The Truth-O-Meter Says:

"Hillary Clinton has taken over $800,000 from lobbyists."

Barack Obama on Thursday, April 17th, 2008 in an online ad.

Clinton accepts lobbyist money

If you were wondering how Washington works, an ad from the Barack Obama campaign ostensibly offers a primer – "A Guide to Understanding Washington Lobbyists" — while it attacks Hillary Clinton.

The Web-only ad outlines the following steps with on-screen text:

Step 1: "Lobbyists donate to politicians."

Step 2: "Politicians defend lobbyists."

Step 3: "Americans pay the price."

As part of the first step, the ad states:

"Senator Hillary Clinton has taken over $800,000 from lobbyists, more money than any other candidate — Republican or Democrat:

* Over $130,000 from energy lobbyists

* Over $130,000 from drug company lobbyists

* Over $125,000 from health care and insurance lobbyists."

We asked the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, which categorizes and analyzes political contributions, whether this text was accurate.

The $800,000 number is correct. A recent analysis by the center showed Clinton has accepted $865,290 from lobbyists, based on data released on March 20, 2008.

The threshold of contributions by industry the ad lists for Clinton is probably too low, said Massie Ritsch, a spokesman for the center.

The center's analysis found the following amounts that lobbyists gave to Clinton:

* Energy: $442,800

* Pharmaceuticals/health products: $450,450

* Hospitals, health services/HMOs and insurance companies: $552,050

* Health professionals: $114,755.

Based on these numbers, we find Obama's statement that Clinton has taken more than $800,000 from lobbyists to be True.

About this statement:

Published: Thursday, April 17th, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

Subjects: Ethics


Center for Responsive Politics, Contributions from Selected Industries: Lobbyists , March 20, 2008

Interview with Massie Ritsch of the Center for Responsive Politics

Written by: Angie Drobnic Holan
Researched by: Angie Drobnic Holan
Edited by: Scott Montgomery

How to contact us:

We want to hear your suggestions and comments.

For tips or comments on our Obameter and our GOP-Pledge-O-Meter promise databases, please e-mail the Obameter. If you are commenting on a specific promise, please include the wording of the promise.

For comments about our Truth-O-Meter or Flip-O-Meter items, please e-mail the Truth-O-Meter. We’re especially interested in seeing any chain e-mails you receive that you would like us to check out. If you send us a comment, we'll assume you don't mind us publishing it unless you tell us otherwise.

Browse The Truth-O-MeterTM: