Sunday, September 7, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Obama picks classmate and major fundraiser for ambassador post

Andrew Shapiro is President Obama´s pick to become ambassador to the Czech Republic.
Andrew Shapiro is President Obama's pick to become ambassador to the Czech Republic.

President Obama's latest ambassadorial nominee is another big donor.

Andrew Schapiro, a Chicago corporate attorney who went to law school with the president, got the official White House nod late Thursday to replace Norm Eisen as his envoy to the Czech Republic. See the mansion he'll get to occupy in Prague (presuming the Senate approves) here, courtesy of the Washington Post.

According to data downloaded from Sunlight's Influence Explorer, compiled from the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in State Politics, Schapiro has made more than $160,000 in donations to state and federal campaigns, all of them Democratic. By far his biggest beneficiary however, is Obama. Beginning with Obama's run for Senate in 2004, Schapiro has donated more than $71,000 for his former Harvard classmate's campaigns, Senate leadership committee and presidential victory committee.

Schapiro also was a bundler for Obama's presidential campaign, helping to direct $500,000 into the president's campaign coffers.

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  • He's far from the first Obama campaign donor or supporter to be rewarded with a cushy foreign post. The Center for Public Integrity has compiled a handy map here.

    While Obama is following long-standing tradition in rewarding donors with embassies, some of the president's thank-you notes have not exactly wowed interlocutors on Capitol Hill lately.

    The Sunlight Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that uses the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency, and provides new tools and resources for media and citizens, alike. A list of Sunlight's funders can be found here.

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