Lobbyists for Monsanto, ExxonMobil Raise Money for Hillary Clinton
When Barack Obama was running for the presidency in 2008 he promised he wouldn't take money from registered lobbyists. In the race to succeed him, Hillary Clinton is not following in his footsteps.
The former secretary of state raised more than $2 million from 40 "bundlers"—fundraisers who get their contacts to give to campaigns—who were also lobbyists, according to financial forms released by the Federal Election Commission.
July 17, 2015 | Source: Bloomberg Politics | by Ben Brody
When Barack Obama was running for the presidency in 2008—and later for reelection in 2012—he promised he wouldn’t take money from registered lobbyists, not even as bundlers. In the race to succeed him, Hillary Clinton is not following in his footsteps.
The former secretary of state raised more than $2 million from 40 “bundlers”—fundraisers who get their contacts to give to campaigns—who were also lobbyists, according to financial forms released Wednesday by the Federal Election Commission. In all, the Clinton campaign raised $46.7 million between the beginning of April and the end of June.
Bundlers, who are often wealthy or well-connected individuals, do more than donate to campaigns. They put their social networks to work for favorite candidates, persuading (often equally wealthy and well-connected) family members, friends, colleagues, and other contacts to donate as well, effectively bringing in far more money than they could under the current legal donation limits. Individuals can contribute $2,700 to candidate committees (as opposed to super PACS) for the primary election and the same amount for the general election, for a total of $5,400 in a campaign cycle. Campaigns don’t have to disclose their bundlers—unless those bundlers are also lobbyists.
Clinton’s bundlers include some familiar names: Jerry Crawford, an outside lobbyist to Monsanto and Iowa kingmaker, put together another $35,000 or so. Tony Podesta, a mega-lobbyist who co-founded the Podesta Group and is the brother of Clinton’s campaign chair John, bundled almost $75,000.
John Podesta himself previewed the open-for-lobbying-donations strategy back in April, telling PBS’ Charlie Rose show, “I think that our judgment was we will take money if it’s legal, obviously” because of how much opponents were raising. “So, we’re going to raise the resources that are necessary,” he said.
Other bundlers lobby for big companies including Microsoft (Fred Humphries) and Exxon Mobil (Theresa Fariello) or industry groups including the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (Daphna Peled). Another group includes former staffers for prominent Democratic politicians (including President Clinton) and politicians themselves, including former South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges. Lobbyist bundlers don’t have to disclose their employers, but the names appear on both Clinton’s disclosures and 2015 lobbyist registrations.