Chafee Puts Cash Behind Obama Endorsement
Looking for evidence that Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) really is cutting across party lines to bring people together? Look no further than ex-Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R.I.), who left the GOP after losing his 2006 re-election race and then endorsed Obama's presidential bid in February.
"Ultimately the war vote is what's really important for me," Chafee, the lone Senate Republican to vote against going to war in Iraq, explained when he announced his endorsement.
But Chafee didn't just endorse Obama. In early March, he quietly donated $2,300 to the Illinoisian's presidential campaign. Chafee's donation flew under the radar, perhaps because he made it as a personal contribution rather than from his Senate campaign committee, which still had $74,000 in it as of March 31. (Attention, Federal Election Commission: Chafee did not provide information about his profession or employer -- or lack thereof -- when he made the donation to Obama. Tsk tsk.)
Actually, from Obama's campaign filing, it appears that Chafee's wife, Stephanie, originally made two $2,300 contributions in her name to Obama, and then one of the donations was "reattributed" to Lincoln Chafee.
Either way, there's a lot more where that came from. In 2006, Roll Call pegged Chafee -- the son of the late Sen. John Chafee (R-R.I.) and heir to a family fortune -- as the 9th richest member of Congress, with a net worth of roughly $40 million. Might he throw some more cash Obama's way during the general election, or even start donating to other Democratic candidates? Or is he really, as he said when he left the GOP, an "independent" now whose fondness extends only to Obama? We'll keep an eye on those FEC reports.
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