Big Oil Helps Bankroll Obama Inaugural

Oil giant Exxon Mobil plans to donate $250,000 to help foot the bill for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration today.

During the presidential debates with Governor Mitt Romney, Obama singled out the oil company by name and blasted them as a corporate welfare recipient who profits off voters’ pain at the pump. “The oil industry gets $4 billion a year in corporate welfare,” Obama said. “Now, does anybody think that Exxon Mobil needs some extra money when they're making money every time you go to the pump? Why wouldn't we want to eliminate that?”

And in a speech last March, Obama once again attacked Exxon Mobil by name. "It’s not as if these companies can’t stand on their own,” said Obama. “Last year, the three biggest U.S. oil companies took home more than $80 billion in profits. Exxon pocketed nearly $4.7 million every hour."

According to the Obama Inaugural Committee website, Exxon Mobil’s $250,000 institutional donation entitles them to the following insider perks:

$250,000.00 Jefferson - Institution Contribution - Special Partner

2 tickets to the Childrens Concert + Invitation to the Finance Committee's "Road Ahead" meeting + 2 tickets to the Candle Light Celebration at the National Building Museum + 2 tickets to the Inaugural Ball

In addition, Exxon Mobil Attorney Judith Batty has donated $10,750 to the Obama inaugural festivities.

So will Obama, who previously promised to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet, return the over quarter-million dollars in donations mega oil producer Exxon Mobil has contributed? 

Not likely. In 2008, Exxon Mobil donated $117,946 to Obama, far more than the $73,326 it donated to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Chevron and BP also ponied up big bucks for Obama, giving $77,875 and $71,051, respectively.

But this time around, the Obama Inaugural Committee has been far less open and transparent with donor information than they were four years ago, reports The Hill:

Obama is releasing less information about his Inaugural donors than he did in 2009. The Sunlight Foundation noted the Inaugural committee only posted the donors’ names online this time — not the contribution amount or the contributor’s occupation and city, like in 2009.

“They are telling us that they cannot meet the standard of transparency they set up four years ago. They’re backsliding,” said Kathy Kiely, Sunlight’s managing editor.

The White House disagrees. Obama spokesman Eric Schultz says that Obama “has done more to reduce the influence of special interests in Washington than any administration in history,” Schultz said.

AT&T, Microsoft, and Southern Co. Services Inc., have also donated to Obama’s second inauguration. These three companies and Exxon Mobil all donated to President George W. Bush’s inauguration as well.


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