Obama's Campaign Manager Denies Being a Lobbyist

Does David Axelrod qualify for the title?
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2008 11:47 AM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., waves to photographers as he talks with Senior Campaign Advisor David Axelrod, left.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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(Newser) – As John McCain struggles to purge his campaign staff of lobbyists, Barack Obama’s campaign manager is denying he fits the bill, too. "I've never lobbied anybody in my life," says David Axelrod, who is the senior partner at a consulting firm that has done what Newsweek calls "creative lobbying," in the form of ad campaigns for companies seeking to influence legislative decisions.

One was an Illinois utility pushing for a rate hike; another was the owner of Madison Square Garden, fighting to keep a competitive sports stadium out of New York City. In the former case, Illinois disclosure laws didn’t require registering as a lobbyist, but Cablevision's effort against the New York Jets stadium was deemed the “largest lobbying contract” that year in the state.