Big tech, big oil and defense help underwrite Obama inaugural
President Barack Obama raised more than $43 million for his second inaugural, including seven-figure donations from some of the nation's biggest tech, defense and energy companies, a report filed on Saturday with the Federal Election Commission shows.
The top donor to the 2013 presidential inaugural was AT&T, which gave $4.6 million in equipment and services. That single donation equalled more than all of the inaugural committee's smallest donors (those who gave $200 or less than therefore did not have contributions itemized in the FEC report) combined.
Other members of the seven-figure check club: Microsoft, which gave more than $2 million, along with Boeing and Chevron, each of which chipped in $1 million. Four years ago, Obama refused to accept corporate donors and capped contributions at $50,000. This time around, his inaugural committee collected nearly 180 donations above that amount. Unions and corporations were responsible for $17.9 million of the money the Obama inaugural committee raised, a Sunlight analysis found.
And while the president refused to accept donations from lobbyists, he took plenty from individuals and entities with lobbying agendas before Congress, as Influence Exporer profiles show.
- AT&T has spent more than $205 million lobbying on issues ranging from homeland security and privacy issues, Internet access and taxes;
- Microsoft has spent more than $100 million to influence Congress on a range of matters, including the immigration bill now coming before the Senate, which tech companies are hoping will provide them with more access to highly skilled computer experts from overseas.
- Chevron has spent $97 million lobbying, mostly on tax and energy issues. The company made headlines last year by donating $2.5 million to a super PAC linked to House Speaker John Boehner.
- Boeing's lobbying tab is more than $167 million; the defense contractor will be looking to stop losses from sequestration. Late last week, it received a green light from the federal government to begin flying its troubled 787 aircraft again.
The largest individual donor to Obama's campaign was Timothy Gill of Denver. Creator of the popular Quark software, Gill now runs the Gill Foundation, which advocates for civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. Obama endorsed gay marriage during his second presidential campaign, and made a clarion call for its recognition during his second inaugural address.
See below for a complete list of Obama inaugural donors, searchable and sortable by name, amount and state. Note, some names repeat in the data provided by the 2013 inaugural committee, but we are relying on the aggregate contribution numbers to figure totals.
(Photo credit: The White House via Flickr)