Obama Campaign Flags ‘Less-Than-Reputable’ Romney Donors
(CHICAGO) -- President Obama’s re-election campaign is circulating a list of eight “wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records” who have donated to presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
“Quite a few have been on the wrong side of the law, others have made profits at the expense of so many Americans, and still others are donating to help ensure Romney puts beneficial policies in place for them,” the campaign said in a statement from its “Truth Team.”
Team Obama alleges four men, who have each given more than $100,000 to support Romney and an affiliated super PAC, have benefited from “betting against America” -- specifically through outsourcing.
The list includes Paul Schorr, a partner at Blackstone Group, the nation’s largest private equity firm; investors Sam and Jeffrey Fox of the Harbour Group; and T. Martin Fiorentino, who has lobbied for Lender Processing Services, a firm that has been penalized by the government for its mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices.
The Obama campaign also suggests that contributions from a group of deep-pocket “special-interest donors” are aimed at pushing a specific agenda, specifically on behalf of the U.S. oil industry.
The campaign’s blog post names oil investor Louis Moore Bacon, oil refining company CEO Thomas O’Malley, registered oil industry lobbyist Kent Burton and businessman Frank Vandersloot as figures “donating to help ensure Romney puts beneficial policies in place for them.”
President Obama, unlike Romney, voluntarily discloses the names and contribution amounts of all his top volunteer fundraisers -- “bundlers” -- not just those who are registered lobbyists, as required by law. Obama also refuses donations from registered lobbyists or PACs.
But Obama has received support from hundreds of wealthy Americans -- including some with less-than-reputable records of their own.
Perhaps most notably, Hamilton E. James, the president and chief operating officer of Blackstone Group, who has likely benefited from some of the same investment practices for which Romney's donor Paul Schorr is criticized. James is a major Obama supporter, who has donated $35,800 -- the legal maximum to the Obama Campaign and the Democratic National Committee in November of last year, according to Federal Election Commission records.
James will also host a fundraiser for the president in May that is expected to draw more donations from the private equity sector, a source told the New York Times.
Former New Jersey Gov. and Obama bundler Jon Corzine has been under investigation for his role in the collapse of investment firm MF Global, where he was chairman and CEO and from which more than $1 billion disappeared.
The Obama campaign and Democratic National Committee later announced they would refund more than $70,000 in contributions from Corzine and his wife. Officials said they would examine on a case by case basis whether to refund some of the more than $430,000 in additional funds Corzine delivered to the campaign from other supporters.
In February, the Obama campaign refunded more than $200,000 from Carlos and Alberto Cardona after the New York Times reported the brothers’ ties to a Mexican casino magnate and fugitive from the U.S. who had sought a presidential pardon.
Earlier this month, another major Obama donor, Abake Assongba, made headlines for a civil lawsuit alleging that she stole $650,000 in an email scam to help build a multimillion-dollar home. Assongba has bundled more than $50,000 for the campaign.
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