FOLLOW THE MONEY: Dirty Is As Dirty Does

RELATED: Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton has raised more money from lobbyists than any other presidentialhillarymoney.jpg candidate, while Republican John McCain has more of them assisting his campaign, according to a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization. Clinton took in $823,087 from registered lobbyists and members of their firms in 2007; McCain, the second-biggest recipient, took in $416,321, reported the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political giving. Democrat Barack Obama doesn’t take money from registered lobbyists, though he received $86,282 from employees of firms that lobby, according to the center. McCain has 26 registered lobbyists as campaign advisers or fund-raisers, compared with 11 for Clinton and none for Obama, according to a review of records compiled by Public Citizen, a group that favors stronger disclosure laws for lobbyists. [via BLOOMBERG NEWS]

burns_640.gifRELATED: Nuclear Energy Company Backs Obama’s Bid Democrat Barack Obama has come under fire for his ties to Exelon Corp, the largest operator of nuclear reactors in the United States and one of his most generous financial backers. When Exelon failed to disclose radioactive leaks at one of its nuclear plants, Obama tried to push through a bill in the Senate last year that required such plants to notify state and local authorities of such cases, the New York Times reported last week. According to the Times, the final proposal was a watered-down version of the original legislation that “played into the hands of the nuclear power industry.” Obama has collected at least $222,000 from Exelon employees for his presidential campaign, making the company his eighth largest contributor last year. The Illinois senator received 10 times more than Republican John McCain, who brought in the second largest haul from Exelon. MORE


RELATED: Risking the ire of progressive activists, Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced that it has accepted a debate to air on Fox News on February 11, according to her chief strategist Mark Penn. Though Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama have frequently appeared on Fox News for interviews, Clinton may be debating alone. Bill Burton, a spokesman for Obama, said that no plans existed as of now for his boss to participate in upcoming forums. “As of right now, there are no debates on our schedule at all,” Burton told the Huffington Post. “We’ll figure out our schedule, including any debates, soon.”When the Democratic candidates declined to participate in a FOX-sponsored debate last April, their choice was readily greeted by Democratic bloggers and party activists, who did not wish to legitimize the station as a neutral political forum. Officials at Fox News were apoplectic. “The candidates that can’t face Fox, can’t face Al Qaeda,” said Roger Ailes, the Fox News CEO.

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