Research

Thanks A Bundle, January Edition

The Latest Batch Of Obama Bundlers Includes The Scandal Ridden, Influence Seekers, And Policy Makers, All Of Whom Combine To Prove Obama Isn’t The Small Money Candidate He Claims To Be

OBAMA COLLECTS MILLIONS FROM SCANDAL PLAGUED BUNDLERS

Jon Corzine

New York Post: Obama’s ‘Bundled’ Up With Corzine.” (Carl Campanile, “Obama’s ‘Bundled’ Up With Corzine,” New York Post, 2/1/12)

  •  “Before The Financial Scandal Unfolded At MF Global, Corzine Had Been One Of Obama’s Go-To Guys To Raise Cash From Wall Street Financiers.” (Carl Campanile, “Obama’s ‘Bundled’ Up With Corzine,” New York Post, 2/1/12)
  • Obama Returned The Donations From Corzine, Personally, But Not The Money Corzine Brought In From Other Donors. “Since then, Obama has returned donations that his campaign received from Corzine — but not the money the former New Jersey US senator and governor collected from other donors.” (Carl Campanile, “Obama’s ‘Bundled’ Up With Corzine,” New York Post, 2/1/12)

Jon Corzine Is Still Listed As Bundling Over $500,000 For Obama’s Reelection Campaign. (“Obama For America And Obama Victory Fund 2012 Volunteer Fundraisers,” Obama For America, Accessed 1/31/12)

Solyndra

Two Of Obama’s Bundlers Are Linked To The Solyndra Scandal – Steven Spiner And Steve Westley.  “The list also includes two bundlers linked to Solyndra, the controversial solar company that received a $528 million federal loan and later declared bankruptcy — Steven Spiner and Steve Westley. The White House decision to approve the loan triggered a congressional probe on whether the deal smacked of political favoritism.” (Carl Campanile, “Obama’s ‘Bundled’ Up With Corzine,” New York Post, 2/1/12)

  • Spinner And Westly Have Raised At Least $700,000 For Obama’s Reelection Campaign, Are Connected To Solyndra. “The list includes two fundraisers linked to Solyndra LLC, the California solar company that received a $528 million federal loan and then later declared bankruptcy, prompting a federal investigation. Steve Spinner, an Energy Department adviser, raised at least $500,000 and Steve Westly, a venture capitalist who was an unpaid adviser to the department, raised between $200,000 and $500,000.” (“Obama Bundlers Include Advisers On Solyndra, Corzine, Eva Longoria,” The Associated Press2/1/12)

AND EVEN MORE FROM INFLUENCE SEEKERS

Obama Skirts His Own Rules Concerning Federal Lobbyists

Obama Is Ignoring His Pledge To Not Take Money From Lobbyists, Raising Millions From “Prominent Supporters Who Are Active In The Lobbying Industry.” “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.” (Eric Lichtblau, “Obama Backers Tied To Lobbies Raise Millions,” The New York Times10/27/11)

“Though Obama Rejects Contributions From Lobbyists, His Top Fundraisers Include Individuals Involved In The Business Of Influencing Government.” (“Obama Bundlers Include Advisers On Solyndra, Corzine, Eva Longoria,” The Associated Press2/1/12)

  • “Michael Kempner, Among Those Who Raised More Than $500,000, Is President And CEO Of MWW Group, A Public Relations Firm With A Large Lobbying Business. Kempner Himself Is Not A Registered Lobbyist.” (“Obama Bundlers Include Advisers On Solyndra, Corzine, Eva Longoria,” The Associated Press2/1/12)
  • Sally Susman Has Also Raised Over A $500,000 For Obama And Runs Pfizer’s Government Relations Group. “Sally Susman, another fundraiser in the $500,000-plus category, is executive vice president for policy, external affairs and communications at Pfizer Inc., a job that includes directing the pharmaceutical giant’s government relations operations.” (“Obama Bundlers Include Advisers On Solyndra, Corzine, Eva Longoria,” The Associated Press2/1/12)

Former Rep. Ron Klein (D-FL) “Is Not A Registered Lobbyist But Is A Member Of The Public Policy And Regulation Group At Holland & Knight.” “Ex-New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, a former Senator who has been under fire for the collapse of his brokerage and commodities firm MF Global; former Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.), who is not a registered lobbyist but is a member of the public policy and regulation group at Holland & Knight; and ex-Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) are listed as top bundlers for the president. The president returned Corzine’s personal campaign contributions, according to numerous news reports.” (Kate Ackley, “Corzine, Klein, And Kennedy Among Obama’s Bundlers,” Roll Call, 1/31/12)

Despite Lobbyist Ban, Prominent Washington Attorneys “Make The Cut” To Bundle And Donate To Obama. “Though the president’s campaign does not permit lobbyists to donate or bundle, prominent Washington attorneys, such as Winston & Strawn partner Tim Broas, do make the cut.” (Kate Ackley, “Corzine, Klein, And Kennedy Among Obama’s Bundlers,” Roll Call, 1/31/12)

  • The Attorneys “Have An Interest In Building A Relationship Not Only For Their Own Interests But Probably More Representing Their Clients And Cultivating It On Their Behalf.” “‘Lawyers and lobbyists have clients, and they are in some cases trying to build a relationship with a campaign,’ Sanderson said. ‘That’s one way to build a relationship. The reason why [lawyers and lobbyists] are near the top as an industry is because they have an interest in building a relationship not only for their own interests but probably more representing their clients and cultivating it on their behalf.’” (Catherine Ho, “Law Firms Dominating Campaign Contributions To Obama,” The Washington Post, 11/20/11)

And Rakes In Money Bundled By Lobbyists And Influence Seekers At The State level

David Kenney Of Denver, CO Has Bundled Between $200,000 And $500,000 For Obama’s Re-Election Campaign. (“Obama For America And Obama Victory Fund 2012 Volunteer Fundraisers,” Obama For America, Accessed 1/31/12)

  • Kenney Is President And Founder Of The Kenney Group. “David Kenney is the president and founder of The Kenney Group, Inc. David has over a decade of government affairs, public relations and political consulting experience in Colorado. He has led several high profile political campaigns in Colorado and was recently an advisor to Mayor John Hickenlooper’s successful campaign..” (The Kenney Group, Accessed 1/31/12)
  • The Kenney Group Website Touts “Political Relationships” And “Access.” “Political relationships have value in that they facilitate communication and provide access to accurate information.” (The Kenney Group, Accessed 1/31/12)

Alex Heckler Of Miami, FL Has Bundled Between $200,000 And $500,000 For Obama’s Re-Election Campaign. (“Obama For America And Obama Victory Fund 2012 Volunteer Fundraisers,” Obama For America, Accessed 1/31/12)

  • Heckler Is Founding And Managing Partner Of LSN Partners, LLC Where He “Helps Clients In All Aspects Of Government Affairs And Sales; Including Legislation, Procurement, Solicitations, Contracts, Teaming And Strategic Planning.” “Alexander P. Heckler is the Founding and Managing Partner of LSN Partners, LLC. He is well-known for his ability to strategically assist clients in achieving their goals at the Local, State and National levels of government. Mr. Heckler helps clients in all aspects of government affairs and sales; including legislation, procurement, solicitations, contracts, teaming and strategic planning.” (LNS Partners, Accessed 1/31/12)

Justin Day Of Tampa, FL Has Bundled Between $200,000 And $500,000 For Obama’s Re-Election Campaign. (“Obama For America And Obama Victory Fund 2012 Volunteer Fundraisers,” Obama For America, Accessed 1/31/12)

  • In 2011, Day Was A Registered Lobbyist In Florida. (“2012 Legislative Lobbyist By Last Name,” Florida State Legislature, Accessed 1/31/12)
  • Day Is The Director Of The Advocacy Group. (The Advocacy Group, Cardenas Partners, Accessed 1/31/12)

Bundlers With Companies Vying For Federal Contracts Are Fair Game For Obama

30 Obama Bundlers “Have Ties To Companies That Conduct Business With Federal Agencies Or Hope To Do So In The Future.” “A recent iWatch News report found that at least 68 of 350 Obama bundlers for the 2012 election or their spouses have served in the administration in some form; at least 250 of the bundlers visited the White House, and another 30 have ties to companies that conduct business with federal agencies or hope to do so in the future.” (Aaron Mehta, Fred Schulte And Elizabeth Lucas, “Obama’s Bundler Total Exceeds $74 Million,” iWatch1/31/12)

Thomas Carnahan Increased His Bundling Total Last Quarter; His Company, Lost Creek Wind Farm, Received $107 Million In Stimulus Money. “Among the donors who stepped up their giving this cycle: Thomas Caranahan, a member of the prominent Missouri political family and the founder of the Lost Creek Wind Farm in DeKalb County, Mo. Lost Creek was awarded $107 million in stimulus funding in July 2010. Carnahan corralled at least $100,000 for the 2008 campaign and in the third-quarter disclosure was listed at the $200,000 to $500,000 level for the campaign; in the new filing, he is listed at the $500,000-plus level.” (Aaron Mehta, Fred Schulte And Elizabeth Lucas, “Obama’s Bundler Total Exceeds $74 Million,” iWatch1/31/12)

OBAMA PUTS HIS BUNDLERS INTO POLICY-MAKING POSITIONS

“Dozens Of Obama’s Elite Donors — Many Of Them Wealthy Business Figures — Have Been Appointed To Advisory Panels And Commissions That Can Play A Role In Setting Government Policy.” (Fred Schulte And Aaron Mehta, “Obama Rainmakers Enjoy White House Invites, Appointments And Contracts,”iWatch News1/23/12)        

  • While Obama Promised To Keep Special Interests Out Of His White House, “He Began Awarding Spoils To Super Donors Once He Took Office.” “When Obama kicked off his first presidential campaign in February 2007, he vowed to di­min­ish the power of spe­cial in­ter­ests in Wash­ing­ton. Yet he began awarding spoils to super donors once he took office — just like past presidents, records show.” (Fred Schulte And Aaron Mehta, “Obama Rainmakers Enjoy White House Invites, Appointments And Contracts,” iWatch News1/23/12)    
  • “And According To The American Foreign Service Association, President Obama Has Nominated More ‘Political’ Appointees For Ambassadorships Versus Foreign Service Candidates Than Any President In At Least The Past 20 Years” (Jake Tapper And Kirit Radia, “Report: Nearly 80% of Obama’s Top Bundlers Given ‘Key Administration Posts,’” ABC News’ Political Punch,” 6/15/11)

Glenn Gerstell Has Bundled At Least $50,000 For Obama’s Reelection Campaign And Was First Listed A Bundler On Obama’s Fourth Quarter Bundler List. (“Obama For America And Obama Victory Fund 2012 Volunteer Fundraisers,” Obama For America, Accessed 1/31/12)

  • In September 2011, Obama Appointed Gerstell To The National Infrastructure Advisory Council. “Glenn S. Gerstell, Managing Partner in the Washington, DC office of the international law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, has been appointed as a member of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) by President Barack Obama.” (“President Obama Appoints Milbank Partner Glenn Gerstell to National Infrastructure Advisory Council,” Press Release, 9/13/11)

Judy Wise Has Bundled At Least $50,000 For Obama’s Reelection Campaign And Was First Listed A Bundler On Obama’s Fourth Quarter Bundler List. (“Obama For America And Obama Victory Fund 2012 Volunteer Fundraisers,” Obama For America, Accessed 1/31/12)

  • In June 2009, Obama Appointed Wise To The President’s Commission On White House Fellowships.  (“President Obama Announces Appointments To The President’s Commission On White House Fellowships,” Press Release, 6/17/09)

Richard Binder Has Bundled At Least $50,000 For Obama’s Reelection Campaign And Was First Listed A Bundler On Obama’s Fourth Quarter Bundler List. (“Obama For America And Obama Victory Fund 2012 Volunteer Fundraisers,” Obama For America, Accessed 1/31/12)

  • In May 2011, Obama Appointed Binder To The Advisory Group On Prevention, Health Promotion, And Integrative And Public Health. (“President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts,” Press Release, 5/23/11)

Keith Harper Has Bundled At Least $50,000 For Obama’s Reelection Campaign And Was First Listed A Bundler On Obama’s Fourth Quarter Bundler List. (“Obama For America And Obama Victory Fund 2012 Volunteer Fundraisers,” Obama For America, Accessed 1/31/12)

  • In November 2011, Obama Appointed Harper To The President’s Commission On White House Fellowships. (“President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts,” Press Release, 11/23/11)

ALL OF WHICH PROVE OBAMA’S CAMPAIGN ISN’T AS SMALL-DONOR-DRIVEN AS HE’D LIKE EVERYONE TO BELIEVE

Contrary To The Popular Image, Of A Campaign Fueled Organically By Small Donors,” Obama’s Campaign “Is A Big-Budget Affair.” “Contrary to the popular image of a campaign fueled organically by small donors flocking to a website, the Obama operation is a big-budget affair, investing millions up front to position itself to bring in hundreds of millions over the next year.” (Jonathan Weisman, “Inside The Obama Money Machine,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/18/11)

Obama’s Bundlers Have Raised At Least One Third Of His Total Contributions, Accounting For A Minimum Of $77.4 Million. “President Obama’s re-election team today voluntarily released the names of its top 445 financiers for the 2012 presidential campaign. Combined, these individuals are responsible for at least one third — or $74.4 million — of the total $220 million raised by Obama and Democrats so far.” (Devin Dwyer, Obama Team Releases Names Of 445 Top Campaign Financiers,” ABC News, 1/31/12)

  • A $22 Million Increase From The Third Quarter. “At the end of the third quarter, bundlers had raised a minimum of $55 million.” (Aaron Mehta, Fred Schulte And Elizabeth Lucas, “Obama’s Bundler Total Exceeds $74 Million,” iWatch1/31/12)

More Than 60 Bundlers Have Now Gathered Contributions Totaling At Least $500,000 For The President, A Sharp Contrast To The Campaign’s Claims Of Reliance On Small-Figure Donors.” (Aaron Mehta, Fred Schulte And Elizabeth Lucas, “Obama’s Bundler Total Exceeds $74 Million,” iWatch1/31/12)