Upcoming JLF Headliner documents lobbyists’ support for Obama

The Washington Examiner‘s senior political columnist, Timothy P. Carney, will share his expertise with a John Locke Foundation Headliner audience Dec. 15 in Raleigh. In the meantime, you might enjoy his latest article on lobbyist support for the Obama re-election campaign.

President Obama doesn’t take campaign contributions from lobbyists — unless you count the owners and CEOs of lobbying firms, corporate vice presidents for government relations, or managing directors for public policy.

“We don’t accept any money from special-interest groups or Washington lobbyists,” the Obama campaign bragged in a recent email touting the $70 million raised last quarter by the campaign and the Democratic National Committee. But if you comb through the actual filings with the Federal Elections Commission, you see how misleading this claim is.

Wealthy revolving-door banker Peter Orszag epitomizes everything Obama ran against. Orszag was Obama’s budget director until the 2010 elections at which point he cashed out to bailed-out megabank Citigroup. A Citi executive touted Orszag’s “key … government experience” and “his expertise in economic policy.” In other words, Orzag has monetized his public service and sold it to Citi, which, like all big banks, counts on favorable government policy for its profits.

Apparently feeling fairly plush after nine months at a Wall Street salary, Orszag cut a $35,800 check last month to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee that divides its funds between the official Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee. To sum up: Orszag gained inside knowledge and connections on the taxpayer dime, put them to work for a big bank, then used his salary from this bailed-out bank to give the maximum contribution to the man who hired him in the White House.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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