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Surprise! Lawyers pushing big money into presidental politics

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If lawyers annoy you, stop here. That annoyance is going to get much, much worse. Same with bankers, too.

By now you know that the candidates for president in 2008 (the well-known ones; not those like our own favorite pol, Doc Slammy) have raised $150 million in the most recent three-month reporting cycle.

And a big chunk of that — nearly $15 million — came from the lawyers, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Sidley Austin LLP, which bills itself as one of the world’s largest law firms, leads the pack (good word choice, eh?) with $190,000 in contributions — in just those three months. More than half of that went to Democratic Sen. Barack Obama.

Who else do the lawyers like?

Not surprisingly, they tossed $4.4 million at trial lawyer, former veep candidate and former senator John Edwards – in just three months. They like Sen. Hillary Clinton, too: She got $2.8 million from the shark-food folks.

The bankers (stock brokers, investment analysts, securities types) are shelling out, too. According to the center, the securities and investment industry has spread $8.6 million to the candidates, with Goldman Sachs and its executives and employees donating nearly $500,000 — in just three months.

But the lawyers aren’t the only industry buying in big to the nascent presidential campaigns. According to the center:

• real estate moguls have ponied up $5.8 million (top dollar-getter: former GOP Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney).
• the Hollywood/entertainment industry: $2.4 million (top dollar-getter: Sen. Clinton).
• the health industry: $2.2 million (top dollar-getter: Sen. Clinton).

The punditocracy has noted that the two parties’ nominees (essentially chosen in the February 2008 national primary blood-letting as states try to grab more electoral-college influence) will have to raise about half a billion dollars each to buy, er, win the presidential election.

The Center for Responsive Politics is a fabulous place to watch the money race. Not only we see the quantity of money candidates raise, but also the quality of the money. Who’s giving it? Who’s getting it?

Right now, the people in charge of money, power and influence in the United States are stepping up to keep that power, money and influence. Let’s keep a close on them. Again.

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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

April 23, 2007 at 12:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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