Pennsylvania Dem Candidate Who Criticized Role of Money in Politics Gave $100K to Obama, Asked for Ambassadorship

Scott Wallace / YouTube
September 6, 2018

Democratic congressional candidate and millionaire Scott Wallace now repeatedly attacks money’s influence in politics despite the fact he donated large sums of money to former President Barak Obama’s campaign.

The wealthy Pennsylvania Democrat gave more than $100,000 to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and Inaugural Committee. He also asked former Obama advisor John Podesta to appoint him as U.S. ambassador to South Africa, Fox News reports.

In 2008, Wallace and his wife Christy gave two donations totaling almost $60,000 to the Obama Victory Fund, which served as the former president’s political action committee. In that same year, he gave the maximum donation–$50,000–to the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which earned Wallace tickets to the swearing-in ceremony.

While he donated to Obama, Wallace also sought the ambassadorship in South Africa, a country he lived in for several years while managing the Wallace Global Fund’s work there.

On Nov. 3, 2008, Wallace broached the subject in an email to Podesta. "I know you must have a million things on your plate, but as I mentioned to you, Elizabeth and Smith Bagley were encouraging me to reach out to you sooner rather than later about a possible appointment in an Obama administration."

"I am passionate about helping South Africa achieve its full promise, and see its upcoming elections and the next couple of years as critical to the health of its democracy," Wallace continued. "It has become my second country, and I would be deeply honored to be considered to represent President Obama as ambassador there."

Wallace followed up a few weeks later, telling Podesta he listed him as a reference in his application for a position in the Obama administration.

Despite his past donations, the Democratic candidate has repeatedly lambasted the role of money in politics during his campaign. "Money corrupts politics and it corrupts it absolutely," he said at the Bucks County Democratic Forum.

Wallace has also attacked President Donald Trump for privileging donors. "But when his buddies in Congress, like Paul Ryan and Brian Fitzpatrick, finally OK’d his massive tax cuts for corporations and billionaires, what did Trump do? Jetted to his Florida country club and bragged to a roomful of people who paid $200,000 to get in the door, that they all ‘just got a lot richer,’" he said in a news release earlier this year.

FEC records show Wallace has continued to make large political donations. In May 2017, he gave $33,900 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He donated similar amounts to the DCCC in 2015 and 2016.

Wallace is running against Republican incumbent Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District.