Watchdog Group: Most Lobbyists Giving to Clinton Don’t Represent ‘Real People’

By Jennifer Parker

Nov 30, 2007 9:08am

USA TODAY’s ‘On Politics’ Blog Reports: The Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks money in politics, today investigates what it calls the "lobbyist lobs" among Democrats Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards.

"Lobbyists do represent ordinary Americans, as Hillary Clinton claims, but those contributing to her campaign mostly represent big industries," the nonpartisan center reports in its Capital Eye publication. The group says lobbyists who have donated to Clinton and other candidates are "largely advocating for big industries such as pharmaceutical, automotive and computer companies."

Case in point: The group said lobbyists representing health professionals, "including the nurses Clinton singled out (as real people), account for $82,805 in contributions to her, while those representing the pharmaceutical industry paid out $562,900."

How pure are Edwards and Obama? Their vow not to accept contributions from lobbyists "isn’t a foolproof plan," the center said. "Both still accept money from state and local lobbyists, employees at law firms that offer lobbying services, family members of lobbyists and former lobbyists. Contributions from Washington lobbyists have still managed to seep into both Democrats’ coffers."

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