« Alabama: human error mars election in 2 counties | Main | Black Caucus receives "offensive" T-shirt about Obama »

Lobbyist money welcomed at party conventions

The New York Times reports: One of Senator Barack Obama’s first acts after claiming the Democratic nomination was declaring he would not take special-interest money for his presidential bid, even going so far as to bar lobbyists from donating to the Democratic National Committee.

But there is one important area where special-interest money is flowing into the Democratic campaign effort — the millions of dollars being raised from corporations to finance the party’s convention in Denver.

Elected Democratic officials have been calling on corporations — meeting with Wall Street executives and flying to San Diego, Philadelphia and Las Vegas — to raise the $40 million the party has budgeted for the convention, in August. In return, these Democratic officials are promising corporate donors “sponsor benefits packages” that include private sessions with federal officeholders and other influential party leaders.

This search for cash comes as national party committees, like the D.N.C., are barred from soliciting or spending soft money, the unrestricted donations to political parties. But there is one major exception to these limits: the unlimited contributions from corporations and unions for the party’s convention. Even more, donations for the conventions, unlike other campaign contributions, are fully tax-deductible to corporations as a business expense. -- Candidates Forgo Soft Money; Conventions Don’t

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)