News Release

Candidates, Money and Lobbyists

CRAIG HOLMAN
Holman is government ethics lobbyist for Public Citizen, which has launched a web page WhiteHouseForSale.org that keeps track of money to candidates.

He said today: “Even after John McCain ushered in the landmark McCain-Feingold law banning soft money, and Barack Obama brought us the sweeping lobbying and ethics reform law restricting influence-peddling by lobbyists, the White House is still for sale — and McCain and Obama are helping the auctioneers.

“Hillary Clinton started this year’s money race by opting out of the public financing system in the primary election and embracing the role of lobbyists as key campaign fundraisers. Obama refused to let lobbyists play such a critical role in his campaign, but he has managed to pull in record-breaking amounts of money from both small and large donors, amassing some $230 million to date. His fundraising prowess may well make him the first presidential candidate in history to opt out of the public funding system in the general election as well. McCain recruited some 70 lobbyists to be his major fundraisers and scores more to be his policy advisors. Even McCain’s new ‘ethics policy’ allows these lobbyists to continue serving his campaign in a voluntary capacity.

“Meanwhile, both McCain and Obama have announced new ‘joint fundraising committees’ in which they will help the national parties reap even more of the largesse to spend on their behalf, collecting $70,000 or more per donor at each fundraising event.

“The nation’s biggest ‘reformers’ are going to oversee the nation’s largest auction of the White House — probably to the tune of $1 billion by November.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167