MARCH 14, 2008
Barack Obama touts himself as the only presidential candidate not corrupted by Washington politics but his earmark record contradicts that because he tried steering millions of federal dollars to his wife’s employer and the company of a top campaign donor.
Recently released earmarks reveal that the Democratic presidential candidate requested $1 million for the hospital that employs his wife Michelle and $8 million for a military contractor with a board member who has given hefty sums to his campaign.
The $1 million was requested in 2006 to build a new pavilion at the University of Chicago Hospitals, where Michelle Obama was vice president of community affairs. Michelle had already benefited from her husband’s flourishing political career with a huge salary increase that went from $121,910 in 2004 before he was elected to the Senate to $316,962 in 2005 just after he took office.
Obama requested the $8 million for weapons technology manufactured by a big defense contractor (General Dynamics) with very close ties to a major fundraiser named James Crown, a billionaire who also serves on the company’s board. Crown is also on Obama’s national finance committee.
The good senator also got nearly $1 million federal dollars for the renovation of a space center named after Crown’s grandfather, Henry, at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. A complete list of Obama’s earmark record has been posted on his web site.
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