The Center for Responsive Politics has released a new database of Obama’s transition team members and their research suggests it might not have been just their resumes and expertise that got them places on the team. According to the research, many members of the team either contributed to Obama’s campaign or were current or former lobbyists.
The Center provides a useful breakdown of the numbers:
$824,155: Minimum total that transition team members contributed to Obama’s campaign and to joint fundraising committees formed to support his election. Like figures below, this amount may well be higher. Lacking more than just a name for many team members, CRP has not been able to match everyone to our databases.
$3,869.27: Average contribution to Obama and joint fundraising committees from those on the transition team who contributed to the president-elect this election cycle. Supporters were limited to giving $4,600 directly to Obama since the start of 2007 but could give additional money to the Democratic party.
56: Percent of all announced transition team members who contributed to Obama or a joint fundraising committee supporting his candidacy.
$2 million: Total amount that donating transition team members gave to Democratic candidates and committees this cycle.
$7,977.04: Average contribution that donating transition team members gave to all federal candidates, parties and committees this election cycle. Any individual could give up to $108,200 this election cycle. The percentage of Americans who give even $200 to federal politics is less than one-half of 1 percent.
6: Number of team members who, apparently, didn’t give money to any Democratic party committee or candidate, including Obama, but contributed to Republicans or other parties.
23: Number of transition team leaders who are, or have been since 1998, federally registered lobbyists. Seven of them were registered lobbyists as of the start of this year. Obama has prohibited currently registered lobbyists from working on his transition team in fields of policy on which they’ve tried to influence Congress in the last year. They’re also required to stop all lobbying activity during their transition work.
14: Number of transition team members who raised at least $50,000 for Obama’s campaign. Every one of these bundlers also gave at least $2,300 to Obama out of his or her own pocket.
$2.8 million: Minimum total amount bundled by members of the transition team.
Once again, it’s important to make note of these facts and to consider how they might shape progressive strategy.