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Patricia O'Connell
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Michael Toner Comments on Political Spending by Lawyers

Bloomberg Businessweek
January 8, 2013

Michael E. Toner, co-chair of Wiley Rein’s Election Law & Government Ethics Practice, was quoted in a January 7 Bloomberg Businessweek article on political spending by lawyers.

Attorneys and other law firm employees contributed $27 million to President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, more than any other industry, Bloomberg reported, citing data from the Center for Responsive Politics. The Obama campaign did not accept donations from registered lobbyists but took contributions from others who work in the same law firms, according to the article.

Republican candidate Mitt Romney raised $14 million from the legal profession, and was the first presidential nominee from a major party in at least 20 years who didn't count lawyers as his biggest source of donations. Lawyers were Mr. Romney’s third-largest funding source, behind securities and investment professionals and the real estate industry, according to the report.

“There are a lot of lawyers in America and a lot of lawyers with the financial means to make contributions to campaigns,” Mr. Toner—a former chairman of the U.S. Federal Election Commission—told Bloomberg. “Political giving is a part of the culture. It’s really in the DNA.”