Patterico's Pontifications


The Ugly Side Effect of Obama’s Huge Fundraising: He Would Owe More Political Favors Than Any Other President in History

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 7:00 am

Obama’s success as the biggest fundraiser in history means that he would owe his donors more than anyone in history if he were to take office. (That is, if you believe that big donors to political campaigns expect something in return. How cynical of you to think that!)

But wait! I thought Barack Obama’s amazing fundraising success stems primarily from donations under $200. Right?

Wrong. That’s another myth you’ve been sold, sucker.

In fact, George W. Bush in 2004 had a higher percentage of contributions of $200 or less than Barack Obama has had in this campaign. Last week, the Washington Post published an article titled Big Donors Drive Obama’s Money Edge:

Lost in the attention given to Obama’s Internet surge is that only a quarter of the $600 million he has raised has come from donors who made contributions of $200 or less, according to a review of his FEC reports. That is actually slightly less, as a percentage, than President Bush raised in small donations during his 2004 race . . .

In fact, in 2004, 31 percent of Bush’s donations came from people giving $200 or less. For John Kerry, the percentage was even higher: 37 percent.

All of this is necessary background for an excellent article by Patrick Range MacDonald in the latest L.A. Weekly, about Obama’s big donors, and the influence those donors are likely to wield in an Obama administration.

While Obama says he does not accept contributions from Washington lobbyists, that’s not much of a distinction these days. He has been accepting huge amounts from corporations, unions and endless special-interest groups. The influence of big-money donors in a possible Obama administration could create a political backlash if he doesn’t find a way to resist the enormous pressure that will be brought to bear.

MacDonald explains how Obama has raked in the bucks from big-money donors, many in the enterainment industry:

In July, a few weeks before the Democratic National Convention, Obama and his handlers formed joint fund-raising committees through a loophole (ironically created by the McCain-Feingold Act) that allows individual donors to write checks far surpassing federal limits of $2,300 — if the money was shared between a candidate and his party’s national and state committees. As a result of the loophole, “[The party committees] are avenues for individuals and others to legally donate tens of thousands of dollars,” says Boyle of Common Cause. John McCain created a similar committee, using the very loophole he had authored.

Individual donors promptly began writing checks of $25,000 or more to Obama’s and McCain’s committees. Even as the world of high finance began its stunning Wall Street meltdown, the biggest check-writers to both men were executives from securities and investment companies, according to The New York Times. The entertainment industry was also a top contributor, vastly preferring Obama.

So-called bundlers also contributed heavily to both. These ultimate political insiders, who collect donations from wealthy friends, business associates and other contacts, locally included Hollywood moguls David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg, both of whom have raised at least $500,000 for Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Basically, when you went to the movies over the last couple of years, you were making a donation to Barack Obama.

MacDonald’s article explores the question whether Obama is going to be the first guy in history to take scads of money from people and not let it affect the way he governs.

Now there is a proposition that I’m willing to put big money on.

17 Responses to “The Ugly Side Effect of Obama’s Huge Fundraising: He Would Owe More Political Favors Than Any Other President in History”

  1. I remember the ABC reporter being roughed up by Obama’s goons, when his cameraman attempted to shoot a sidewalk shot showing his big – money donors going into a meeting with Mr. Hopey/Changey Guy. He was promptly denounced as a racist for attempting to perform his job.

    Dmac (e30284)

  2. Well, this makes me feel better about not going to movies that past few years. I was making a political statement. Here, I just thought the movies were crappy.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  3. The Chicago Way!!!!!!

    daleyrocks (60704b)

  4. Wait .. a politician that gets elected and owes favors? What? WHAT? WHAT ARE YOU SAYING??

    Oh wait .. that’s how it has always worked.

    Back to my morning coffee…

    i like america (d2f951)

  5. Well, this makes me feel better about not going to movies that past few years. I was making a political statement. Here, I just thought the movies were crappy.

    Comment by Mike K — 10/31/2008 @ 7:30 am

    Both you sentiments are correct, Mike.

    CW Desiato (614aa7)


    Not only ignorant, but deaf apparently as well. Let’s see if he goes for the Trifecta.

    i like amerikkka's sockpuppet (e30284)

  7. Whoops, last one was me.

    Dmac (e30284)

  8. Dmac, you fail again. I can always tell it’s you because it isn’t funny, witty, or on point.

    So you have that going for you. Which is good.

    i like america (d2f951)

  9. i lick amerikka , you are woefully ignorant. Or you want to put a bullet through America’s beautiful core. The latter, am guessing. Hopen dope will owe favors waaaay beyond Chicago’s city limits. God, I can’t wait for it to affect and hurt you financially. Your Obama smoke and mirrors…….. bring it on baby.

    Vermont Neighbor (c91cfe)

  10. It’s interesting that the person running checks on Joe the Plumber contributed $2300 to Obama – on her government salary. That’s kind of a lot. She apparently has both lots of extra money and lots of free time at work. ( goes into this)

    Wesson (f6c982)

  11. And people wonder why I dont go to movies much anymore…….

    Techie (62bc5d)

  12. Comment by Wesson — 10/31/2008 @ 10:05 am

    Knowing what drones pay themselves (collective bargaining = govt employee unions = legislators elected through union contributions = higher employee pay), that probably reflected less than 2% of her gross pay (who knows what she makes on the side).

    Another Drew (7aa87e)

  13. I thought that Republicans were supposed to be the party of the rich. I must have not gotten the memo….it’s gotta be around here somewhere…

    29Victor (54500d)

  14. Vermont Neighbot – Not sure if you’re replying to this thread or another.

    I do not want to hurt this country. I devote my career to protecting her. (Not in the service and I won’t/can’t discuss details). I believe the middle class spending more is what keeps this country afloat, not the rich amassing money.

    It is what I believe. You believe differently. But I do more to protect America than you seem to believe.

    i like america (d2f951)

  15. “I believe the middle class spending more is what keeps this country afloat, not the rich amassing money.”

    i like america – I believe all classes spending more helps grow the economy, which is why Bush’s across the board tax cuts, with higher percentage cuts for those making less money, were both fair and effective. Growing the pie, not redistributing the pie should be the goal. Democrats focus too much on snapshots in time of income distributions rather than income mobility.

    It’s great to hear you are some double secret probation protector of Americans!

    daleyrocks (83b6c5)

  16. I think everyone should give the man a chance to proove himself as a good leader and a good american. All the negative adds that were run during the election by the other party have just divided the country thats all. I would not call that being a good american in any way. GW did a fine job according to them. If thats the case why are we in such bad shape today. He came in with a large surplus and will be going out with the largest deficit in history. Thats a conservative?

    John (f8e4d3)

  17. One again, for you trolls who insist that the executive branch appropriates money: Congress is the government branch in charge of appropriations. This Congress, under demtard control for the past two years, could have forced the US from Iraq by stopping funds, like the short-sighted traitorous dems did during the Vietnam War.

    The asstards who continue to push for home loans to people have no ability to pay loans back have not been held responsible for the fiasco. Instead they, with the apparent acqiescence of emphathetic lame duck Bush, continue to enable the same thievery. Follow the money trail…just who got megabucks from fannie and freddie, besides dodd, franks, obama and lurch? Look at the financial windfall attained by obama’s friends who were at the agencie- that franklin dude and big shithead jamie gorelick- a shining example of an incompetent and truly evil bitch (911, anyone?) rising to her level of peter principle infamy….and yet to be further rewarded by baracky. Of course the media doesn’t question the status quo, more into fantasizing about barry hussein’s crotch and kissing his ass.

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

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