EXCLUSIVE: Big donors dominate Obama panel
Bundlers, who are often corporate executives, lobbyists, hedge fund managers or independently wealthy people, are able to funnel far more money to campaigns than they could personally give under campaign finance laws. Mr. Wolf raised $500,000 for Mr. Obama; Mr. Gallogly bundled $200,000; and Ms. Pritzker also raised $200,000.
Eleven of the 16 new board members personally contributed a total of $262,698 to Mr. Obama and other Democrats during the 2008 elections, led by Mr. Gallogly with $73,600, including $2,300 to Mr. Obama. The two unions represented on the panel - the AFL-CIO by Mr. Trumka and the Service Employees International Union by Anna Burger, the union’s secretary treasurer - accounted for more than $3.6 million in donations to Democrats in 2008.
UBS also drew the attention this week of a Senate investigative committee, which began a push to force the Swiss-based banking giant UBS AG to release its closely held list of American clients suspected by the Internal Revenue Service of skirting taxes. Americans avoid an estimated $100 billion in taxes each year by hiding money in offshore tax havens, according to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs permanent subcommittee on investigations.
In a deferred-prosecution agreement between the Justice Department and UBS, the company agreed to pay a $780 million fine and promise not to open new accounts for Americans without notifying the IRS. At the same time, the company is fighting a summons filed in U.S. District Court in Florida to release the client names, saying that to do so would violate Swiss law.
Mr. Wolf has not been directly implicated in the UBS investigation. In a statement, UBS spokeswoman Kelly Smith said: “Robert Wolf is chairman and CEO of UBS Americas. The investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and its deferred prosecution agreement with UBS concern UBS’s U.S. cross-border business. The domestic U.S. businesses of UBS are not under investigation.”
The other board members are Jeffrey R. Immelt, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of General Electric Co.; James W. Owens, chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc.; L. John Doerr, venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Monica C. Lozano, publisher and CEO of La Opinion; Charles E. Phillips Jr., president of Oracle Corp.; and former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman William H. Donaldson, co-founder of broker Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.
Also, Clinton economic adviser Laura D’Andrea Tyson, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley; Martin Feldstein, President Reagan’s chief economic adviser and an economics professor at Harvard; Roger W. Ferguson Jr., former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve and chief executive of TIAA-CREF; and David F. Swensen, chief investment officer at Yale.