Public Interest Groups Denounce Obama For Violating Lobbyist Money Pledge

For years, civil libertarians and environmentalist have denounced President Obama for his policies violating core principles of those movements. Now anti-corruption and good government groups are denouncing him for his abandonment of pledges to not to take lobbyist money.

Obama ran on a pledge that assured voters that he would curtail the influence of lobbyists by refusing to take their money. As the New York Times discusses below, he has circumvented that promise by taking huge sums from lobbyists as “bundlers.”

The newspaper identifies at least “15 of Mr. Obama’s “bundlers” — supporters who contribute their own money to his campaign and solicit it from others — are involved in lobbying for Washington consulting shops or private companies. They have raised more than $5 million so far for the campaign.”

By using people who do not have to register as lobbyists but still engage in obvious lobbyist activities, the Administration has avoided the rule to keep the money flowing.

Public Citizen and other respected groups have condemned the practice and flagged how “the president is still relying on wealthy special interests and embracing those people in his campaign.” This includes people like Sally Susman, an executive at the drug-maker Pfizer, who has raised massive amounts of money for Obama while leading Pfizer’s all-powerful lobbying shop. Obama’s White House gutted the original health care legislation of provisions that would have allowed for cheaper prescription drugs after a meeting with Billy Tauzin, the top lobbyist and former member of Congress who has been accused of selling out to the industry. Even still, drug companies pushed him out after allegations that he promised too much support when he bargained with the President to give him the political support of the industry for changes in the law.

While the President’s campaign has kept one pledge to keep lobbyists out of campaign fundraisers with the President, the article details how the same individuals are often used as bundlers or invite to events immediately after the President’s appearance.

The Administration, once self-described as committed to transparency, has refused to answer question from the New York Times and other news outlets. Recent scandals have involved allegations of powerful democratic donors and lobbyists leveraging their influence in the Administration.

Of course, the Republicans have not even offered the pretense of separation from lobbyists, but they have not claimed the higher moral grounds — where President Obama has.

Source: NY Times

37 thoughts on “Public Interest Groups Denounce Obama For Violating Lobbyist Money Pledge”

  1. WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has lost millions of dollars in support from former donors in Democratic strongholds and in districts that he won narrowly four years ago, according to an Associated Press analysis of the most recent federal campaign finance data.

    Tens of thousands of supporters who gave him hundreds of dollars or more in the early stages of the 2008 campaign haven’t offered him similar amounts of cash so far in this campaign. And in some cases, former Obama contributors gave to GOP candidates, such as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

    Obama’s re-election effort is hardly hurting for cash: His campaign and the Democratic Party raised more than $70 million for Obama’s re-election in the July-September period, outstripping all Republicans combined by tens of millions of dollars.

    But the AP’s analysis indicates that Obama, beleaguered by a struggling economy, has lost early support from some of his larger financial supporters and will have to work harder to win back party stalwarts and swing voters alike. Obama’s approval ratings have slumped to 41 percent in a recent Gallup poll, as steadfast supporters have found themselves less able or less willing to open their wallets again.

  2. The Republicans have a mighty media machine which they
    having built up over many decades //funded by those whom
    wish put over their own version of realty // not of true reality.

    An example the plight of palestinians / many decades their
    plight not given a true public airing / the appalling treatment
    at the hands of the ISRAELI govt // where continuing Israeli
    govts build/extend Israeli settlements upon palestinian land
    where palestinians divided & ever forced into a smaller area.
    The poor souls deprived of their basic needs in their survival.

    Of course such injustice went far beyond the palestinians / it
    resulted in a USA Republican party abandoning international
    law / where the USA military set loose / as an pack of wolves
    upon a rampage though theMiddle East /resulting in hundreds
    of thousands killed. A suffering destruction / beyond measure
    for muslims the horror committed / in bringing an river of tears.

    Democrats long last understand / if one is in making progress
    they must beat the Republicans at their own game // there be
    no choice but in bending the law one using a media as do the
    Republicans. It’s a new concept for democrats // yet in having
    little choice / but fight fire with fire // for the good of the people.

    True justice being returned to palestinians & unto all muslims
    for the great wrongs done unto them in aiding all nations / all
    humanity In restoring lost human compassion // justice / love.

    Many USA states have only known a Republican brainwashing
    media they well & truely brainwashed to the republican agenda.

    Millions of americans being incapable in giving an independent
    viewpoint whom decade after decade / were /are treated by the
    Republican media machine as being mere sheep to be fleeced
    their children seen as lamb for the slaughter/ having little value.

    Its time for a american awakening / too long the people in having
    slept / having been robbed of their rights // where Republicans in
    govt removed the role in being a servant to the people / to an role
    via appalling political corruption / becoming master of the people.

    Demolishing the vast wealthy powerful republican media machine
    a task facing Democrats /such done in a awakening of the people.

    In restoring that of true democracy / restoring that of true freedom.

  3. I’ve thought about this for a long time and I truly think it is impossible to make things better in this nation if our population continues to hold to partisanship. If people cannot hold to a basic set of ethical ideas, there is nothing to base real change on.

    Somehow political parties seem to have taken on a religious aspects in people’s lives., They have weirdly become organizing principles for people’s thoughts and actions. I believe this is part of the totalitarian nature of our society. In a totalitarian state, organizations are subsumed under the state to serve its interests. If an organization opposes the state (say OWS) that organization will be eliminated. (I hope not, but we certainly see the state using excessive force and power against this movement.

    The state has been almost completely successful in organizing the thoughts and actions of people the Republican and Democratic party. People who belong to these groups have literally flattened their own thinking and feeling to fit in the prescribed format presented to them. Thus depending on which team one belongs to, the most heinous behavior is excused or at least tolerated, WHEN COMMITTED BY ONE’S OWN TEAM. Once people have become able to tolerate heinous crimes because they are committed by their own team, what then can be the basis for confronting these crimes. That is why these crimes are met with cheers by some, excuses by others, and tolerance by yet others.

    But if we would truly want criminal behavior and heinous crimes to end, we must stop cheering, excusing, tolerating or voting for people who commit them. There really isn’t a choice about that. As long as people are willing to affirm a person who commits crimes, these crimes will continue.

  4. Good lord … he’s a politician!!!

    Sometimes it feels as if one is talking to a bunch of 16 year old virgins who have just lost their innocence to the 17 year old upperclassman.

    He’s a politician … they tell you what you want to hear, screw you, and then leave you!

    If he were a man looking for a long term, committed relationship, he wouldn’t have become a politician.

    Admittedly his line was really good. Hell, he even fooled your mom. But when push came to shove … he moved on to the next push-over.

    Now … think the other guy won’t do exactly the same?

    Good lord … vote platform …

  5. Raff, come on man 🙂

    Just teasing, you know I love you Raff. regardless of our differences.

  6. Did you see Hillary leads all republicans in the latest polls. I bet you Obama is pissed.

  7. I’m still trying to understand why anyone would vote for Obama or any other Republican. There are third party candidates. Obama has lied, killed, tortured, helped companies who ruin the environment, etc. He is the Republican dream candidate, so why fear having some other Republican lackey at the beck and call of the elites?

    The problems this nation face will not be solved by electing Obama or an openly Republican candidate. Things will change only when citizens become consistent in their ethics (if wrong under Bush, actions are wrong under Obama). Only with consistent ethics as a base for acting can the, people organize for justice. That would not mean organizing to elect any current Republican or Democratic candidate.

  8. Bdaman,
    I think Romney, et al should step aside for the Koch Brothers to run themselves for office instead of paying stooges to run in their place.

  9. bdaman, I guess Obama could step aside for Hillary, but he is not. It is not like Romney is killing him in the national polls. Romney might still get a tea party revolt. He does have Karl Rove in his corner.

  10. Karl Rove and the Koch brothers are spending a fortune to defeat Obama so what is he supposed to do.

  11. And it’s just not him it’s his wife too.

    Houston fundraiser drama
    First lady event upsets local Dems

    An upcoming Houston fundraiser featuring first lady Michelle Obama at the home of a former Enron executive who is part of a movement to convert public pensions to 401(k)-style plans is angering some local Democrats.

    John Arnold, a Houston billionaire and former Enron trader, is hosting the Michelle Obama event with his wife, Laura Arnold, at their Houston home on Nov. 1.

    Arnold is part of an organization pushing to convert public pensions — including teachers, police, firefighters and others — to 401(k)-style plans. The effort launched in California but has plans to go nationwide, according to a story by Bloomberg. The story notes that Arnold is a libertarian and his wife a Democrat.

  12. Looks like it is either Obama or “corporations are people” Romney. There is no movement in congress for campaign finance reform. It is worse than ever since Citizens United. Karl Rove and the Koch brothers are spending a fortune to defeat Obama so what is he supposed to do.

  13. A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do — show me the money!

    I used to say that lobbyists are folks who spends 10% of their time promoting your position, 10% of their time promoting your opponent’s position, and 80% of their time promoting themselves.

    Today, however, I actually have some sympathy for lobbyists — they spend 10% of their time promoting competing interests and 90% of their time trying to buy access (i.e., contributions and fundraising).

    Get the Money Out of Politics —

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