For Immediate Release Sadly, President Obama's fundraising from lobbyists is more of the same

Posted on October 28, 2011

Tags: Exposing Corporate Power, Fighting Big Money

State: Common Cause National

Issues: Money in Politics

President Obama's reliance on Washington's lobbying community and the wealthy interests behind it as he raises money for his re-election has let down millions of Americans who accepted his word that he would clean up our politics, Common Cause said today.

"The President refuses to hire registered lobbyists or accept their campaign contributions, so as not to be tainted by the companies and groups they represent," said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, a non-partisan government watchdog group. "But his campaign is raking in millions of dollars from consultants and law firms working directly with those lobbyists to aid the same companies and groups. It doesn't square."

Edgar said a report in Friday's New York Times, detailing the Obama campaign's acceptance of more than $5 million raised by 15 "bundlers" working for Washington-based lobbying firms fits an unfortunate pattern.

"The President promised he'd fix the broken public financing system for our Presidential campaigns, but he has not done so. He called for tougher campaign finance disclosure laws after Citizens United, but he has yet to sign an executive order that would compel disclosure of political spending by government contractors," Edgar said.

"Now we learn that despite his well-publicized antipathy for lobbyists, or at least registered lobbyists, the President's campaign is only too willing to join his Republican adversaries in taking money from special interests.

"What the President should be doing-- indeed should have done long ago -- is pushing for a comprehensive political reform program, one that makes all political spending transparent, stops corporate, trade group and other special interest efforts to buy our elections, and puts small gifts from individual donors at the center of our campaign finance system."

Edgar acknowledged that achieving such reforms would be challenging, likely requiring a Constitutional amendment to control corporate political spending, but said Obama could at least begin to fix the nation's political dysfunction by placing them at the center of his agenda.

"The President gained his office on a tide of hope. Sadly, he appears today to have been swept into the sea of special interest money," Edgar said.

Tags: Exposing Corporate Power, Fighting Big Money

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest, and accountable government that works for the public interest, and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.

Take Action

The Supreme Court gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.

Tell Congress to fix the court’s bad decision!

Take action.

Donate

Give Today