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The Top Campaign Contributors for Obama are Law Firms
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When it comes to contributions this year for the presidential campaign law firms are favoring President Obama by pouring more money into his reelection than all four of the candidates for the Republican vote combined.

According to the filings reported by the Federal Election Commission, Obama has currently received $4.1 million in funding from attorneys and law firms where the Republican candidates have only received $1.7 million. The Center for Responsive Politics spokesman Michael Beckel said, “The legal industry as a whole has been a traditional place for Democrats to turn to. Obama is not unique in that respect. If you look back, about 70 percent of the money the legal industry donates within a particular cycle benefits Democrats opposed to Republicans. Some of that goes back to [Republican] candidates touting tort reform.” These reform makes it harder for someone to sue in the court system.

  
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Other than personal giving there as been no other group that has contributed more to Obama’s campaign than the attorneys. They have done some of this through a process known as bundling. This is when people have reached their individual budget goals for contribution limits and “bundle” gifts from their friends and networks. Attorneys and law firms are the largest bundlers in Obama’s campaign camp.

This next election year will be the first since the decision in the U.S Supreme Court that allows corporations to spend unlimited funds on candidates in the political races. Typically lawyers in the corporate world have some of the biggest pockets and will potentially influence this election coming up.

Beckel said “We fully expect to see this group pony up money to super PACs. When you’re talking about lawyers, unions, and Hollywood being traditional sources of big money for Democrats, the new campaign finance landscape means these same resources are likely to be funding the newest large super PACs as well.”

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While law firms are playing a huge role in Obama’s reelection campaign, they are playing a much smaller role in that of the Republicans campaign funding. Non of the potential candidates for the Republican nomination are counting law firms in their top donors.

“Part of the reason for that, if we’re talking about Obama, is that [in 2008] the legal community played a larger role in that election because Obama is a lawyer,” said Matthew Sanderson. Sanderson is a political attorney and advises committees and other groups about the laws of campaign donations and laws pertaining to lobbying. He also stated, “ Your network develops as a result of your professional activity. Your network’s network is an extension of that.”



The 2012 election is seeing large contributions coming from law firms and lobbying firms. These two rank fourth in the sectors that are contributing to federal candidates for those in the election. Finance, real estate and insurance are topping the charts in the first three spots.

Sanderson said “ The reason why [lawyers and lobbyists] are near the top as an industry is because they have an interest in building a relationship not only for their own interest but probably more representing their clients and cultivating it on their behalf.”



 

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