President Obama tapped four major Democratic donors for ambassador positions on Monday, continuing a long tradition of rewarding campaign fundraisers with posh, taxpayer-funded overseas positions.
All four nominees are deep-pocketed donors who spent upwards of $100,000 bankrolling the Democratic Party. The Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan transparency watchdog, compiled a list of the recent nominees:
- Rob Barber, a Massachusetts attorney nominated to represent the United States in Iceland, hasdonated more than $80,000 to Democratic campaigns, according to records compiled on Influence Explorer from the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in Politics. Political Party Time shows that Barber helped host a fundraiser last year for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
- Colleen Bell, a Hollywood soap opera producer whom Obama has tapped to be ambassador to Hungary, has donated more than $293,000. Her husband, fellow "The Bold and the Beautiful" producer Bradley Bell, was an especially enthusiastic funder of the Obama campaign. The couple also hosted a star-studded fundraiser for the president at their home during the last campaign, PT records reveal.
- Timothy Broas, nominated to serve as ambassador to the Netherlands, has donated more than $183,000 to Democrats in addition to showing up in Party Time as a fundraising host. As USA TODAY has reported, Obama is giving Broas a second chance at a job the DC "super lawyer" opted out of in 2012 after a drunk driving arrest.
- Dwight Bush, a DC investment banker who hopes to take over the embassy in Morocco, has, together with his son, Dwight Bush Jr., made more than $140,000 in campaign contributions.With a few strategic exceptions that money went almost entirely to Democrats.