Obama’s Fundraising: “Of The People”? Not Quite…
The New York Times has an interesting article on the source of much of Barack Obama’s campaign funds, and while the candidate likes to portray his record campaign fund raising as originating from individual contributors via the internet, that’s not quite the case. In fact, one-third of Mr. Obama’s campaign money comes in the form of big-money donations. That trumps Mr. McCain’s haul from similar sources.
As is common in political fund raising, people with useful and broad connections are used to “bundle” contributions from individual sources. The individuals, in turn, are granted significant access to the candidate. Mr. Obama, the Times reports, has been courting these influential big-money fundraisers since at least 2004, travelling the country to make contact and schmooze the right people. This is a man who has been meticulously planning his ascension for a very long time.
So what’s the real source of Mr. Obama’s record funds? According to the New York Times’ investigation, two-thirds of the big-money contributions come from the following special interests: law firms (many of which have ties to influential lobbying groups), securities and investment firms, entertainment interests and real estate interest groups.
It’s not surprising to see law firms ponying up for a Democratic candidate: the vast majority of political contributions from law firms goes to Democrats, who oppose tort reform and caps on punitive damages, etc.
Big-money, of course, always tries to back the winning horse: it’s less about political philosophy than it is about having influence with the decision maker, regardless of political stripe.
It does, however, make for an interesting discussion as to who is the more “independent” of the two candidates…
You can access the New York Times’ article here.