Politics

Attorneys for DOJ’s anti-Gallup whistle-blower all Obama, Democratic Party donors

Photo of Matthew Boyle
Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

The two law firms representing whistle-blower Michael Lindley in a case against The Gallup Organization supported by the Department of Justice are stacked with donors to President Barack Obama’s political campaigns, according to political donation records published by the Center for Responsive Politics.

The legal complaint against Gallup indicates that the DOJ is relying solely on Lindley’s allegations to back its claim that Gallup defrauded the federal government by allegedly overcharging for polling services it provided various federal agencies. Since Lindley left Gallup, two whistle-blower law firms have picked up his complaint. Each is filled with major Obama and Democratic Party donors.

Debra Katz of the law firm Katz, Marshall & Banks LLP has donated thousands to Obama’s campaign efforts, records show. In 2008, she made three donations to then-Sen. Obama’s run for president, totaling $4,300. She also donated $1,000 to the Democratic firm DNC Services Corp. in 2008.

Records show also that over the course of the 2012 election cycle Katz has donated $1,250 to Obama’s presidential campaign, $250 to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and $2,000 to Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin’s U.S. Senate campaign.

Lisa Banks of the same firm originally supported now-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid, donating $2,500 to her campaign before Clinton dropped out of the race in recognition of Obama’s likely insurmountable delegate lead. In October 2008, she then donated $1,500 to Obama. Banks has donated $1,000 to Baldwin’s 2012 campaign.

Katz, Marshall & Banks partner Avi Kumin donated $200 to Obama in 2008 and $1,100 to Obama during the current election cycle.

Daniel B. Edelman, a non-partner attorney with the same firm, is also a consistent Obama donor. He gave $1,500 to Obama in 2008, and has contributed $400 during the 2012 cycle. Edelman also gave $250 to Baldwin’s 2012 U.S. Senate campaign.

Robert Vogel of the law firm Vogel, Slade & Goldstein LLP donated $1,000 to Clinton’s 2008 Democratic primary against Obama and has made several other Democratic Party donations as well. In 2008, he gave the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee a combined total of $750.

In 2010 Vogel donated $500 to Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold’s ultimately unsuccessful campaign for re-election. He has donated $1,000 to California Democratic Rep. Howard Berman’s 2012 campaign.

Vogel’s partner Janet Goldstein donated $500 to Obama and $250 to Baldwin in the current cycle.

Their partner Shelley Slade donated $6,900 to Obama in the 2008 election cycle. She donated $500 to Feingold in 2010 and $1,000 to now former Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy’s unsuccessful 2010 bid for re-election. Slade has also donated $1,000 to the Democratic group Leadership 21.

A search of records reflecting the political donations of all the attorneys at the two law firms representing Lindley reveals only one donation to a Republican: Slade donated $500 to California Republican Rep. Dan Lungren in 2008.

Despite the lopsided political leanings of the attorneys involved, Goldstein said in a statement that she thinks the reason the Justice Department added itself as a plaintiff in the case is because the evidence strongly supports Lindley’s allegations.