Obama's well-heeled friends beneficiaries of earmarks

Barack Obama has a long and expensive history of earmarking. He has used them to benefit political allies in Chicago (Pastor Wright, Father Pfleger, Reverend Meeks). He has also used them to benefit financial donors (the slumlords and newly minted felon Tony Rezko).

Now a new one comes to light-courtesy of the Washington Times. Senator Obama tried to direct a 3 million dollar earmark to a museum that has as its chairman one of Obama's largest

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama tried to direct more than $3 million in taxpayer funds to a Chicago museum whose chairman is one of the Illinois senator's largest campaign fundraisers.

Mr. Obama has twice since fiscal 2006 sought to have taxpayers foot the bill for a new theater projector and other equipment at the Adler Planetarium on the Lake Michigan waterfront. Neither of the requests, which totaled $3.3 million, was approved by Congress, the museum said.

The planetarium's chairman, then and still, is Frank Clark, chief executive of ComEd, a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Energy. He has pledged to raise more than $200,000 for Mr. Obama's run for the White House.

Moreover, the Adler Planetarium is represented by the lobbying firm National Group LLP, co-founded by William Oldaker, who helped launch Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s political action committee in 2005. Mr. Oldaker, a partner with the Delaware Democrat's son in another Washington lobbying and law firm, is no longer involved with Mr. Biden's PAC, Unite Our States.

Frank Clark is chief executive of Com Ed, a unit of Exelon Energy. Those two names ring bells. Bill Ayers is one of Obama's radical friends and a man who launched Obama's political career with a fundraiser at his home. Bill Ayers father once headed Commonwealth Edison - the precursor of Com Ed.

What also might be striking is that David Axelrod, Obama's campaigns strategist, runs a lobbying firm that benefited greatly from running a phony "grassroots campaign" for ComEd in that utility's quest to charge higher rates to Illinois consumers.

Those are the little people Obama is supposed to be fighting for, right?
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