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Raising big bucks for Obama pays off, Public Integrity finds

Syria Presidential Politics
President Obama (AP/Carolyn Kaster)

Buying ambassadorships has been done for decades in the nation's capital. Here's how it's done in the Obama administration, according to Michael Beckel of the Center for Public Integrity.

Bruce Heyman, a veteran Goldman Sachs executive, has raised with the help of his wife more than $750,000 for pro-Obama committees since 2007, according to CPI's review of records.

Heyman's nomination for ambassador to Canada was announced Thursday by the White House. According to the press release, Heyman has been managing director of private wealth management at Goldman Sachs since 1999. A Chicago native, he serves on a number of boards throughout the city, such as the Chicago Council for Global Affairs.

With this nomination, Heyman ranks as the 20th elite fundraiser nominated for a diplomatic position since the beginning of Obama's second term. These 20 fundraisers have brought in at least $13.8 million for Obama's committees since 2007, according to CPI.

On Sept. 10, Obama picked three top fundraisers for diplomatic positions: hotel magnate George Tsunis to be ambassador to Norway, private equity executive Anthony Luzzatto Gardner for the European Union and California attorney Michael A. Lawson for the United Nations' Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Tsunis and Garder each raised more than $500,000 for Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, while Lawson and his wife garnered at least $950,000 for Obama since 2008, CPI said.

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