DNC to return lobbyists donations after OpenSecrets.org blog exposes them 

Donations from at least 10 registered lobbyists during the 2010 election cycle are being returned by the Democratic National Committee after questions were raised about them by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).

"We're in the process of reimbursing the money," DNC spokeswoman Caroline Ciccone told OpenSecrets Blog. "For whatever reason, be it human error, they gave donations that were out of line with our policy." OpenSecrets blog is CRP's blog.

President Obama promised in June 2008 to much fanfare that neither he nor the DNC would accept money from either political action committees (PACs) or registered lobbyists if he was elected.

"On the DNC's website, a disclaimer states that contributions to the committee must not be 'made from the funds of an individual registered as a federal lobbyist or a foreign agent, or an entity that is a federally registered lobbying firm or foreign agent.'" OpenSecrets blog noted.

More than $275,000 in contributions from lobbyists were accepted by the DNC prior to June 2008 as part of its $2245 million total of donations. The 2010 contributions by lobbysts amounted to significantly less than in 2008, but included some notable names:

"For example, Walker Roberts, a lobbyist at BGR Government Affairs who donated $200 to the DNC on October 15, 2010, according to the Center's review of FEC records, boasts of serving 'nearly 17 years under four chairmen on the staff of the House Committee on International Relations,'" OpenSecrets blog said.

"And his clients during the past two years have included IBM, the American Chamber of Commerce in China and Raytheon, as well as the governments of India, Kazakhstan and Poland."

The Republican National Committee does not have a policy against accepting contributions from registered lobbyists or PACs.

For more from the OpenSecrets blog, go here.

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