Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and other leading Democratic presidential candidates have sworn off contributions from Washington lobbyists as a way to insulate themselves from those who might try to shape their agendas if elected.
But they’re hardly walling themselves off from K Street.
Didem Nisanci, global head of public policy for Bloomberg LP, has given $2,000 to Pete Buttigieg’s campaign, according to new campaign finance disclosures. Margaret Richardson, Airbnb’s head of global policy, has donated nearly $2,800 to Harris. And Jay Carney, who’s in charge of Amazon’s public policy efforts, has given to at least four candidates who won’t take contributions from lobbyists, including a $2,800 check he wrote in May to Biden’s campaign.
All three were able to donate because they’re not registered to lobby, a legal requirement for people who meet criteria such as devoting at least 20 percent of the total time they spend working for each client to lobbying and contacting at least two government officials per quarter.