Obama’s Special Interest List Swells
JUNE 23, 2008
While Barack Obama campaigns as an anomaly not corrupted by Washington politics or special interests, he has repeatedly contradicted this illusion by accepting big bucks from convicted entrepreneurs as well as oil company executives, steering millions of federal earmark dollars to his wife’s employer and a top donor and hiring powerful corporate insiders to run his campaign.
Now the “squeaky clean” newcomer to big time politics is heavily promoting ethanol, made almost entirely from corn, as a source of energy because many of his top advisors and prominent supporters have close ties to that industry. In a story published this week, a major national newspaper lays out why the Illinois senator so strongly endorses ethanol.
It turns out that Obama’s national campaign co-chairman, former South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle, serves on the boards of three ethanol companies and his top advisor on environmental issues, Jason Grumet, used to work for a bipartisan initiative (National Commission on Energy Policy) that strongly supports ethanol.
Obama is also very tight with Illinois agriculture giant Archer Daniels Midland, the nation’s largest ethanol producer. Incidentally, a few years ago Archer Daniels Midland became the first company to sell food directly from the U.S. to Cuba since the implementation of the decades-old embargo and, perhaps not coincidentally, Cuban communist Dictator Fidel Castro has endorsed Obama. In fact, months ago he said an Obama-Hillary Clinton ticket would be unbeatable.
Obama has even made ethanol a national security issue, saying that the nation’s security will benefit from it because America’s oil dependence makes it difficult to shape an intelligent foreign policy and pointing out that the U.S. sends billions of dollars to some of the most hostile nations on earth. Not surprisingly, he favors multibillion-dollar government subsidies that the industry has for years received.
This is just the latest of many damaging revelations that contradict Obama’s infamous change rhetoric and fabricated image as a reformer. The corrupt Syrian man who has practically financed Obama’s entire political career, Antoin Rezko, was recently convicted of fraud and money laundering in U.S. federal court and Obama has taken millions from a shady Iraqi billionaire (Nadhmi Auchi) convicted in Europe for operating a massive kickback scheme.
Obama has also taken thousands of dollars in donations from oil industry executives and employees even though he has starred in television ads claiming he doesn’t take money from the industry and blasting giants like Exxon for making $40 billion a year while Americans pay exorbitant amounts for gas.
Just a few weeks ago, one of Obama’s top campaign advisors and fundraisers, was forced to resign after a national publication revealed that he was a corporate insider who received the sort of highly questionable loans Obama blames for infecting the economy and creating a home foreclosure crisis.
Somehow, the charismatic young lawmaker that the mainstream media loves to portray as a sort of rock star doesn’t seem any different than most Washington heavy hitters.
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