gas pump and paying so much money for their gas. When are we going to have a president who actually takes these people on? That's what I'm going to do.

Here is how Obama spins it.

Obama, however, has justified taking money from state based lobbyists and working with them.
"Because I have no power in this state, so I'm not influenced in any way by somebody who's lobbying at the state level, he told NBC's Sacramento affiliate in August. The main thing that we're trying to avoid is any perception that somehow those who are doing business in Washington have an influence on my agenda."

Except that AT&T money is AT&T money. Even if you launder it by sending it through Sacramento. Or, think of it this way. When the Senator from Illinois is running for president of the United States, why would a lobbyist out of California get all his buddies to start giving the maximum amount? It isnt because they think he is going to do anything in Sacramento.

Speaking of AT&T money, Axelrod was on Countdown last night claiming that Penn's work for Colombia was a big conflict of interest for Clinton. What is Axelrod's consulting work for corporations that do business inside the US like AT&T if not a conflict of interest?

The Socialists Workers are absolutely correct when they identify both Hillary and Obama as being indebted to corporations and lobbyists for the a whole lot of money. No one except a billionaire like Ross Perot can fund their own presidential run in this country. Obama is lying when he claims that he is mounting a campaign from the piggy banks of America's youth. He is using corporate money just like Hillary. The only difference is that Hillary tells the truth about where her money comes and promises that she will serve the people's interests first. Obama hides where his money comes from.

I think that this is what Joe Cannon should be writing about and not when which candidate become the biggest peacenik. Money in politics is a very important topic, and it is not something that we should cover up.

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