Today’s inauguration festivities are paid for by the beneficiaries of President Obama’s policies. What a shock! Even more shocking, they aren’t disclosing the donation amounts.
So much for transparency — and scruples. This year, Obama is taking unlimited donations, including corporate cash. Instead of a detailed disclosure, the PIC website has one page with a very long list of donors, replete with typos and misspellings — and no information on dollar amounts or donors’ employment. AT&T, for example, is listed under “I,” for “AT&T, Inc.”
The list makes no distinction between corporate donors and individual donors, or between million-dollar donors and $5 donors. The PIC has all this information — it is legally required to collect it for the April FEC filing. But it’s not disclosing the information, and PIC officials didn’t answer when I asked why. They also wouldn’t give me the amounts donated by a few specific corporations.
Microsoft is bankrolling the inaugural. How generously? We don’t know. The software giant was Obama’s top corporate source of funds in the 2012 election — employees and executives of the company gave $815,000 to his re-election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Microsoft has received federal contracts worth $852 million under Obama, according to USASpending.gov, and the company spent about $6 million on lobbying last year, pushing its case on tax credits, education funding and immigration policy.
Read the whole thing, there’s much more.
Update: The Washington Guardian also covered this, including Big Labor’s role.
Likewise, Big Labor also has made a big impact on the inauguration. More than a half dozen unions are listed as benefactors to the inaugural parties. They include the Laborers International Union, the American Federation of Government Employees, the American Postal Workers Union, the International Association of Fire Fighters, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.
With record declines in membership, unions have been backing Obama as an ally in hopes of repelling Republican governor’s effort to reduce union influence in collective bargaining. They got a major win from the administration in October when the National Labor Relations Board ruled Boeing workers had the right to discussing union issues and organizing during work hours.
With more right-to-work initiatives spreading in conservative states, unions will be looking for more help from the administration in a second term, making their substantial investment in get-out-the-vote efforts in the November elections as well as their largesse to the Obama inauguration a good investment. (Read More)
Update: Linked by Lady Liberty, who says “May the odds be ever in your favor.” An appropriate statement on this day.