WASHINGTON (FOX19) - Supporters of Pres. Barack Obama and some of America's biggest corporations will foot the bill for Monday's public inauguration festivities. The tab is likely to run into the tens of millions of dollars.
On Friday, FOX19 attempted to see how many people from the Tri-State are giving money. But this year, Pres. Obama and his inaugural committee are not making that information immediately available. In 2009, they listed each donor's name, where they live, and how much they donated. Not this year. We'll have to wait for the committee to file its required report with the Federal Election Commission. However, the deadline for that isn't until three months from now.
The inaugural committee's website does list the names of individuals and corporations which have given money. However, it doesn't say how much they've donated or who they work for.
One name from the Tri-State that is not on the donor list this year is Cincinnati attorney Stan Chesley, who gave $50,000 for Pres. Obama's first inauguration in 2009. FOX19 tried to reach Chesley for comment today. But a receptionist at his office said he was unavailable.
Another change from 2009 is that this year Pres. Obama's inaugural committee is accepting money from big corporations. AT&T, Microsoft, and ExxonMobil are all giving money this time. The Hill newspaper reports Exxon will likely donate $250,000.
Consumer watchdogs worry that whenever companies with business before the government donate to events like inaugurations they'll expect favored treatment in return. However, an ExxonMobil spokesman tells The Hill that his company is donating because it's "an important and historic event in the American political process."