Yes Mr. Obama, a Lobbyist IS Running Your Campaign Hotlist
by owl06, Sun Jan 06, 2008 at 12:07:05 PM EST
Cross-posted from Daily Kos; my first diary here
In last night's debate, honey-tongued Barack Obama eloquently made his case for 'change.' Obama wants to form a coalition of willing Democrats, independents, and yes -- even Republicans -- to shake up Washington. Before Mr. Obama does to Washington, the first term Senator may want to consider shaking up his own campaign: His New Hampshire co-chair Jim Demers is a lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry.
Hillary Clinton informed the Senator that a lobbyist was running his campaign during a sharp exchange about health care. Obama righteously denied the charge, but unfortunately for Obama, it was
proven true by Time's Mark Halperin. Obama was either grossly misinformed or worse. More after the Flip.
How could Barack Obama not know that his campaign chair is a Big Pharma lobbyist? You can see the exchange here with your own eyes: http://www.youtube.com/v/V3fc0M7reWE& ;rel=1
In order to understand the full dimension of Obama's coziness with lobbyists, you have to go back to his Chicago stumping grounds.
According to the Associated Press, "Barack Obama played poker and basketball with lobbyists when he was a state senator. He took their campaign donations and worked with them to write legislation ... A look at Obama's seven years in the Illinois Legislature reveals a complicated relationship with lobbyists - particularly for someone who now makes criticism of lobbyists a centerpiece of his presidential campaign."
In the present Obama makes bold statements such as this:
"We have chance to say to the corporate lobbyist, your days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. They have not funded my campaigns, they will not run my White House, and they will not drown out the voice of the American people when I am president of the United States." - Barack Obama in Concord, New Hampshire, January 2008 [emphasis mine]
But his rhetoric is not matched by the reality of his campaign's actions; he has a lobbyist running the show in New Hampshire. In this case, it is a lobbyist whom is registered to lobby for Pfizer and PhRMA.
What's more, Obama has paid lobbyists on his staff. The No Quarter blog reported that:
"Three political aides on Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) payroll were registered lobbyists for dozens of corporations, including Wal-Mart, British Petroleum and Lockheed Martin, while they received payments from his campaign, according to public documents."
In a recent interview with MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, David Bonior, Edwards' campaign manager, made this observation:
"If you look at his record in Illinois when he had a major -- sponsored a major health bill that's what he did. He watered down with the help of the corporate lobbyist and they got a weak product out of that."
Is Barack misinformed, or is he lying? Democrats need to take a much harder look at Senator Obama, before the fox(s) ends up running the biggest of all hen houses. America cannot afford to play poker with our next President. It's about integrity.