Shame on Who?

Here is a new video making its rounds on the Internets that I think pretty much speaks for itself (set to Pink Floyd's The Wall:

Campaign Cash:The Two Faced Hypocrisy of Team Obama

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As soon as Team Obama lost their expected momentum boost along with the three major states, California, Massachusetts and New Jersey, on Super Tuesday that they and their boosters in the MSM expected them to win, his campaign aggressively moved to their latest false line of attack, the bogus claim that his fundraising success shows that he is "of the people", while Hillary's financial performance shows the last gasp of the Washington "insiders".

This is claimed even though a study by the Campaign Finance Institute said Obama received over half of his money from donations of $1,000 or more.(With most of that in checks of $2,300).

During his speech tuesday night, Obama pushed this negative attack on Hillary:

   "It's a choice between a candidate who's taken more money from Washington lobbyists than either Republican in this race and a campaign that has not taken a dime of their money."

But.....Sen. Obama's comments came on the same week Public Citizen released a report detailing ten bundlers for Sen. Obama who have registered as federal lobbyists.

It also came at the same time that his former fundraising chairman and the man Obama called his "political Godfather", Antoin "Tony" Rezko, is about to be tried on federal charges of fraud involving bribery and political corruption.

In this campaign Sen. Obama has also taken money from former lobbyists, partners of lobbyists, people who hire lobbyists, lobbyists' spouses, children of lobbyists and of course...any state lobbyists that wants to bundle up a million or so is very welcome to.

These are the facts, according to the Campaign Finance Institute:

"Obama, whose campaign claims to have almost 500,000 donors in 2007, raised 54% of his $97.2 million from $1,000 and over donations (mostly in $2300 checks)."

(Less than a third, only 32%, of his money in 2007 came from $200 or less contributions.)

Like the Roman figure of Janus, Obama seems quite comfortable talking out of both sides of his two faces.

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But anyone who has been paying attention to the facts and not just the fluff of the Obama campaign already knows this.

An Asterisk To Obama's Policy On Donations

A presidential hopeful's refusal of lobbyist money has its limits

By Dan Morgan, LA Times Staff Writer 007-04-22

Until he started running for president, Sen. Obama took money from federal lobbyists and, as a state senator, directly from corporations. (Which is LEGAL in Illinois politics!)

Obama attained the lofty mark (of leading in Presidential fundraising) even as he decried the fundraising system. In his Internet appeals for small donations, Obama played up populist themes of reform.

"It may sound strange for a presidential candidate to launch a fundraising drive that isn't about dollars. But our democracy shouldn't be about money, and it's time our campaigns weren't either," he said in one such pitch.

"We're not going to play that game," the e-mail said."

Obama said in his first-quarter financial report that he received money from 104,000 donors, twice as many as Clinton, suggesting a disproportionate number of small contributions. But the Campaign Finance Institute said Obama still received 68% of his money from donations of $1,000 or more...

Rules for lobbyists

Lobbyists generally are paid by corporations, unions and other interest groups to shape public policy by making regular contact with government officials. They must register with both houses of Congress, and make public disclosures identifying their clients and the amounts they are paid.

Some of the most influential players, lawyers and consultants among them, skirt disclosure requirements by merely advising clients and associates who do actual lobbying, and avoiding regular contact with policymakers. Obama's ban does not cover such individuals.

For example, partners from the Atlanta-based law firm Alston & Bird donated $33,000 to Obama in the first 90 days of 2007.

Alston & Bird has a large lobbying division in Washington. It billed its clients nearly $3.9 million in 2006, ranking 35th among Washington lobbyists. Alston boasts on its website that it offers clients "unique experience with how policy is made" and knows "the people who make it: government and agency officials; members of Congress and their staff."

Obama kept $2,300 donated by Alston's Tom Daschle, the former Senate Democratic leader (and general chairman of the Obama for President campaign). Daschle, located in Washington, is neither a lawyer nor a lobbyist. He is a consultant.

According to Alston's website, Daschle advises "clients on issues related to all aspects of public policy with a particular emphasis on issues related to financial services, health care, energy, telecommunications and taxes."

Daschle did not return phone calls.

(Note: Daschel's wife is the head lobbyist for the Airline Industry, she was behind the Congressional airline bailout after 9/11, and has been reported to be amongst the highest paid lobbyists in town)

The Obama campaign makes a very big issue of not taking money directly from "federal lobbyists"....but he's happy to take money directly from their clients! In the first quarter of 2007 alone, Obama took in a combined $170,000 from executives from Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, two financial giants that have numerous issues pending in Washington and spent a total of $4.6 million on lobbying in 2006.

But wait...There's More!

Nuke Em! Power provider's largess

Obama's biggest single source of corporate money, over $160,000,  came from executives at Exelon Corp., the nation's largest nuclear power provider, and its subsidiary, Commonwealth Edison, an Illinois utility. This includes checks from lobbyists John P. Novak and James Monk. In Springfield, Novak represents Exelon., and Monk is president of the Illinois Energy Assn., a trade group that represents Commonwealth Electric.

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From the Boston Globe:

But behind Obama's campaign rhetoric about taking on special interests lies a more complicated truth. A Globe 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.

In Obama's eight years in the Illinois Senate, from 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.

Obama's US Senate campaign committee, starting with his successful run in 2004, had collected over $1.5 million from PACs and lobbyists, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit organization that tracks money in politics.

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In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of gates, doors and doorways. What's always on the inside of the doorways in both the State Capital in Springfield and the US Capital in Washington? Plenty of lobbies and lobbyists. Lets look at some of Obamas...

Bundlers for Barack Obama Who Have Registered as Federal Lobbyists

From Public Citizen - 1/29/08 tsFinal.pdf

Frank Clark
Commonwealth Edison tes/StandardPage

Commonwealth Edison is a subsidiary of Exelon, the nuclear energy company to whom Barack Obama is beholden. Clark is Commonwealth Edison's chief legislative strategist. Clark is also a Board member of Aetna, a health insurance company.

Scott Harris
Harris Wiltshire and Grannis

Lobbies the FCC on behalf of international foreign governments and foreign telecommunications providers.

Allan J. Katz
Akerman Senterfitt

Katz is a member of the Florida Democratic Committee and the Democratic National Committee. Perhaps he will convince Obama to seat the Florida delegates at the convention. He sits on the Board of Citizens Property Insurance, and he lobbies legislators on behalf of insurance companies. Is Katz a superdelegate?

Robert S. Litt
Arnold & Porter tRobertS&action=view&id=286

Litt is a white collar criminal defense attorney who previously worked at the Department of Justice. He has represented a range of clients, including pharmaceutical companies, who were the subjects of Congressional investigations. He also has extensive experience in national security matters.

Thomas J. Perrelli
Jenner and Block

Perrelli is a lobbyist who represents the recording industry who served as counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno. He was also highly engaged in litigation surrounding reapportionment of Congressional districts in 2000.

Thomas A. Reed
Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis LLP

Reed, an attorney who hails from Chicago, specializes in product liability, business litigation and antitrust defense. He also served in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

Paul N. Roth
Schulte Roth & Zabel

Roth is a finance attorney who specializes in mergers, investment management and business transactions.

Miriam Sapiro
Summit Strategies _overview.htm

Summit Strategies is an institutional investment consulting firm.

Alan Solomont
Solomont Bailis Ventures

Solomont is a former Finance Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He served as a delegate of Massachusetts to the national convention during the 1990s, and he was appointed by former President Bill Clinton to serve on the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service. He is also heavily engaged in various health care ventures.

Tom E. Wheeler*
Core Capital Partners

Wheeler is an expert in telecommunications policy and business development who specializes in cable, wireless and video communications. He lobbies state and federal legislators on matters of telecommunications policy.

There's more...

***UPDATED***Obama makes Federal lobbyist National co-Chairman

i can't believe the gaul behind this guy. All that time he spent talking about lobbyists being bad and then he has the stones to name a lobbyists as his NATIONAL  co chair

There's more...

Hillary's Hypocrisy on Payroll Taxes

My last diary highlighted the growing credibility problem with HRC specifically and her presidential campaign generally. Far from abating, Senator Clinton's hypocrisy is only growing. Her latest deceptions concern her position on payroll taxes. According to the NY Times, she campaigned in Iowa today castigating Senator Obama for his position on this issue. As usual, HRC is not being honest. Follow me over the flip to see how.

There's more...

Giuliani stages phone call from his wife during his NRA speech! - make sure this story is

The Republican candidates (and Bill Richardson!) were lined up to speak in front of the NRA, and this afternoon was the much anticipated speech by Giuliani, who had once called the NRA a group of extremists and was a major advocate for curbing gun-rights as the Mayor of NYC. Would Giuliani make a convincing case that he had a change of heart?

But the main news out of the speech was not what Giuliani said, but rather the fact that he received and answered a call from his wife in the middle of speaking!! The NYT article's accompanying picture is actually one with Giuliani talking on the phone.

Full post here.

There's more...


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