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Who’s Buying Obama?

A.K Gupta Jan 13, 2008

Barack Obama’s campaign has soared on his rhetoric of “change.” Many people have responded favorably, apparently tired of the disastrous Bush presidency and leery of restoring a divisive Clinton one. But how much change does Obama really represent? He says he won’t accept contributions from lobbyists or political action committees — even though he has. Obama raised more than $80 million through the first nine months of 2007, and it’s not coming from bake sales. According to reports, he’s maintained ties to lobbyists to shake the money tree, and, next to Hillary Clinton, is the top recipient of money from corporations that game federal legislation and policy for their interests. The following is a sample of which corporate sectors and industries are backing Obama, and how he stacks up against the other leading recipients.

—A.K. GUPTA

Agribusiness
Mitt Romney (1) $566,250
Barack Obama (5) $323,528

Commercial Banks
Hillary Clinton (1) $935,658
Barack Obama (2) $865,856

Computers/Internet
Barack Obama (1) $940,459
Hillary Clinton (2) $883,125

Energy/Natural Resources
Rudolph Giuliani (1) $819,508
Barack Obama (4) $489,909

Hedge Funds & Private Equity
Rudolph Giuliani (1) $1,157,900
Barack Obama (3) $976,574

Insurance
Christopher Dodd (1) $713,012
Barack Obama (5) $390,513

Lawyers/Law Firms
Hillary Clinton (1) $9,596,748
Barack Obama (3) $7,940,424

Pharmaceuticals/Health Products
Hillary Clinton (1) $269,436
Barack Obama(2) $261,784

Real Estate
Hillary Clinton (1) $3,939,008
Barack Obama (4) $2,292,188

Securities & Investment
Hillary Clinton (1) $4,735,730
Barack Obama (3) $4,505,199

Telephone Utilities
John McCain (1) $176,800
Barack Obama (3) $84,936

(All information is from opensecrets.org.)