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Just one month after Barack Obama formally announced his bid for president, the Democratic senator from Illinois is flexing campaign fundraising muscles. And corporate lawyers in the Bay Area are doing much of the heavy lifting.

Some lawyers believe there are just a few dozen politically connected attorneys in the region who wield enough fundraising clout to affect a presidential election. The first official reports comparjing his fundraising with other Democratic hopefuls (and former lawyers) like Hillary Clinton and John Edwards won’t be made public for another month. But Obama has already locked up several politically active Bay Area attorneys, judging by the list of hosts for a campaign fundraiser on Saturday at San Francisco’s Mark Hopkins Hotel, where supporters will pay $1,000 to get into the “Bay Area Kick-Off for Sen. Barack Obama.”

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