FEBRUARY 04, 2008
In keeping with the Clinton family tradition of proudly accepting cash from the shadiest of sources, Hillary Clinton has raised more money from lobbyists than any other presidential candidate—Democrat or Republican.
The former First Lady took $823,097 from registered lobbyists and members of their firms last year, nearly double the amount of the second-biggest recipient (Republican presidential candidate John McCain) who accepted $416,321 from lobbyists in 2007.
Illinois Senator Barack Obama, Clinton’s incredibly strong rival for the Democratic nomination, doesn’t take cash from registered lobbyists but he did accept nearly $100,000 from employees of firms that do quite a bit of lobbying.
Clinton took the money even though she, along with other presidential candidates, vowed to quash special interests. In fact, during a debate last month the New York senator insisted that she won’t be swayed by her support from lobbyists, saying that she withstood the “full force of corporate lobbyists” while working on her disastrous universal health care plan in the 1990s.
In addition to accepting big bucks from the lobbyists themselves, huge sums are also bundled for Clinton which means the lobbyists raise money from other sources and bring it to her campaign. Not surprisingly, Clinton refuses to disclose which donations are brought in by lobbyist bundlers.
For the lobbyists the payback comes when their candidate wins because it practically guarantees access and influence after the victory. For example Heather Podesta, a Washington lobbyist who is the sister-in-law of Bill Clinton’s chief of staff (John Podesta), has raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for Hillary Clinton and donated an additional $4,600 of her own money.
If the New York Senator moves into the White House again, she will certainly remember Heather Podesta and all the cash that the lobbyist injected into her campaign.
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