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OPINION

Former Lobbyist Holds Obama Fundraiser

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Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has promised he would not accept campaign donations from lobbyists, but apparently former lobbyists don’t fall into his self-imposed ban.

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Antill E. Trotter, who lobbied Congress from 2000-2004, is holding an “exclusive” fundraiser for him this evening, just blocks away from his Senate office at Union Station in Washington D.C.

According to Obama’s campaign website, the minimum donation to attend is $1,000 and donations are encouraged up to $10,000. Those who raised at least $10,000 are given access to a “special pre-reception” with Obama.

Senate lobbying records show Trotter was a registered federal lobbyist for Sher and Blackwell, LLP. Trotter specialized in telecommunications, transportation and environmental issues from 2000-2004. Some of Trotter's clients included AT&T, The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, NCS Healthcare and the World Shipping Council.

Trotter's lobbying record can be accessed here by searching for Antill Trotter under “lobbyist name.”

Although Obama has tried to distance himself from lobbyists as a presidential candidate, news reports have surfaced showing he’s worked closely with lobbyists as both a U.S. senator and an Illinois state senator.

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ABC News found Obama introduced nine separate bills to make certain chemicals tax-exempt at the request of some corporate lobbyists working for an Australian corporation, Nufarm, worth $12 billion in tax breaks for the company.

Insurance lobbyist Phil Lackman told the Boston Globe he worked with Obama on health care legislation in Illinois. "Barack is a very reasonable person who clearly recognized the various roles involved in the healthcare system," said Lackman.

Lackman worked with Obama to make the “Health Care Justice Act” more acceptable to insurance companies.

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