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Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton had a lopsided lead in raising money in New York’s legal community for her presidential run, according to a compilation of the latest available federal reports prepared for the Law Journal. Through the end of April, Clinton had outpaced Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois by better than 50 percent in donations from New York lawyers and others employed by law firms, raising $3.7 million to Obama’s $2.4 million. Clinton had 2,249 law-sector donors compared with 2,006 for Obama, who clinched the Democratic nomination for president on Tuesday following the party’s final two primaries in Montana and South Dakota. Aides to Clinton on Wednesday said she would abandon her quest for the nomination and throw her support to Obama on Saturday. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the presumptive Republican nominee, lagged behind the two Democratic candidates in raising donations from the New York legal profession according to the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Responsive Politics. McCain had raised $641,000 by the end of April, which was substantially less than the $1 million raised by former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who, like Clinton, enjoyed a home-court advantage. Giuliani bowed out of the Republican contest following the Florida primary on Jan. 29. McCain nailed down the Republican nomination following victories in Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont on March 4. Jeh C. Johnson, a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, who is on Obama’s national fundraising committee, attributed Clinton’s lead in raising money from the New York legal community to the fact that “New York is her home state and fundraising base.” Johnson, who was general counsel to the Air Force under President Bill Clinton, said the Obama campaign would target the New York legal community now that it is turning its sights on the general election. Matthew J. Mallow, the head of corporate finance at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom who organized two fundraisers for Clinton, agreed that her fundraising success was a product of “her presence, longevity and roots” in New York. The two fundraisers — one attended by Clinton and the other by the former president — raised approximately $200,000, said Mallow.
Chart: Campaign Contributions from Law Firms Staff Based in New York

Edward F. Cox, the head of the corporate department at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler who is the head of McCain’s campaign in New York, said the Arizona senator lagged behind the two Democrats because “Democrats outnumber Republicans in New York by 2.5 to 1, and the New York bar is particularly Democrat oriented.” But Cox, who is married to Patricia Nixon, the daughter of former President Richard Nixon, said the Republicans plan to target the New York legal community for both fundraising and political organizing in the fall campaign. OBAMA LEADS NATIONALLY Even though Clinton led Obama in law-sector donations in New York, the reverse was the case nationwide, according to data on the Center for Responsive Politics’ Web site. Nationwide, Obama had raised $17.3 million from those who either listed “lawyer” as their occupation or identified their employer as being a law firm. Clinton trailed slightly, reporting $16.6 million, and McCain trailed, reporting $5 million. Of the 20 sectors of the economy listed on the center’s Web site, “lawyers/law firms” had top billing for both the Obama and Clinton campaigns. That category was No. 2 for McCain’s campaign, surpassed only by donations from individuals listing themselves as retired. Overall, the Obama campaign reported having raised $265.4 million; Clinton, $214.9 million; and McCain, $96.7 million. The report by the Center for Responsive Politics is based on records that political campaigns are required to report to the Federal Election Commission concerning all donors who contribute more than $200. The center conducted an electronic search of the reports filed with the commission to aggregate for each presidential campaign donors from New York state who work in the legal profession.

Chart: Contributions from New York-Based Staff by Party

The maximum a donor can contribute to any presidential campaign is $4,600, reflecting a limit of $2,300 for each of the primary and general election campaigns. Candidates, other than McCain and Obama, must return any amounts raised from individual donors in excess of $2,300. TOP NEW YORK FIRMS LISTED The center’s report for the Law Journal also listed the 10 firms whose employees based in New York contributed the most to presidential primary campaigns in the past two years. In all, 22 candidates filed with the Federal Election Commission, declaring they were running for president, and 19 of them reported receiving contributions from the legal sector in New York. The list was topped by Sullivan & Cromwell, whose lawyers and other employees donated $338,682. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom was only $2,000 behind, with its lawyers and other workers giving $336,508. Those associated with Skadden gave more to both Obama and Clinton than individuals at any other New York firm, with Clinton receiving $149,436 and Obama, $104,348.

Chart: Top Law Firm Contributors

New York-based lawyers and staff at Greenberg Traurig topped McCain’s list with $58,350 in donations. One of McCain’s top fundraisers, Richard A. Rosenbaum, a co-president of Greenberg Traurig, is based in New York. FIRM GIVING NATIONWIDE Skadden lawyers and other workers from across the nation were among four law firms listed on the center’s Web site as among the 20 top sources of funds for Clinton. DLA Piper, which topped the list, had total contributions of $507,850. Skadden came in 10th at $233,945; Greenberg Traurig, 12th at $204,950; and Latham & Watkins, 18th, $165,763. Skadden was also among Obama’s top 20 sources of nationwide contributions. Its lawyers and others contributed $270,013, putting the firm in 11th place. Three other law firms were among Obama’s top 20: Sidley Austin, 10th, with $294,245; WilmerHale, 17th, $218,680; and Latham & Watkins, 18th, $218,615. Greenberg Traurig was among McCain’s top 20, ranking fourth with donations totaling $157,487. Blank Rome was third with $189,226 in donations. NEW YORK LAWYERS ACTIVE Paul Weiss’ Johnson is one of three New York lawyers who have served on Obama’s national campaign finance committee. The others are Dewey & LeBoeuf partner Gordon J. Davis, a former New York City parks commissioner and president of Lincoln Center, and David L. Carden, a litigation partner at Jones Day. Members of the national finance committee commit to raise $250,000 for the Obama campaign. Three other New York lawyers have been active in organizing fundraising events for Obama in the tri-state area: Preeta Bansal, a partner at Skadden, Arps; Andrew H. Schapiro, a partner at Mayer Brown; and Barry H. Berke, a partner at Kramer, Levin, Naftalis & Frankel. Cox, the head of McCain’s New York campaign, identified several lawyers who will play pivotal roles in the upcoming national race: Gary Lavine, a former general counsel for Niagara Mohawk who is now with Green & Seifter in Syracuse; former state Senator Douglas H. Barclay, who is now of counsel at Hiscock & Barclay in Syracuse; and Randy Mastro, a deputy mayor under Giuliani, who is a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

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