Obama reaches out to big-money Md. backers

Melissa Quinn Contributor
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President Barack Obama spent the day Tuesday schmoozing with real estate magnates at a campaign event in Maryland, paying tribute to big-money donors who are backed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Guests paid $50,000 to attend the event, hosted by Josh and Genine Fidler at their home in Owings Mills, Md.

The Fidlers, who run Maryland-based Chesapeake Bay Realty Partners, have each made significant contributions to Obama’s campaign. Together, the couple has contributed more than $200,000 to various Democratic campaigns, according to the Baltimore Sun, and Genine Fidler alone has bundled more than $200,000 for the Obama campaign.

Chesapeake Bay Realty has received construction loans that are insured by the Federal Housing Administration, and through these loans the company receives lower interest rates, The Heritage Foundation notes. The company currently has two projects that receive the loans, and has been associated with at least 10 more.

Throughout Obama’s presidency, the man who vowed to end “special interests” has given more than 200 of his top donors government jobs, advisory posts, federal contracts and access to elite White House events and meetings.

“They write the checks and you get stuck with the bill, they get the access while you get to write a letter, they think they own this government, but we’re here today to take it back,” Obama said when he announced his campaign for president in February 2007.

An investigation conducted by iWatch News and the Center for Public Integrity found that one-third of Obama’s bundlers or their spouses joined his administration in some way. More than half of nominated ambassadors raised more than half a million dollars and 80 percent of bundlers took “key administration roles,” according to the report.

Several donors, like the Fidlers, have ties to companies that stand to gain financially from Obama’s policies, either receiving tax benefits or large sums of stimulus money.

The Fidlers join the ranks of high-dollar donors like the Bluhm family of Chicago. (SEE ALSO: Bluhm family digs deep, raises cash for Obama)

Obama continues to make an effort to raise cash from supporters, squeezing a campaign fundraiser in between two events with Israeli President Shimon Peres on Wednesday and attending six events on Tuesday.

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