Tags: citibank | obama | donors

Citibank Top Donor to Obama Inauguration

Thursday, 15 Jan 2009 11:43 AM

By Jim Meyers

Employees of Citibank, which received $45 billion in rescue funds in the federal bailout, have contributed the most to Barack Obama’s inauguration fund — at least $113,000 as of Wednesday.

And the bank is lobbying behind the scenes for more money from the second $350 billion installment of federal bailout funds, according to The New York Times.

Among the contributions from Citibank executives is $50,000 from Ray McGuire, the bank’s co-head of global investment banking, and $50,000 from Louis Susman, the recently retired vice chairman of Citigroup, the Huffington Post reports.

Susman also bundled $300,000 in donations for the inaugural committee, according to Politico.com.

Bundlers are fundraisers who collect checks from friends and associates and deliver them to a campaign or committee.

Citigroup employees also gave $586,000 to Obama during the 2008 election cycle.

“No doubt many donors give simply because they want to be part of history,” said Craig Holman, a campaign finance lobbyist for the non-partisan watchdog group Public Citizen.

“But donors and bundlers who represent special interests with business pending before the government and who dole out five-figure checks to the inaugural committee usually want a seat at the table with the new administration.”

Other bailed-out banks that have contributed to the inauguration fund include Goldman Sachs ($44,500) and JPMorgan Chase ($30,600).

Nearly 80 percent of the $35 million raised by Obama’s inaugural committee has come from just 211 bundlers, according to Public Citizen.

And as Newsmax reported last week, 378 donors had at that point contributed the maximum $50,000 allowed by Obama, raising almost 70 percent of the total.

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