Obama’s Blood Diamond Bundler

• May 18, 2012 11:30 am


One of President Obama’s major campaign bundlers has ties to controversial mining practices in Africa, the Daily Caller reports:

Marjorie Rawls Roberts, a campaign fundraising bundler for President Barack Obama who lives in the U.S. Virgin Islands, is tied through several professional and personal connections to alleged blood diamond financiers.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in 2011, former Glacial Energy CEO Gary Mole’s former business partner, Michael Petras, alleged that millions of dollars of the company’s profits were funneled to another firm, Gemico, to "fund mining in the Congo." Glacial Energy receives tax breaks in the U.S. Virgin Islands through the Economic Development Commission.

The St. Thomas Source, a U.S. Virgin Islands newspaper, reported that International Peace Information Service—a non-governmental organization that criticizes conflict mining and other abuses—spotlighted Gemico as conducting activity suspiciously similar to blood diamond mining, while claiming it is actually mining for tin and other alluvial mineral deposits.

Roberts appears to have close ties to Margie Duncan, Glacier Energy’s director of public and government relations. The two appear in photos together on Duncan’s Facebook page, and Roberts once served as Duncan’s attorney in a criminal case, despite specializing tax law.