Sunday, August 31, 2008
Obama, Biden and Earmarks
Sen. Barack Obama sought more than $3.4 million in congressional earmarks for clients of the lobbyist son of his Democratic running mate, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, records show. Obama succeeded in getting $192,000 for one of the clients, St. Xavier University in suburban Chicago.
Obama's campaign has taken a hard stance against the world of lobbying in the nation's capital. [Except when it comes to him, his running mate and any other fellow Liberal. - Drake]. Obama said he limits his own efforts to get money for pet projects -- a process known as earmarking -- to those that benefit the public. He has posted his earmark requests on his presidential campaign Web site to encourage transparency.
Since Obama announced his selection of Biden on Saturday, attention has focused on Biden's lobbying connections as well as his son's lobbying activities. R. Hunter Biden is one of many relatives of members of Congress who work as lobbyists.
The younger Biden started his career as a lobbyist in 2001 and has registered to represent about 21 clients that have brought in $3.5 million to his Washington firm, according to lobbying disclosure forms.
Sen. Biden has collected more than $6.9 million in campaign contributions from lobbyists and lawyers since 1989, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
An analysis for The Washington Post by Taxpayers for Common Sense of Hunter Biden's firm's lobbying business found that its clients collected $2.7 million in earmarks in the last fiscal year.
One of those clients was St. Xavier University, a four-year, 5,600-student institution run by the Roman Catholic Sisters of Mercy in Orland Park, Ill. Steve Murphy, vice president for university advancement, said Hunter Biden approached him in 2005 offering to secure congressional earmarks.
Obama's spokesman also acknowledged lobbying for Mercy Hospital, another client of Hunter Biden.
In addition to his work for universities, Hunter Biden has done consulting work for MBNA, the largest employer in Delaware.
From 2001 to 2005, Hunter was paid an undisclosed amount by the credit card giant, which has since been purchased by Bank of America. It has been widely reported that he received $100,000 a year.
At the time, Sen. Biden led a successful, high-profile battle in the Senate for a bankruptcy bill that ultimately benefited credit card companies. The law makes it more difficult for people to file for personal bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7.
Over the past two decades, MBNA employees have given more than $200,000 to Biden's Senate campaigns, more than workers from any other company.
Wade said Hunter Biden was hired by MBNA after working as a Commerce Department lawyer on Internet privacy and online commerce issues. "Hunter consulted for five years as an expert on these very same issues at a time of enormous expansion in online banking," Wade said. "He was never a lobbyist for MBNA, and his work had absolutely nothing to do with the bankruptcy bill. Zero. Nothing."
Hunter Biden also lobbied for Napster, the music-sharing Web site that ran afoul of intellectual-property laws. Sen. Biden at the time was a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees laws governing intellectual-property rights.
"While Barack Obama decries Washington insiders and says that he detests lobbyists, Joe Biden is the model Washington insider with numerous connections to lobbyists and special interests," Republican National Committee spokesman Danny Diaz said.
That's a nice set of double standards you have there, Liberals. How do you manage to do it? It must take yeoman amounts of denial, I'll bet!
DemocRATS want to make a profit to so that they can save the world.
DemocRATS will be in a position to tell the workers how much better they are making their lives... It’s easy to speak to someone when you are riding their backs.
You nailed it with "It’s easy to speak to someone when you are riding their backs." That speaks volumes and your take on this is spot on. Good stuff, as always.
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