The word “lobbyist” seems to have a particular meaning in Obama’s campaign vocabulary. His stump speeches implied that he doesn’t take money from people who want things from the government and push for them. The reality is that he has.
To explain: Opensecrets.org, the Web site of the Center for Responsive Politics, is the most authoritative source on campaign finances. Basing its reports on data from the Federal Election Commission, the Center shows that Obama indeed doesn’t take much money from a sector the Center calls “lobbyists.” Through the end of December 2007, Obama received contributions of about just $86,000 from this group.
In August 2007 The Boston Globe, in a piece by Scott Helman, took a hard look at Obama’s contributions, noting that “behind Obama’s campaign rhetoric about taking on special interests lies a more complicated truth.”
That truth revealed that as a state legislator in Illinois, a U.S. senator, and as a presidential aspirant, Obama had collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from lobbyists and PACs. Helman quoted an Obama campaign spokeswoman saying that after he experienced firsthand the influence of Washington lobbyists, he was taking a different approach to fundraising than he had in the past, and that “his leadership position on this issue is an evolving process.”
Cut to President Obama February 2009.
USA TODAY — Lobbyists are lining up for pieces of economic stimulus package: “Despite pledges by the President and congressional leaders to keep special projects out of the legislation, groups ranging from a home builders’ coalition to an Indian tribe in Oklahoma have hired lobbyists recently to help them secure a piece of the $900 billion economic stimulus package moving through Congress. More than two dozen organizations have filed lobbying registration forms since Election Day that list the stimulus package — known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — as a focus of their lobbying efforts, according to a USA TODAY review of records compiled by the non-partisan CQ MoneyLine.”
“It’s a lobbyist full-employment act,” Steve Ellis, vice president of the budget watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense, said of the package. “This is a big train, and everything is hopping on board.
Here are some very interesting facts, that unfortunately but not surprisingly didn’t get much media attention during the primary!