Obama's New Ads Fail Scutiny and Honesty Tests

[NOTE: I am combining two articles I wrote today for this blog's two-per-day diary restrictions.  Both are on Obama's new ads, one about lobbying, the other about health care plans.]


[In a new ad] titled "Listening," Obama says he is "in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over."

He goes on to claim "I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists-and I have won." -- The Baltimore Sun's blog, The Swamp.

Uh huh. Yeah, right. Here's a reality check:"ABC News reports that an ad the Obama campaign released yesterday on lobbying reform excised a quote in which 'Obama promised to ban lobbyists from working in his White House -- a pledge the Illinois Democrat seemed to have backed off from earlier this month'." (TPM) Also check out, "ABC News: Obama Ad Omits Lobbyist Reference." Then there's the just-posted report from the NYT's The Caucus that a month after Obama promised there'd be NO lobbyists in his White House, "he later amended his position, saying that lobbyists would not 'dominate' his White House."

History Can Be a Bitch: "Barack Obama may be talking the talk on the campaign trail as he attacks special interests and lobbyists in Washington,"noted ABC News's The Blotter in July, "but last year Senator Obama introduced bills-at the request of lobbyists-that would save foreign companies millions in customs fees and duties."

There's more...

Bush Spoke in Favor of SCHIP During 2004 GOP Convention ?

Bush Spoke in Favor of SCHIP During 2004 GOP Convention ?

Someone posted elsewhere, although I have not confirmed it.
Why was this footage not used during the recent lobbying / advertising push to override his Veto?

It is always more effective to use the GOP's own words against them.

There's more...

They talk big, but will candidates deliver the fundraising transparency we need?

Last night, Presidential hopeful Barack Obama reiterated once more that he does not take money from lobbyists:

OLBERMANN: Thirty seconds. Senator Obama, I know you and Senator Edwards have taken a firm stand against accepting money from lobbyists, yet you allow them to raise money for you and, as the phrase goes, "Bundle it." What's the difference between those things?
OBAMA: No, no. I do not have federal registered lobbyists bundling for me, just like I don't take PAC money.  (APPLAUSE) And the reason that's important is because the people in this stadium need to know who we are going to fight for. And I want to be absolutely clear that the reason I'm in public  life, the reason I came to Chicago, the reason I started working with  unions, the reason I march on picket lines, the reason that I'm  running for president is because of you... (APPLAUSE) ... not because of the folks who are writing big checks. And that's a clear message that has to be sent, I think, by every candidate.

Click here for full transcript. 

While Obama's assertion is reality-based, he is dancing on a technicality, since several of his bundlers have recent histories that include lobbying. In April, Alex Bolton reported in The Hill that:

Three of Obama's top fundraisers, who each have raised more than $50,000 for his campaign since January, were registered as lobbyists last year, according to reports filed with the Senate Office of Public Records. In 2006, Alan Solomont of Solomont Bailis Ventures earned $90,000 in lobbying income; Tom Reed, of Kirkland & Ellis, lobbied for the Seismological Society of America, the Nanobusiness Alliance, and the Airport Minority Advisory Council; and Scott Harris, of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis, represented Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Dell and Sprint-Nextel.

All three Obama fundraisers have said they are no longer lobbyists, although the public records office has not posted contract termination reports for any of them.

Several other major Obama fundraisers also have histories of lobbying government officials for a living. Thomas Perrelli was a lobbyist for Jenner & Block as recently as 2005. Until 2003, when Obama was a member of the Illinois Senate, Peter Bynoe was a registered state lobbyist representing Boeing and other corporate interests, according to the Illinois secretary of state. They have both raised at least $50,000 for Obama's presidential bid, according to his campaign.

The full article is here.

In fact, at least five of Obama's disclosed bundlers have registered in the past with the Senate Office of Public Records. Three of them hadn't filed the normal paperwork indicating termination of their lobbying contracts, though Alan Solomont, Tom Reed and Scott Harris all told they Hill they had stopped lobbying.

(You can confirm the lobbying IDs with the Secretary of the Senate's lobbying database. For example: Alan Solomont; Tom Reed; Scott Harris. One of them, Thomas Perelli, of Jenner and Block, lobbied for victims of the August 1998 Africa embassy bombings. Which raises the point that many have made in comments that not all lobbyists are alike.)

The article went on to point out that some fundraisers for Obama are corporate officers of companies that hire lobbyists. At least 10 other major bundlers work for companies that have lobbied the federal government, including Bill Kennard of the Carlyle Group.

And late last week, the Los Angeles Times noted that Obama has taken in more than $1.4 million from firms with partners registered to lobby the federal government.

That total likely includes money brought in by two federal lobbyists who don't appear on Obama's "official" fundraising list. John Corrigan and Sanford Stein both had their personal donations to Obama returned, the LA Times reported. They also were asked not to help with fundraising, but not until after they had sent out emails for a fundraiser that helped Obama bring in $190,000 from Illinois donors between June 6 and June 11th. Did Obama return the money Corrigan and Stein helped to bring in? He hasn't said.

As today's Tom Paine article on the candidates' "Secret Santas" describes, the candidates are actually ALL being less-than-forthcoming about the details of their fundraising operations.  

Public Citizen sent letters today to all of them calling on them to "put their mouths where their money is" and come clean on their bundling operations. It's a sad day when the Democratic hopefuls are disclosing less campaign finance information than did masters of secrecy Bush and Cheney in 2004.

You can find out what we do know about the presidential candidates' bundlers at www.WhiteHouseforSale.org and collect tips on bird-dogging the candidates on their poor disclosure of bundlers here.

Public Citizen, among others, is calling for a law to require disclosure of all bundling activity (and not merely by lobbyists, as in the recently passed lobbying and ethics bill). Relying on voluntary disclosure of information about bundlers makes us all too dependent on the whims of candidates.

There's more...

Obama Copies Edwards Words On Lobbying.

Obama is following John Edwards again by using John Edwards' lines.

I have been saying for awhile that Obama is trying to be John Edwards and he continues to take John Edwards words.

I have to say that this is a big compliment to John Edwards and it speaks to me that John Edwards is saying the right things and I hope that voters take notice.

John Edwards takes the lead again and others follow.

On Sunday, Obama appeared to have a little 'amnesia' and used Edwards' line in Nevada.

"I don't mind lobbyists having a seat at the table, I just don't want them to buy all the chairs. I want them to be part of the discussion where citizens also are part of the process. . . How many people here have a federal lobbyist?"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/08/06 /obama-copies-edwards-lin_n_59312.html

There's more...

Edwards Sides with Striking Workers; Owner with Hillary

At a workers strike at a cement plant in Iowa, Edwards was talking to the workers.

Meanwhile, the Owner (Mark R. Jensen) being picketed put up a Hillary sign.

http://www.ktiv.com/News/index.php?ID=15 691

But, the scene turned tumultuous when union workers say they scuffled with the company's president.

During John Edwards campaign stop, Standard Ready Mix owner, Mark Jensen walked out with camera in hand. He also brought out a "Hillary for President" sign.

John Edwards, "Cute, that's cute."

Later after Edwards left, Teamsters started getting in their cars to leave from the "John's Cafe" parking lot. The lot is owned by Mark Jensen. That's where the trouble started.

Andrew Garlinghouse, Union Member, "I went to move my car because I heard he was down there hassling people. I went to move it and he said that'll be 20-dollars to get your car out of my lot. I told him I'm not paying you 20-dollars, I'm going to get my car out of here... and he pushed me."

It's a fee Jensen admitted charging.

Reporter to Mark Jensen, "How much are you charging?" Jensen, "I don't know." Reporter, "We heard 20-dollars, is that what you're charging?" Jensen, "That'll work."
Andrew Garlinghouse, the man who says Jensen assaulted him, says he plans on talking to the county attorney tomorrow about pressing charges.

Jensen says Garlinghouse walked into his hand.

Sounds like a good Hillary supporter huh?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.d ll/article?AID=20070806/NEWS09/70806033 4-1/caucus

Edwards appeared before about 200 people at an International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 554 rally for union members and supporters. The Sioux City local has been on strike since Oct. 16, and health care is a key issue in negotiations.

Edwards commended union members for "showing strength and courage in standing up for what's right."

If it had not been for organized labor, he said, his parents, brother and brother's family would not have health care.

Mark Jensen, owner of Standard Ready Mix, where the labor strike has been under way, placed a large "Hillary for President" sign in front of a cement truck near the Edwards rally.

"I believe in the freedom of speech, and if I choose to support Hillary Clinton, I have that right," Jensen said. "She's probably the best candidate in the Democratic Party at this time."

There's more...


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