A moment in Monday’s CNN/YouTube debate that caught my attention in particular was Barack Obama’s claim that he did not take PAC money when questioned by former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel about the 134 bundlers that Obama has raising campaign cash for him at this point.
Well, Obama is correct there seems to be nothing inappropriate with raising money through bundlers, and bundlers certainly aren’t anything close to the same definition as a Political Action Committee. Now the question is whether or not Obama took Political Action Committee money as described under the rules of the Federal Election Commission.
Presumably Obama made a slip of the tongue or he isn’t paying any attention to who is donating to his coffers because if you look at this portion of his Federal Election Commission report, you’ll find that Locke, Liddell & Sapp, which, according to their website, is a firm that handles all kinds of legal proceedings with offices in Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and the nation’s capital Washington D.C.. The firm gave him $1,000.
You just go down the list and you find that the Cooperative of American Physicians gave him another thousand. The next one that I see would be CEISLER JUBELIRER Political Action Committee, a media relations firm, according to their website, out of Philadelphia. It gave the Obama campaign $250. Then you can quibble over whether the committees of former U.S. Senator and Governor Bob Kerrey of Nebraska and Roger Sharpe, a former congressional candidate from North Carolina, who lost to Virginia Foxx in the fifth congressional district, are actually political action committees since they are run by a particular candidate or former candidate and don’t advocate for a “special interest” cause.
The same can be said for the committees of former congressional candidate Francine Busby and that of former U.S. Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings whose committee has given to several presidential candidates. The final committee that I see that has been recorded by the Obama camp is that of Congresswoman Jane Schakowsky, also part of the Illinois delegation representing northern Chicago and some of the surrounding suburbs.
To be fair to the Obama campaign, it did give back a second contribution both made by Busby’s committee and the Liddell group. The biggest contributor on this list was Fritz Hollings, who gave $2,300 while Roger Sharpe’s committee contributed $500. Now as someone who is not opposed to the idea of candidates taking Political Action Committee money, why should I care? Well, because Iowa, and in particular the second district of Iowa, which was represented by a guy like Jim Leach, who never took a dime of PAC money in the 30 years he was in Congress, said he didn’t take money from such groups while Obama has been traveling to Jefferson, Lee, Linn, (etc.) counties saying things like, “I don’t take big money and I want to change Washington” when the facts simply don’t equal the rhetoric. The sad thing is that as I speak to people on the street here in Iowa and they love Mr. Obama far more then Mrs. Clinton, but seem to not realize that Obama is no choir boy as far as taking money from what many would consider questionable sources.