"I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists - and won. They have not funded my campaign, they will not get a job in my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am president."
Barack Obama, of course. But trudging through OpenSecrets.org, a searchable website of the Center for Responsive Politics, I managed to find a total of $1,761,696 in donations by corporations and lobbyists among its 100 top donor list.
In fact, the big 4 categories are below:
Obama's Donors, Top 100, CFRP
In the financial sector, one and a quarter million dollars have found their way into the Obama campagin. The largest donor was Goldman Sacs at $375,978. JP Morgan Chase was second with $216,459 while Citigroup coughed up $181,787 and Morgan Stanley only produced $109,025 to finance Obama's campaign.
Time Warner led the big business contributors to the Obama campaign with $131,485, followed by GE at $47,450 and Microsoft at $44,250. Last time I looked, each of those were 'corporations'.
AT&T, you know, the communications corporation, kicked in $43,483 and among insurance corporations, Blue Cross/Blue Shield managed to send along $40,150 to the Obama campaign.
Other corporate contributors include Boeing, Walt Disney, Vivendi, UPS, Lockheed Martin, General Motors and American Airlines.
I even managed to find contributions from Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly & Co. and GlaxoSmithKline to the tune of $23,350. And apparently Big Oil didn't want to be left out in the cold with Chevron, BP and Exxon Mobil contributing $27,059 to the non-corporation funded Obama campaign.
I could only find one instance where a contribution from one of these corporations had been turned back. It happened in 2004 in Obama's race for the Senate when he rejected a $1,000 contribution from Bristol-Myers Squibb. But he's apparently gotten over that, having since accepted $5,500 of their money.
One final note - this is just from the list of the top 100 donors. There are skads of other donors as well. To give you an idea, when you look at the entire list of donors by industry you find Barack Obama listed as one of the top recipients of pharmaceutical industry money (2nd behind Hillary Clinton at $275,934) and a top 10 recipient of oil and gas industry money ($109,912). Insurance industry? Number 5 at $414,863.
They are contributions by corporations, lobbying groups and associations to individual Congressmen and Senators and to PACs (can’t contribute soft money anymore). That’s part of what the site tracks and what I’m highlighting. You can find individual donors on there too I believe.
OK, I’m trying to get a handle on this. What confuses me is the disclaimer on the pages you link to: "The numbers on this page are based on contributions from PACs and individuals giving $200 or more." It seems that it’s mixed PAC and individual on those pages.
The organizations themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organization’s PAC, its individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate families. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.
The organizations listed as "Top Contributors" reached this list for one of two reasons: either they gave through a political action committee sponsored by the organization, or individuals connected with the organization contributed directly to the candidate.
Under federal law, all contributions over $200 must be itemized and the donor’s occupation and employer must be requested and disclosed, if provided. The Center uses that employer/occupation information to identify the donor’s economic interest. We do this in two ways:
* First, we apply a code to the contribution, identifying the industry. Totals for industries (and larger economic sectors) can be seen in each candidate and race profile, and in the Industry Profiles section of the OpenSecrets website.
* Second, we standardize the name of the donor’s employer. If enough contributions came in from people connected with that same employer, the organization’s name winds up on the Top Contributor list.
Of course, it is impossible to know either the economic interest that made each individual contribution possible or the motivation for each individual giver. However, the patterns of contributions provide critical information for voters, researchers and others. That is why Congress mandated that candidates and political parties request employer information from contributors and publicly report it when the contributor provides it.
In some cases, a cluster of contributions from the same organization may indicate a concerted effort by that organization to "bundle" contributions to the candidate. In other cases—both with private companies and with government agencies, non-profits and educational institutions—the reason for the contributions may be completely unrelated to the organization.
Showing these clusters of contributions from people associated with particular organizations provides a valuable—and unique—way of understanding where a candidate is getting his or her financial support. Knowing those groups is also useful after the election, as issues come before Congress that may affect those organizations and their industries.
McQ!!!, you aren’t supposed to point this out until after he gets the nomination! Until then you should only report the number of lepers he has cured or the instances in which he transubstantiates ordinary bread into his own flesh...(eww).
"They (the lobbyists) will not drown out the voices of the American people"
Let’s see now! which lobby has been most accused of "drowning out the voices of American people"? Milk, Nope; Health Care? Nope; AARP? nope....I’m not going to go on!
Every single lobby has a legal and legitimate right to push for its positions; except ONE, of course, which, in doing what it is legally constituted to accomplish, is CONSTANTLY accused, by former Presidents, Professors, and other lobbies of drowning out the voice of the American people.
Is AIPAC the lobby that Barack Hussein means when he talks about what he will do to lobbyists who drown out American Voices? Has anybody asked him? Can he name one other lobby that "drowns out the voices" of Americans?
How cleverly he buried that hit!
Wake up America; this election is becoming a racist game of "HUSSEIN MUST WIN...OR ELSE!"