Just a reminder: Obama’s a hypocrite on lobbyist money

posted at 2:04 pm on September 21, 2008 by Allahpundit

Back we go to this tedious subject about which few voters much care but which The One, lacking any compelling evidence that he’ll bring a new type of politics to Washington, loves to invoke as proof of his immaculate Change-iness. Unlike the insiders, you see, he doesn’t take money from federally registered lobbyists or special interests, and from now on neither will the Democratic Party. Except that he does sometimes take money from federally registered lobbyists; and so does the Democratic Party, per its congressional reelection committees; and he’s overflowing with cash from employees of special interests, including employees of those dastardly oil companies; oh, and needless to say, he misleads voters about all of this by choosing his words very, very carefully even while he’s busy tossing out zingers about McCain’s lobbyist “old boys network.” (Get it?)

But if none of those earlier posts penetrated and you’re looking for a concise, all-in-one recap of The One’s cynicism on this point, dive into Matthew Cooper’s piece for Portfolio:

He’d had no problem accepting contributions from registered Washington lobbyists in his previous races for the Illinois statehouse, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate. So now that he’s scoring political points for the ban, what impact has it actually had?…

The campaign accepts money from lobbyists registered in state capitals. It accepts money from partners at law firms that engage in lobbying. It accepts money from the C.E.O.’s, chairs, and officers of corporations, but not their lobbyists. Obama has received more than $627,000 in contributions from employees of Goldman Sachs, including, for example, $2,300 (the maximum contribution allowed) from the likes of managing director George Butcher. But Michael Berman, a registered lobbyist (and a former adviser to Walter Mondale), cannot give money to Obama because his firm, the Duberstein Group, has lobbied on behalf of Goldman Sachs on energy and tax issues. Aren’t such policies a little inconsistent with the ban? “Maybe,” said the senior Obama official. “But it’s important symbolism.”

I recently spoke with a very successful registered Washington lobbyist, a Democrat who asked not to be named in this piece for fear of diminishing his influence with a possible Obama administration. Even though the Obama campaign wouldn’t accept a check from the lobbyist personally, he says, Obama aides asked him to help them raise money in other ways. “They wanted my list,” the lobbyist says, referring to the many donors the lobbyist has solicited for other campaigns. “Since then, they’ve asked if I could organize fundraisers but said that I couldn’t donate.”

For all the hand-wringing over lobbyists, it’s worth noting that since there are few restrictions on donations to political conventions, the nominating conventions for both candidates were paid for by a slew of direct corporate donors, including AT&T, Qwest, and others. Bill Allison, a senior fellow with the Sunlight Foundation, which promotes transparency in government, notes that the campaigns are “all running around lifting their skirts like there’s a mouse, saying ‘Eek, there’s a lobbyist!’ But they’re raising tons of money” from corporate interests.

He takes money from lobbyists’ spouses too, and even has federally registered lobbyists working for his campaign — but as volunteers, not paid employees, so that’s cool. The worst part is, his stance on this isn’t even the most glaring example of his opportunistic hypocrisy on “reform” issues, so since we’re dredging up old posts to revisit, go ahead and re-read this one too. The guy’s a poseur. Case closed.


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Last week was McCain hit week? This week is Obama hit week?

lorien1973 on September 21, 2008 at 2:11 PM

McCain was known for being “not for sale” to special interest groups. It’s just that he’s decided in the past year to get some real political experts around him so he can actually win the election (rather than pulling a 2000), and some of them happen to be former lobbyists.

lodge on September 21, 2008 at 2:11 PM

The guy’s a poseur. Case closed.

Bingo!

Right_of_Attila on September 21, 2008 at 2:14 PM

er uh um uh uh ah uh uh f/m and f/m were er uh for the prof.. er uh people…..

sven10077 on September 21, 2008 at 2:15 PM

Time to take of the gloves my friends..

GET IN THIER FACES, lol

stlpatriot on September 21, 2008 at 2:16 PM

Hypocrite and poseur..excellent qualifications for president!

becki51758 on September 21, 2008 at 2:17 PM

“I don’t take money from lobbyists, but I let them fundraise for me. Change. Hope. Obama.”

Seixon on September 21, 2008 at 2:19 PM

Hmmmm…. what would be interesting?

Get the names off the Federal Registry of Lobbyists, then run it through Open Secrets…

I’ll bet there are a BUNCH of lobbyists who have given money, but don’t put down where they work. If you give online, unless Barry has a filter set up to screen those guys out, they could give the max, without any human being involved…

Romeo13 on September 21, 2008 at 2:22 PM

Romeo13 on September 21, 2008 at 2:22 PM

Actually, all federally registered lobbyists now have to report all contributions to candidates for federal office, party committees, and 527s. You can access the disclosures at the Clerk of the House website. You might have to crosscheck the regular lobbying disclosures to find out who the lobbyists are representing, but you can do that at the same website. It’s a very interesting timewaster if you have a free afternoon.

rockmom on September 21, 2008 at 2:26 PM

Caiaphas was a law professor; Jesus was a torture victim.

Word.

Abby Adams on September 21, 2008 at 2:27 PM

I will not take money from lobbyists!!!! Oh ! look! Where did this envelope with all this money come from in my back pocket?

Maybe the good fairy put it there! Ya! That’s it! The good fairy! and I never, never said that I wouldn’t take money from it.

BruceB on September 21, 2008 at 2:27 PM

Nothing wrong with lobbyists! I am a salesperson for a living. It is perfectly a part of our Republic to be able to approach and lobby our legislators.

What is WRONG is the corruption attached to it, lawmakers getting filthy rich from their lobbyists coffers, and the corruption involved. (did I mention the corruption?)

What is even worse is “the one’s” sanctimonious bullshit and lies and the fact that our in the pocket media will not even call him on ANYTHING, I mean ANYTHING. I friggin hate our mainstream media.

ReaganConservative3 on September 21, 2008 at 2:29 PM

“Maybe,” said the senior Obama official. “But it’s important symbolism.”

Translation: It’s all about the image not the substance.

Disturb the Universe on September 21, 2008 at 2:30 PM

The guy’s a poseur.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but he’s also a liar, a demagogue, a race baiter, and an ahistorical idiot.

Blackacre on September 21, 2008 at 2:30 PM

“They wanted my list,” the lobbyist says, referring to the many donors the lobbyist has solicited for other campaigns. “Since then, they’ve asked if I could organize fundraisers but said that I couldn’t donate.”…

Wow that’s brutal. Change you can believe in.

Dash on September 21, 2008 at 2:30 PM

“But it’s important symbolism.”

That pretty much sums up Obama’s appeal.

forest on September 21, 2008 at 2:31 PM

At some point in this election, the MESSIAH is going to have to explain how he got a $1million earmark for the Chicago hospital at which Michelle was an employee. Upon receipt of the $1 million earmark, Michelles’ salary went from $115,000 to $300,000.

Since this is (part of) Michelle’s take home pay, which presumably became part of the Obama household total income used to defray expenses, the question is: Is it unethical for a U.S. Senator to request an earmark from which he personally derives an economic benefit?

If the Repubs don’t bring THIS up during the campaign, then let’s all go home and wait for 2012.

alwyr on September 21, 2008 at 2:31 PM

His entire campaign is built on a set of lies. There is no there there.

JimK on September 21, 2008 at 2:31 PM

PRITZKER

SHE’S WORSE THAN ANY LOBBYIST – AND SHE HAS A HUGE JOB WITH THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN…

reliapundit on September 21, 2008 at 2:35 PM

At some point in this election, the MESSIAH is going to have to explain how he got a $1million earmark for the Chicago hospital at which Michelle was an employee. Upon receipt of the $1 million earmark, Michelles’ salary went from $115,000 to $300,000.

Since this is (part of) Michelle’s take home pay, which presumably became part of the Obama household total income used to defray expenses, the question is: Is it unethical for a U.S. Senator to request an earmark from which he personally derives an economic benefit?

New McCain ad:
Earmarks. University of Chicago gets 1 million dollar earmark from Senator Obama.
Michelle Obama gets 200 thousand dollar raise (from 115 thoousand) as “Outreach Director” for this hospital.
Reform you can’t count on.

JimK on September 21, 2008 at 2:35 PM

alwyr on September 21, 2008 at 2:31 PM

It it ethical? NO… but it is business as usual in Congress…

Ethics are for the little people, not the political elites.

Romeo13 on September 21, 2008 at 2:36 PM

We’re back to Clintonian word parsing here. “Is” means is folks.

Mojave Mark on September 21, 2008 at 2:37 PM

At some point in this election, the MESSIAH is going to have to explain how he got a $1million earmark for the Chicago hospital at which Michelle was an employee. Upon receipt of the $1 million earmark, Michelles’ salary went from $115,000 to $300,000.

Since this is (part of) Michelle’s take home pay, which presumably became part of the Obama household total income used to defray expenses, the question is: Is it unethical for a U.S. Senator to request an earmark from which he personally derives an economic benefit?

If the Repubs don’t bring THIS up during the campaign, then let’s all go home and wait for 2012.

alwyr on September 21, 2008 at 2:31 PM

After all the scurrilous attacks on Sarah, Michelle is fair game. Especially on corrupt earmarks from her husband Senator to the family bank account.

Who said Obama never did anything in the Senate?

Right_of_Attila on September 21, 2008 at 2:37 PM

Obama’s phony presidential seal was important symbolism as well.

Travis1 on September 21, 2008 at 2:38 PM

Obama’s a hypocrite on lobbyist money just about everything.

Disturb the Universe on September 21, 2008 at 2:40 PM

Barack (Smoke and Mirrors) Obama.

TooTall on September 21, 2008 at 2:45 PM


Caiaphas was a law professor; Jesus was a torture victim.

Word.

Abby Adams on September 21, 2008 at 2:27 PM

LOL! To the max! GREAT ONE!!!!

McCain people trolling HotAir, PLEASE MAKE AN AD on this!

freeus on September 21, 2008 at 2:48 PM

rockmom on September 21, 2008 at 2:26 PM

Interesting site…. but you can’t search for which Lobbyists gave to Obama. You would have to go through every lobbyists list, looking for Obama…

As a Data base Admin… not having that search available HAS to be on purpose, it would be too easy to implement not to be there…

Our Government… at its best… make a law that the information has to be on the web, and then make it as difficult as possible to search.

Romeo13 on September 21, 2008 at 2:49 PM

freeus on September 21, 2008 at 2:48 PM

I wouldn’t consider McCain’s people trolls.

Disturb the Universe on September 21, 2008 at 2:49 PM

Obama lies with greater facility and impunity than Billy Jeff.

No wonder Barry didn’t want Hillary around.

It would have been embarrassing.

To be caught at it constantly.

profitsbeard on September 21, 2008 at 2:52 PM

Would not be too hard to get a list of all Obama contributors with a Washington, DC address or a zip code from the surrounding suburbs and then check those against the lobbying registrations. I hope the McCain campaign has some intern doing this already.

rockmom on September 21, 2008 at 2:53 PM

Again with your Republican distractions!

anniekc on September 21, 2008 at 2:53 PM

I think this is what bothers me the most about Obama. He is so full of it. Sometimes I wonder who the real Obama is.

Terrye on September 21, 2008 at 2:55 PM

Unleash the dogs of war…

Are they going to be pit bulls or toy pomeranians?

Mr. Joe on September 21, 2008 at 3:02 PM

I guess Ayers and Wright are not important symbolism …

flenser on September 21, 2008 at 3:04 PM

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/10/neanderthals/hall-text/1?source=email_inside_20080918&email=inside

I am guessing she would have voted for Hillary if given the choice. And then after Hillary lost and was defeated, she would have eaten her (read the article).

Mr. Joe on September 21, 2008 at 3:05 PM

OT: Here’s a page that has a live feed of the Palin rally today in The Villages. The rally is already in progress. Palin is scheduled to speak at 3 PM eastern time.

http://www.myfoxorlando.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=7479175&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.1.1

Godzilla on September 21, 2008 at 3:08 PM

OT: Here’s a page that has a live feed of the Palin rally today in The Villages. The rally is already in progress. Palin is scheduled to speak at 3 PM eastern time.

Godzilla on September 21, 2008 at 3:08 PM

Now if someone can just link to the video of Biden singing “The Villages”.

HawaiiLwyr on September 21, 2008 at 3:11 PM

Caiaphas was a law professor; Jesus was a torture victim survivor.

Sounds a little better.

jgapinoy on September 21, 2008 at 3:23 PM

…and, for you Bible scholars, Absalom was a community organizer.

jgapinoy on September 21, 2008 at 3:24 PM

…$ Nehemiah was a governor.

jgapinoy on September 21, 2008 at 3:24 PM

oops–&, not $.

jgapinoy on September 21, 2008 at 3:25 PM

At some point in this election the MESSIAH is going to have to explain how he and Wm Ayers (“just some guy in the neighborhood”) worked together for years to spend $100 million on the Annenberg Challenge, ostensibly to improve the Chicago public school system) at the end of which, the University of Illinois (Chicago) made the following report:

“The Research Consortium responsible for assessing the impact of the expenditure of the Challenge’s grant money concluded that the $110 million spent in Chicago over six years had little or no impact on outcomes for students.”

In other words, $100 million spent – with nothing tangible to show for it.

Q.#1 – Where did the $$$$ go? ANSWER: By way of “grants” to neighborhood activist groups, i.e. “community organizers” for such thing as salary and other overhead expenses. Sure as hell didn’t go to for the benefit of the school system. Just ask University of Illinois (at Chicago)

Q. #2 – Have you ever noticed Obama NEVER refers to his Annenberg Challenge chairmanship as an example of his ‘Executive Experience’?….Jeez, I wonder why not!

If the Repubs don’t bring this up during this election cycle – let’s all go home and wait for 2012

alwyr on September 21, 2008 at 3:25 PM

but as volunteers, not paid employees, so that’s cool

Yeah, I don’t like that either.
These guys have more money than time. I don’t see how giving Obama free time makes Obama (theoretically) less beholden to them. Why should they not want anything in exchange for their efforts?

MayBee on September 21, 2008 at 3:33 PM

alwyr on September 21, 2008 at 3:25 PM

Good food for thought.
Links?

jgapinoy on September 21, 2008 at 3:38 PM

alwyr on September 21, 2008 at 3:25 PM

It’s not surprising that the Chicago Annenberg Challenge under Obama’s leadership was a complete failure (or that Obama leaves it off his resume). Obama authorized money for important educational initiatives such as funding a “Juneteenth” (freeing of slaves) celebration, but refused a request for funds to support a program to improve math and science skills.

Obama’s superior “judgment” in action — and probably a preview of coming attractions if this race-obsessed “post-racial” candidate is elected.

AZCoyote on September 21, 2008 at 3:49 PM

Good food for thought.
Links?

jgapinoy on September 21, 2008 at 3:38 PM

If you google Annenberg Challenge + Stanley Kurtz (a writer for the National Review who has been researching Obama’s role), you’ll find lots of information about this subject. Or you can go to Michelle Malkin’s website (michellemalkin.com) and read her articles, which contain lots of links to additional information. Don’t miss the 8-28-08 article on how Obama’s thugs have been trying to discredit Kurtz and keep him from being heard.

AZCoyote on September 21, 2008 at 4:08 PM

IIRC there is old video of Obama referring to his grant work as part of his resume.

aikidoka on September 21, 2008 at 4:33 PM

Case closed.

Jaibones on September 21, 2008 at 4:37 PM

He also champions ‘earmarks’. He has accepted billions and Sen. McCain zero.

MSGTAS on September 22, 2008 at 10:14 AM