In June 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama declared that his campaign would “not take a dime from Washington lobbyists.” Obama and his deputies have repeated that promise many times since then. But a Daily Caller survey of campaign disclosures found that at least five of the 27 individuals and couples who have collected more than $500,000 for the Obama 2012 campaign are closely tied to lobbying firms.
Obama’s top fundraisers, called “bundlers,” pool donations from friends and colleagues while placing the entire contribution under their own name. It is unclear whether the unknown individuals who channeled their donations through the bundlers have lobbyist ties, but the five bundlers themselves either run lobbying firms or lead and direct businesses that hire lobbyists.
In a 2012 fundraising letter to supporters, the Obama campaign wrote, “Our campaign doesn’t take money from Washington lobbyists or special-interest PACs.”