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In battle for the nomination, don’t forget all the pork peddlers

March 16, 2008
Both Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton have claimed that they will not be influenced by “special interests” or “Washington lobbyists.”

Obama actually has claimed that he will not accept campaign contributions from lobbyists.

But both of them have accepted donations — big ones — from companies for whom they introduced legislation intended to benefit the firms, according to a published report.

A bill introduced by Clinton and enacted in 2004 requires that the government refund money charged in import duties on tomato products.

Clinton was asked by a New York City food company to introduce the bill. The firm previously had contributed $110,000 to Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign.

In 2006, Obama introduced a bill to help a Japanese drug company that operates in his home state, Illinois.

The measure, enacted late that year, will cost the federal government about $800,000 in tax revenue. Obama received $54,360 from attorneys who asked him to introduce the bill.

Obama has been more insistent than Clinton that he will not accept money from lobbyists, of course, but he seems to draw a fine line between those registered to lobby Congress and others acting for the same special interests.

We doubt that voters will see much difference.

Both candidates, however, simply aren’t telling the truth when they insist that they will ignore special interests.


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