Companies employing donors to U.S. President Barack Obama’s presidential foundation as well as its board members have spent big bucks in the past seven years trying to influence the federal government on a variety of issues including Wall Street regulation, cybersecurity and anti-competition laws. Their lobbying records offer clues to what they may want from the president before he leaves office in 2017.
Altogether, companies associated with all of the major Obama foundation donors and the boards of directors of the foundation have spent roughly $7 million lobbying the federal government since 2009 when Obama took the oath of office for the first time. That includes $1.3 million in just the last year, as money has poured in to Obama’s foundation. The donors include:
— James Simons, who along with wife Marilyn has donated $500,000 to $1 million to the foundation, is the founder of investment management firm Renaissance Technologies. Since 2009, Renaissance has spent nearly $3 million lobbying the federal government. Recently, the company has listed issues in its lobbying disclosure reports like “tax issues related to hedge funds” and derivatives taxation.
— Roger Fross, chairman of the Joyce Foundation — which has donated $500,000 to $1 million to the Obama foundation — is a partner at the law firm Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell. Since 2014, LLBL has spent $92,500 lobbying the government on issues related to automotive sales, estate taxes and workforce development.
— John Rogers, who has donated $250,000 to $500,000 to the foundation, is CEO and chief investment officer for Ariel Investments. Ariel spent $260,000 from 2010 to 2013 lobbying the federal government on issues including racial and gender retirement security.
— John Doerr, an American venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins and board member at Google, sits on the foundation’s board of directors. Kleiner Perkins has spent $2.2 million since 2009 lobbying the federal government recently on issues such issues as cybersecurity, data security and immigration reform.
— David Plouffe, Obama’s 2008 campaign manager and former senior adviser, sits on the president’s foundational board. Plouffe has worked for ride-share service Uber since 2014 and became a strategic adviser for the company in May 2015. Uber has overseen a fast-growing lobbying footprint in Washington and spent nearly $1.6 million since it started its lobbying effort in 2013. The company has been interested in lobbying about anti-competition law and issues related to the on-demand economy .
As International Business Times previously reported, having Obama in the White House may already be benefiting some of the foundation’s major donors. The president’s controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal could help investors gain access to capital and investments in emerging markets — which TPP detractors say could dilute U.S. financial regulation.