"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.



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