Obama liked PAC money before he didn't like it: The Swamp
 
The Swamp
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Posted November 28, 2007 12:42 PM
The Swamp

by Andrew Malcolm

Turns out, some Obama PAC money came from PACs.

Before he ostentatiously stopped taking money from political action committees to run for president, Sen. Barack Obama quietly took money from political action committees.

As a presidential candidate, Obama claims to be an outsider eager to shake up the Washington establishment by refusing to accept donations from political action committees and Washington lobbyists. This year, they're the bad guys.

But this wasn’t always the case.

Back in 2005 and 2006, Obama raised $123,283 from other political action committees and put them into a political action committee of his own. He called it Hopefund.

Hopefund is what is known as a “leadership PAC,” a frequent target of campaign watchdogs because it can raise money in much larger bundles than individual candidates. The Candidate of Hope from Illinois followed the example set by Senate and House members who establish such accounts to raise money and then spread it around to other politicians in the hopes of gaining new best friends. Legally, such PACs are supposed to operate independently and cannot coordinate with any campaigns of their owner.

Now that Obama is running for president, he's handing out the bulk of Hopefund money to politicians and groups who happen to be in early presidential voting states, as the Washington Post's John Solomon noted the other day. The pace of giving has increased in recent months and this has led to some remarkable coincidences.

New Hampshire state Sen. Jacalyn Cilley, for instance, received $1,000 from Obama's PAC last summer. Six days later she happened to endorse the same Obama for president. "I endorsed him because I believe in him and his policies," she said.

Likewise, Obama's PAC recently felt moved to donate $9,000 to Rep. Paul Hodes, who happens to have been the first member of Congress from New Hampshire to endorse Obama early this year.

With a straight face Obama spokesmen deny there's any connection between his...

presidential campaign and the PAC donations. "Sen. Obama has long been doing whatever he can to help elect fellow Democrats all across the country," said Joshua Earnest.

Of course, opposing campaigns seek to capitalize on such coincidences. Yesterday, the Clinton campaign issued two statements on the Post article. One said, "On the campaign trail, Sen. Obama is outspoken about his desire to reform the campaign finance system so it was surprising to learn that he has been using his PAC in a manner that appears to be inconsistent with the prevailing election laws."

When Obama's camp appeared to ignore the jab, Clinton's forces issued another statement, "The Obama campaign's failure to deny that it committed campaign finance violations speaks volumes."

But those who throw stones in political tit-for-tats should be careful. An Obama spokesman sought to turn the issue toward Clinton's reluctance to reveal financial records and to order the release of millions of pages of documents relating to her years as first lady, which are now locked up in her husband's presidential library until after the 2008 election.

And there is also the Clinton problem with fundraising bundler Norman Hsu and the coincidence, as detailed last summer by The Times' Dan Morain, of former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack giving up his own presidential campaign, endorsing Hillary Clinton and suddenly receiving thousands of dollars from Clinton supporters to help retire his campaign debt.

Altogether, Obama collected $4.4 million for Hopefund. The donations came from some of his biggest backers including the Illinois energy firm Exelon and the Illinois Pork Producers.

According to Federal Election Commission records, other significant Obama PAC donations in the last two years came from AT&T, Lockheed Martin, Comcast, and Walt Disney. There was even money from currently evil law firms that have major lobbying practices in Washington including Brownstein Hyatt and DLA Piper.

But that was then.

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Comments

If all of this happened prior to his February 07 announcement that he would be a candidate, then it's obviously another one of those red herrings that we are used to and not even worthy of mentioning.


Hey GW, it's not a red herring, that is exactly the point. He had no problem with PAC money until he decided he wanted to be politically pure. He was against Iraq until he got to the Senate & voted funding,funding funding. He was for mandated health coverage before he was against mandated health coverage,etc.,etc.
He probably was against breast feeding until the media decided to breast feed him


HAHAHA

This makes perfect sense. PAC money is good until you wanna run for president. Then its a bad bad thing. Read : All you fellow lower level politicians - PAC, special interest, and lobby money - is OK, if you aren't running (or planing to run) for POTUS please do like me and accept. That's what I call changing things up politics.


Obama announces he's not taking PAC money. Then 5 months after announcing for president he uses one of his PACs--lobbyist funded--to distribute money to Dem politicians in the primary state of New Hampshire.

St. Barack the Reformer is more than just an empty suit. He's a fraud.


Here's an alternate headline:

"Clinton liked PAC money and continues to like it"


obama never claimed to be pure. He has always said he did take PAC money until recently. He made the decision to quit taking pac money before running but, in the same vein, he also eschewed private jet travel quite some time before he ran. he has been seen on commericial airlines in 2nd class going to and from Chicago.
I think Obama has been working towards this since he got to the senate and saw what the deal was with most senators.
That said, a 2006 candidate who received funds from Hopefund was one Hillary clinton.
I think she needs to disclose what she is going to do with that money if she is going to throw stones.


The only thing newsworthy here is that Barack doesn't accept PAC money for his presidential campaign. He could have followed standard practice and depended on money from Washington lobbyists and PACs but he decided that it's time for change. As a result, as president, he will answer to all Americans. Senator Clinton on the other hand has a debt to pay for all of the lobbyists and PAC money she is accepting.


You know, I don't really care about this. It's just an attempt to discredit him for his current stance on federal pac money. You write as if Obama is corrupt. Normally I would be suspicious of a candidates local endorsements and pac contributions, but Obama is such a strong candidate that I don't think twice about it. I truly believe his endorsers chose him because he is the best candidate.


Bruce I could not have said it better myself. Not only does he accepot PAC money but he also accepts lobbyists money thru the Hopefund and in turn gives that money to candidates in the early primary states of NH/IA/SC. THere was a whole article in the Wash Post about how he is using the Hopefund to help his campaign in those states. Hillary has gotten rid of her Hillfund. Lets see the Obamites try and spin this one. Face it the guy is a hypocrite and a true Cook County pol.


Until the public holds Senator Clinton responsible for voting to authorize military action in Iraq, when she had not read the intelligence report on WMDs, this kind of slur against Obama is laughable.

And lately I haven't heard of Senator Clinton's enormous failure and betrayal, not so as to make a fuss. Heard of the Iraq war? You know, the vortex consuming human life and the American treasury?

It's as if you're a cop, picking on someone who may have parked their car incorrectly, while you let a drunk, hit-and-run driver go sailing off into the night. Ah, but maybe drunk hit and run driver is your buddy.

Enjoy your war with Iran.


I think what is getting passed over is the fact that he has broken the law by using his PAC to help his presidential campaign.


Don't you know that voters have the shortest memories of any animal? JQH up there is one of the dumbest person I have ever seen. Doesn't care about Obama's prior stance on issues because Obama is strongest candidate? How moronic can one be? I guess it is ok to change your mind when it suits you from one thing to clearly the opposite. Politicans love idiots like you. You elect their people no matter what.


RJD,

If this is the worst thing they can dig up on Obama I see no reason not to vote for him. Hillary and others have much more questionable pasts.


So Obama is no longer accepting PAC money, correct? And this is a bad thing because... why?


I love the Obama supporters who just brush aside all of this because well they like obama and are not going to let facts get in their way. Face it the guy is a hypocrite and comes from the most corrupt gov organization in the country. This is not a surprise to me, in IL you dont get to a certain level of politics unless you are 100% corrupt. He was the king of corruptions star pupil. You know Blago's yes man EMil Jones.


Wow this is even more damaging then I originally thought. Wow this guy has no shame. This is from TheHill.com:
"In June, Obama gave $5,000 contributions from his PAC, Hopefund, to every Democratic member of Congress from Iowa and New Hampshire. On June 15, he gave to Reps. Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire, and Reps. Bruce Braley, David Loebsack and Leonard Boswell of Iowa. At the end of the month, he wrote a $5,000 check to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

Obama’s wooing paid off last month. On July 26, Hodes became the first lawmaker from Iowa or New Hampshire to make an endorsement in the Democratic primary, throwing his support to Obama." and here is the other damaging part to Obama: "Fundraising records of other candidates’ PACs show no contributions in the past six months to government officials from important primary states."
Looks like after all Obama is the most corrupt of all the Dems running for President. Lets hear the spin on why a guy trying to win in IA and NH gives every member of COngress in only those 2 states money. Obama is a fraud.


Vinny,

I never hear you bashing Dennis Hastert. He's from Illinois.


I think what is getting passed over is the fact that he has broken the law...

Posted by: Vinny | November 28, 2007 2:20 PM

No Vinny, Johnny D, Bruce, et al,
What is being overlooked is that the Republican Department of Justice has failed to bring any charges against Obama. So either Bush's DOJ is incompetent and ineffective at rooting out crime or you are making baseless accusations to attempt to assassinate the character of a popular black politician. Take your pick, but remember the first choice requires you to criticize your leader and we all know you fascist, Nazi-like Republics are loathe to do that. So in the spirit of friendship I will allow you to blame Clinton, just so I can laugh at how pathetic you scumbags are.


"I never hear you bashing Dennis Hastert. He's from Illinois."
Marko is Dennis Hastert running for president. I am not a fan of Hastert and I really dont know much about him. ALso what does Hastert have to do with Obama buying endorsements from political candidates in the early primary states. See this is what is wrong with politics. When one guy on 1 side does something the response is to show something that the other side did. If Hastert has done things wrong it still doesnt change the fact that Obama has been proven to be a fraud. Also I am not a Republican I am an independant and have voted for people on both sides. My opinion doesnt change depending on the person who performed the misdeeds.


Obama has more skeletons in his closet than Hil if that's possible with ties to indicted Tony Rezko, the Mahajan family and his law partners are all just like him.
But, you Obama koolaid drinkers won't research this poorly qualified guys background in the Tribune and Chicago Sun Times archives.
Besides he is the creation of good ole Dickie Durbin our wonderful United State Senator from the Peoples Republic of Illinois.Jerry White, Springfield, IL


http://www.alternet.org/election08/77492/

Obama's Line On Lobbyists is Misleading

Obama claims that he doesn't take money from lobbyists. The truth is, he is as beholden to special interest groups as all of the other candidates.


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