Obama $77,051 Biggest Recipient Of BP Cash

Sarah Palin accused US President Barack Obama on Sunday of leading a lax response to the Gulf of Mexico spill because he is too close to the big oil companies. BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Donations come from a mix of employees and the company’s political action committees — $2.89 million flowed to campaigns from BP-related PACs and about $638,000 came from individuals. During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records. Center for Responsive Politics.

Presidential Fundraising and Spending, 1976 – 2008

Total Contributions to
Presidential Candidates*

Total Receipts
Primary Receipts
General Election Public Funding
General Election Private Funding
Convention Public Funding

Total Spending by
Presidential Candidates*

Total Spent

* In millions
Numbers are not adjusted for inflation.

In 2008 alone, BP gave $37,000 to members of the House Energy Committee and $106,501 to members of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which deals with security issues facing the nation’s oil supply. Other politicians with ties to coastal states or states with BP refineries have also reaped benefits from the fourth largest company in the world. The top congressional recipients of BP campaign cash include Republican Rep. Don Young of the oil-intensive Alaska delegation, who has received almost as much as Obama, raking in $73,300 during his congressional tenure. Also on the list is Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio), whose state has a BP refinery in Toledo and who has raked in $41,400. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has received $44,899.

University of California $1,591,395
Goldman Sachs
Harvard University $854,747
Microsoft Corp
Google Inc $803,436
Citigroup Inc
JPMorgan Chase & Co
Time Warner
Sidley Austin LLP $588,598
Stanford University $586,557
National Amusements Inc $551,683
Wilmerhale Llp $542,618
Skadden, Arps et al $530,839
IBM Corp $528,822
Columbia University $528,302
Morgan Stanley
General Electric
US Government $494,820
Latham & Watkins $493,835

BP has also evolved in its corporate giving over the past decade, shifting more money to Democrats. In 2000, the company gave almost 39 percent more to Republicans than to Democrats. But by 2008, Democrats had nearly pulled even with Republicans on BP donations.

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