Money Trail: Lobbyists Gone Wild as Obama Remains Silent

Watchdog groups insist Farber's presence is a contradiction of Obama's stated position.

"We will not take another dime from Washington lobbyists," Obama said in a speech June 5, repeating a theme he has main a key to his campaign. "They will not fund my party."

"So Barack Obama, who says that he doesn't want to have any lobbyist money in his campaign, is having a lobbyist bundle money from large corporations, many of which are clients, for the convention that's going to nominate Obama," said Steve Weisman of the Campaign Finance Institute, affiliated with George Washington University.

"We're right back to the pre-Watergate era right now," said Holman of Public Citizen. "This whole federal election campaign law was developed because in 1972, the Nixon administration had set up a slush fund through the 1972 Republican National Convention."

The corporate contributions to finance the conventions are a huge legal loophole in federal election laws that otherwise prohibit corporations from giving money to political campaigns.

"This late primary also impacted the Host Committee's ability to raise funds. We have been supportive of the Host Committee's work to fund the Convention and have encouraged those who support us to support their efforts," the Obama campaign spokesman, LaBolt, said.

LaBolt said the candidate wants to "significantly change the way conventions are funded in the future should he be elected."

"Barack Obama is committed to reforming our political system and getting the special interests out of politics," he said, as the first of hundreds of lobbyist-paid parties were getting underway in Denver.

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