Shadow lobbyists and ex-lobbyists were big donors to President Barack Obama’s inaugural committee despite claims his administration shuns lobbyists, according to the Sunlight Foundation.
Obama placed a ban on lobbyists serving in his administration or giving donations to his inaugural committee but the definition of ‘lobbyist’ remains vague.
Case in point: Although the president barred lobbyists from donating to his inaugural, the event was still funded by many people … who direct lobbyists, as well as by people who stopped lobbying as late as last year. …
On the inaugural committee's list of more than 3,000 donors are a number of corporations represented by lobbyists.
There are loopholes which allow some lobbyists to remain unregistered. The Sunlight Foundation quoted one person as saying there is little reason to register as a lobbyist, "Unless you are one of those rare individuals absolutely committed to following the letter and spirit of the law."
Obama also turned away donations from political action committees just as his campaign did — but that has not stopped those with ties to PACs from giving.