Obama passes deep hat to Wall Street bigwigs, former lobbyists, LGBT activists

Alec Jacobs Contributor
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President Obama campaigned in 2008 on being an outsider to “politics as usual,” but a new report from the Center for Responsive Politics finds that one-third of the bundled donations raised for the president’s reelection campaign are coming from Wall Street bigwigs.

Donors who work in the finance, insurance and real estate industries have raised at least $11.8 million for Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, out of at least $34.95 million raised so far. (Obama campaign releases list of bundled donors)

Numbers from Wall Street donors are on pace to be significantly higher than during the 2008 campaign. During Obama’s entire 2008 campaign, bundled donations from finance, insurance and real estate donors gave at least $16.1 million, or about one-fifth of all bundled donations.

Exact amounts are not known because the campaign has released its bundled donation numbers in wide brackets. The president’s campaign did release one precise figure, though: It raised $86 million during the second fundraising quarter of the year. The Center for Responsive Politics concluded that at least $1 of every $8 raised by the DNC and the campaign comes from the financial, insurance or real estate sectors.

Though none of Obama’s bundlers are registered lobbyists, his campaign and the DNC have received $6.9 million from employees of law firms and lobbying organizations. Mitt Romney, meanwhile, collected donations from six registered lobbyists during the year’s second quarter.

Since the beginning of his first presidential campaign, Barack Obama has pledged to refuse donations from lobbyists. He has technically kept that promise, but seven of his bundlers thus far are former lobbyists, and altogether they have raised at least $1.35 million toward Obama’s reelection effort and for the DNC.

Obama has also done well with openly gay and lesbian donors. Twelve of those donors are bundlers who have raised $2.35 million; ten of those donors (accounting for $2.2 million) are new donors to the president.