President Barack Obama reversed a ban on corporate donors leading up to his second inauguration on Jan. 21 in an effort to meet a reported $50 million fundraising goal.
Spending massive sums on the pomp and circumstance surrounding the ceremony that have become almost synonymous with presidential inauguration. Former President George W. Bush’s inaugural committee raised an estimated $42 million on his 2000 swearing-in festivities, while Bill Clinton’s team spent more than $33 million in 1992, the Center for Responsive Politics reports.
As a result, a combination of individual and corporate donations and taxpayer funds are being expended to cover Obama’s upcoming ceremony. But so far, only eight corporations have contributed to the 2013 inaugural committee, according to a donor list posted on the committee’s website.
Documents filed with the Federal Election Commission will eventually reveal the full list of donors. Legally, the information does not have to be submitted until 90 days after the inauguration.
So far, Obama’s corporate donors include:
United Therapeutics (NASDAQ:UTHR) The $1.5 billion pharmaceutical company has been seeking Federal Drug Administration approval for a lung disorder drug. The medication was just rejected in October.
Southern Company (NYSE:SO) One of the nation’s biggest utility providers, it may be compensating for being a traditionally Republican donor. The Center for Responsive Politics reports it has one of the largest federal lobbying budgets in the nation. The company has lobbied extensively against environmental regulations, according to the Center for Public integrity.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) The world's biggest software company donated more than $764,000 to Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. Founder and chairman Bill Gates is a top donor to Democratic causes.
AT&T (NYSE:T) The company, which the Center for Public Integrity reports has spent more than $64 million on federal lobbying during Obama’s first term, also gave almost $200,000 to Obama 2012.
Centene Corp (NYSE:CNC) The company, which manages Medicaid for the states, has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying Congress on health care issues.
Financial Innovations Inc.: A relatively small-time Democratic donor, the marketing and merchandising firm reportedly ran the Obama campaign’s online store.
Genentech Inc: The biotech company expended almost $16 lobbying Congress between 2009 and 2012, often in support of health care reform.
Stream Line Circle LLC: The firm is controlled by businessman and gay rights activist Jon Stryker. Last year he donated $2 million to the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA.
Ashley covers U.S. politics for the International Business Times, with a focus on civil liberties, women's issues and campaign finance. Her work has also appeared in The...