Obama's economic advisers

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I had an exchange that began with an email linking to a Slate article on Jim Johnson and Frank Raines (formerly of Fannie Mae) and making these claims:

This guy is Obama senior advisor

Also Frank Raines is another top Obama advisor and both are close personal friends

I responded:

That's typical executive-suite greed, all right...Obama's economic advisers are a bit too right-of-center for my tastes, so I'm not surprised that there are a few scandals in their closets.

If you're going to complain about overpaid execs with a history of shameful economic decisions, how about McCain's advisers Phil Gramm (the Enron loophole, financial deregulation) and Carly Fiorina (fired from HP, $21 million severance package)?

What's good for the goose...

In yet another self-taught lesson in verifying email claims before assuming their veracity, I did a little more research and followed up with this:

I erred in accepting your assertions about Johnson and Raines; neither of them advises Obama on economics or anything else.

Jim Johnson was part of Obama's VP search committee, but was not an adviser.

Neither was Frank Raines: "Frank Raines has never advised Senator Obama about anything -- ever." (Source: AP)

Economists for Obama has a list of Obama's actual economic advisers, in case you're interested...

Mother Jones observes the GOP's hypocrisy this way: "McCain Attacks Wall Street Greed--While 83 Wall Street Lobbyists Work for His Campaign." There are 177 lobbyists "working for the McCain campaign as either aides, policy advisers, or fundraisers:"

...at least 83 have in recent years lobbied for the financial industry McCain now attacks. These are high-paid influence-peddlers who have been working the corridors of the nation's capital to win favors and special treatment for investment banks, securities firms, hedge funds, accounting outfits, and insurance companies. Their clients have included AIG, the newest symbol of corporate excess; Lehman Brothers, which filed for bankruptcy on Monday sending the stock market into a tailspin; Merrill Lynch, which was bought out by Bank of America this week; and Washington Mutual, the banking giant that could be the next to fall.

The DNC's report "No Reformer" (600KB PDF) looks at McCain's team of lobbyists and their financial power:

McCain's herd of lobbyists have made over $930 million over the last decade representing every major industry, from oil and gas to health insurance, telecommunications and pharmaceutical companies and a host of foreign governments, including dictators and despots guilty of murder and egregious human rights abuses. McCain has taken nearly $12 million in contributions from donors and PACs affiliated with clients represented by those lobbyists.

Massie Ritsch at Open Secrets has a good summary of the financial industry's contributions to both candidates:

Overall, the securities and investment industry has contributed about $10 million to Obama and $7 million to McCain. To all federal candidates for president and Congress, and to political parties, the industry has contributed more than $101 million in the 2008 election cycle, 56 percent of it to Democrats. The Democrats' edge is a relatively recent development, however; Republicans had the advantage for most of the last 10 years. Contributions from the commercial banking industry are roughly split between Obama and McCain -- $2 million for the Democrat, $1.9 million for the Republican. The banking industry has contributed about $25 million in this election cycle to federal candidates and parties, giving 52 percent to Republicans.

The cynic in me wonders: Are those contributors going to get their money's worth from Obama, or are they just hedging their bets against a McCain loss?

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on September 20, 2008 8:24 AM.

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