Among New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker’s donors to his presidential campaign is a vice president of a leading pharmaceutical company. The senior vice president of Comcast who oversees the company’s lobbying efforts hosted a fundraiser for former vice president Joe Biden. An oil company development and finance manager remains one of former congressman Beto O’Rourke’s most generous donors, including to his presidential campaign.
These Democratic presidential hopefuls accepted these contributions, even though they had rejected the help of fossil fuel, pharmaceutical or lobbying industries.
According to their campaigns, they did nothing wrong, because their pledges only cover a small group of high-level executives and registered lobbyists. But critics see something darker: a willingness by campaigns to bend their own rules, allowing money and influence to seep in.