Barack Obama: Whose Money Is This?
Blame Barry Eisler. He sent out a MySpace Bulletin with the Chabon link. As usual, I start trouble by being curious.
Michael Chabon wrote a rather irritating OpEd in the Washington Post endorsing Obama. (Where was his optimism when Nader ran? Can he say with a straight face he supported Kerry? Can anyone?)
So, I decided to go to Obama’s site. The first thing I am hit with is a screen to sign up and an autoplay video with a pitch from Obama himself. This does not win my affection.
I trim the URL to bypass the unwanted invite and get into the main site (how many regular people would know to do that?).
I am on a mission. If Obama is so damned great, who is funding him?
I go through 13 pages of FAQ, most of which is about his political positions, how to send him money, and how to buy his schwag(!). Really! Obama has merch. (And he assures us in the FAQ with a Yes that it is Union Made. Uhhhh… is that American Union? That’s not specified. Odd that no one asked if the merch is Made In America!)
OK, this list of contributors thing just isn’t happening. It’s not one of the Qs in FAQ. And, really, why should I send an email that might take days to get a reply — if ever (hello, Dubai! I’m looking at you!).
So I go to the Federal Elections Committee and look up Obama.
Scrolling down the list of contributors, something stands out right away:
ACCOUNTER – 30,523.34
Most of the contributions up to that point were four-figure. This is the first five-figure one.
So who is this? I Google and come up empty. How is that possible? A thirty-thousand dollar contribution is not pocket change. It has to come from some company that should be easily found via Google. Why isn’t it? Who is this?
ALLSCRIPTS – 11,030.00
This company is found via Google. They do electronic medical records. But at the time of writing this, their website refuses to load.
Here’s something interesting:
ALSTEN&BIRD – 750.00
ALSTON & BIRD – 1,500.00
ALSTON & BIRD LLP – 5,189.87
ALSTON & BIRD, LLP – 500.00
ALSTON AND BIRD – 1,000.00
ALSTON HUNT FLOYD & ING – 3,000.00
ALSTON& BIRD LLP – 100.00
Through the magic of creative typing, one firm is shown as several, thus spreading the total contribution apart. This is a law firm.
The same thing happens with Apple:
APPLE – 1,391.89
APPLE INC – 2,400.00
APPLE INC. – 705.00
APPLE, INC. – 527.80
Bank of America — the company that wanted to give credit cards to illegal aliens — puts in a big lump:
BANK OF AMERICA – 14,535.00
Bryan Cave, a law firm, gave big too:
BRYAN CAVE – 250.00
BRYAN CAVE LLP – 9,386.00
BRYAN CAVE, LLC – 200.00
That’s pretty sweet, how they can drop the corporation designation, then use LLP, then use LLC to mask three contributions.
Here’s a neat trick too:
CENTAURUS – 4,600.00
CENTAURUS ENERGY – 6,900.00
CENTAURUS ENERGY MANAGEMENT COMPANY – 2,300.00
What’s especially neat is that they have a one-page website. Yet they can give over ten-thousand dollars? Oh I see. It’s doesn’t make energy. It’s a hedge fund. Remember that name. I’m sure it will make headlines. Bad ones.
It helps to have many divisions. I guess this is why the Suits just love mergers.
CITI – 1,600.00
CITI GROUP GLOBAL MARKETS, INC – 500.00
CITI PRIVATE BANK – 250.00
CITI SMITH BARNEY – 500.00
CITIBANK – 880.73
CITIGROUP – 21,850.79
CITIGROUP GLOBAL MARKETS – 1,000.00
CITIGROUP GLOBAL MARKETS INC. – 150.00
CITIGROUP GLOBAL MARKETS LTD. – 2,300.00
CITIGROUP INC – 100.00
Yeah, this multi-division thing is really sweet:
COLDWELL BANK – 1,500.00
COLDWELL BANKER – 7,497.42
COLDWELL BANKER BAIN – 500.00
COLDWELL BANKER BURNET – 929.00
COLDWELL BANKER GUNDAKER – 100.00
COLDWELL BANKER MCKENZIE – 150.00
COLDWELL BANKER REAL ESTATE – 107.95
Look at this! Government can get in on it too:
COMMONWEALTH OF MA – 1,200.00
COMMONWEALTH OF MASS – 250.00
COMMONWEALTH OF MASS. – 1,550.00
COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS – 3,482.59
COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS – GOVERN – 1,000.00
COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS EASTERN – 200.00
Hey, Suits! Abbreviations can be your friend!
Damn. Even typos are good:
COVINGTON & BURLING – 18,550.00
COVINGTON & BURLING LLP – 2,839.70
COVINGTON AND BURTING – 500.00
Using a T instead of L is pretty neat. Just blame it on the damned temp who had to type it in. And it is a typo. Ain’t no Covington & Burting. It’s Covington & Burling, a law firm.
Lawyers like to give:
CRAVATH SWAINE & MOORE – 2,300.00
CRAVATH, SLUAINE & MOORE LLP – 1,300.00
CRAVATH, SWAINE & MOORE LLP – 5,850.00
CREDIT SUISSA – 250.00
CREDIT SUISSE – 25,350.00
Another typo. Here’s some more:
DEBELOISE & PLIMPTON LLP – 2,300.00
DEBEVOISE – 300.00
DEBEVOISE & PLIMPTON – 1,400.00
DEBEVOISE & PLIMPTON LLP – 4,750.00
Of course, another law firm.
Again, having lots of bits to make up your company can go far:
DELOITTE – 1,050.00
DELOITTE & TOUCHE – 925.00
DELOITTE & TOUCHE LLP – 250.00
DELOITTE CONSULTING – 1,375.00
DELOITTE CONSULTING LLC – 75.00
DELOITTE CONSULTING LLP – 1,250.00
DELOITTE FAS – 500.00
DELOITTE FAS LLP – 200.00
DELOITTE SERVICES LP – 500.00
DELOITTE TAX LLP – 552.00
DELOITTE TAX, LLP – 1,000.00
DELOITTE TOUCHE TOHMATSU – 550.00
Here’s an eye-opener:
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE – 4,815.82
Ah, so this is where tuition money goes (nah, it’s probably alumni bequest money):
DEPAUL UNIVERSITY – 5,905.59
DEPAUL UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW – 100.00
DEPAUL UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW & SEL – 100.00
Oh look who likes Obama too:
DEUTSCHE BANK – 11,429.50
DEUTSCHE BANK AG – 500.00
DEUTSCHE BANK SECURITIES INC – 13,800.00
DEUTSCHEBANK – 300.00
Wow. Look at this consecutive sequence of fortuitous typos:
DEWEY & LABERUF LLP – 250.00
DEWEY & LEBOEUF – 1,300.00
DEWEY & LEBOEUF LLP – 100.00
DEWEY BALLANTINE LLP – 15.00
DEWEY BALLEN FINE LLP – 2,300.00
DEWEY LEBOEUF – 500.00
I’ve only gotten to the Ds but I think I’ve found the most interesting Obama contributor. Digital Gravel, Inc.
DIGITAL GRAVEL, INC. – 250.00
They offer this T-shirt for sale:
It’s called: FIFTY24SF: ‘Grotesk 01’ women’s t-shirt.
Sorry, no direct link to the shirt, but here’s the one to the JPEG.. (And I took a screensnap Just In Case it mysteriously disappears. Like Saddam did — down some rat hole.)
This T-shirt is particularly interesting because of what our own government asserts:
A TSA [transportation security officer] told me that coming to a US airport with Arabic words on my T-shirt was equivalent to visiting a bank while wearing a shirt that read “I’m a robber”.
If Obama wore it, would they think he’s a terrorist?
This is the first time I’ve ever looked into an FEC statement.
More tomorrow, if I’m not busy with other things. (God, I hope I will be!)
In the meantime, if anyone from the Obama campaign happens to read this, just who or what is “Accounter?”