A great piece from the New York Times today, the type of reporting that we haven’t seen enough of when it comes to President Obama. It seems Obama has been allowing people who are lobbyists in all but name only to bundle millions of dollars in donations for him, essentially violating his pledge not to take money from them.
At least 15 of Mr. Obama’s “bundlers” — supporters who contribute their own money to his campaign and solicit it from others — are involved in lobbying for Washington consulting shops or private companies. They have raised more than $5 million so far for the campaign.
Because the bundlers are not registered as lobbyists with the Senate, the Obama campaign has managed to avoid running afoul of its self-imposed ban on taking money from lobbyists.
But registered or not, the bundlers are in many ways indistinguishable from people who fit the technical definition of a lobbyist. They glide easily through the corridors of power in Washington, with a number of them hosting Mr. Obama at fund-raisers while also visiting the White House on policy matters and official business.
I give Obama credit for at least partially keeping to his pledge, certainly at a cost of millions to his reelection effort.
But you really can’t be half pregnant on this. Either your impure and in bed with lobbyists, or not. If it’s so important not to take money from lobbyists, why look for loopholes in your own rules?