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Angie Drobnic Holan
By Angie Drobnic Holan April 17, 2008

Obama rejects lobbyist money

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton aired television ads about the oil and gas industry just before the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania.

Obama's ad asserts, "Obama's the only candidate who doesn't take a dime from oil company PACs or lobbyists. And that's change we can believe in."

Obama has stated he has a policy of not accepting campaign contributions from political action committees or lobbyists. There's a bit of fine print on this, however, as we've reported previously . Obama does not take money from registered federal lobbyists, but he does take money from state lobbyists, retired lobbyists and spouses of lobbyists.

The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics has a broad definition of lobbyist money that includes contributions from spouses of lobbyists. By its reckoning, Obama has received $115,163 in money from lobbyists based on data released on March 20, 2008.

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We can't say how much of that comes from contributors connected with oil and gas lobbyists versus other kinds of lobbyists. Many lobbyists represent more than one industry.

It's worth noting, however, that Obama's total lags his significantly behind Clinton, who got $865,290, from lobbyists, and John McCain, who got $590,952.

Is it possible that Barack Obama took "a dime" from someone connected to oil and gas lobbyists? Yes. But it looks as if Obama took good-faith measures not to accept money from current lobbyists for any industry, including oil and gas. For these reasons, we find his statement Mostly True.

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Obama rejects lobbyist money

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