On Thursday, the New York Times took a look at where President Obama’s mountain of re-election cash is coming from. Guess what they found?
Despite a pledge not to take money from lobbyists, President Obama has relied on prominent supporters who are active in the lobbying industry to raise millions of dollars for his re-election bid.
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.
How can this be? As the Times points out, “As both a candidate and as president, Mr. Obama has vowed to curb what he calls the corrupting influence of lobbyists, barring them not only from contributing to his campaign but also from holding jobs in his administration.” How can he be taking millions from lobbyists? Happily, there’s a nice technicality that should satisfy anyone who was already loopy enough to think President Solyndra is anxious to cleanse Washington of corrupting influences:
Because the bundlers are not registered as lobbyists with the Senate, the Obama campaign has managed to avoid running afoul of its self-imposed ban on taking money from lobbyists.
But registered or not, the bundlers are in many ways indistinguishable from people who fit the technical definition of a lobbyist. They glide easily through the corridors of power in Washington, with a number of them hosting Mr. Obama at fund-raisers while also visiting the White House on policy matters and official business.
Aha! So these are undocumented lobbyists, doing the jobs that registered lobbyists won’t do.
It would be really embarrassing if some of these top Obama donors openly advertised the level of access they’ve purchased with the Obama Administration, wouldn’t it?