Friday, November 14, 2008

Obama's Less Transparent Carlyle Group Bundlers

While lobbying firms burnish their Democratic credentials, trade groups look for insider connections to the Obama transitions team. The wireless industry offered numerous connections, including:

Though not having an official title on the Obama-Biden transition team, former FCC chairman William Kennard — a Clinton appointee who succeeded Hundt as agency chief — is likely to have an influential voice on telecom and high tech matters during the transition and afterward when the Obama administration takes power early next year. Kennard, a managing director of The Carlyle Group’s global telecommunications and media unit, was a $500,000 bundler for Obama.

High dollar bundlers raised over $40 million for Barack Obama according to Open Secrets. Look at how these two gentlemen were listed:

$50,000-$100,000 Johnson, Mark
Washington, DC

Is his employer The Carlyle Group, the Carlyle Hotel, or the law firm Carlyle Womble? It's hard to tell. Next up:

$500,000 Kennard, Bill
Washington, DC

One might conclude Bill Kennard to be self employed. Nope, Bill is the William Kennard mentioned earlier, the Managing Director of The Carlyle Group. Ironically, Mark Johnson works in the same division as William E. Kennard at Carlyle, telecom & media.

And right before the Democratic National Convention, Senator Barack Obama voted for telecom immunity. I thought it was a nod to AT&T for their sponsorship of the big event. But, it turns out Barack could've had other motivations.

Note: William Kennard was appointed as European Union Ambassador by President Obama.

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