2020 Democratic presidential primary candidate Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has railed against lobbyists in her run for her party’s presidential nomination but took nearly $100,000 from them during her Senate campaigns.
A new report by CNBC revealed that the Massachusetts Democrat had taken $95,000 from federally-registered lobbyists during her 2012 and 2018 Senate election campaigns.
The revelation came after Warren unveiled her new plan to tackle corruption in Washington in Medium on Monday, which includes proposals to prevent lobbyists from making donations to political campaigns.
“My plan not only bans lobbyists from making political contributions, it also bans them from bundling donations or hosting fundraisers for political candidates,” wrote Warren.
While the $95,000 she took from lobbyists is just a drop in the bucket of Warren’s Senate campaign funds, those funds were moved over to help kickstart her presidential campaign as a part of a $10.4 million transfer.
The Massachusetts senator’s did not fight that they had taken lobbyist money in the past, with Warren’s deputy press secretary Saloni Sharma telling CNBC that “every candidate” running for the Oval Office “should step up” and end donations from federal lobbyists as well as support Warren’s plan.
“For nearly two years, Elizabeth’s campaign operation has screened and rejected federal lobbyist donations. For over a year, she has rallied candidates and Members of Congress to support her legislation to ban federal lobbyist donations. Instead of cynically attacking a handful of old donations dwarfed by millions of grassroots contributions in order to deflect from their own practices, every candidate for President should step up, reject federal lobbyist contributions, and support Elizabeth’s comprehensive anti-corruption platform, which would end it permanently.”
One of Warren’s lobbyist donors was “not happy” with her plan to end their ability to contribute to campaigns, calling the proposal “silly.”
“I’m not happy with the overall plan. I think the whole thing is silly,” said Robert Crowe, a lobbyist for Nelson Mullins, on Tuesday. Crowe has also lobbied for large companies, such as tech giant Google.
Crowe cut two checks to Warren in 2011 for $2,500 each — the maximum amount an individual donor can give directly to a campaign.
Warren’s campaign also accepted a $2,500 donation from Gerald Cassidy. Cassidy founded the firm Cassidy & Associates, which accepted a $25 million contract to lobby for Bangaladesh convicted war criminal Mir Quasem Ali.
Ali was sentenced to death in 2014 for crimes against humanity and was being investigated by an International Crimes Tribunal at the time of the contract.