The Campaign Spot

The Brookings Institution, Full of Obama Donors

The big stink on the campaign trail today is that President Obama claims Romney’s tax plan will raise taxes on the middle class to give a tax break to the rich.

The justification for this accusation is a report, which Obama touted as “independent” and “non-partisan” from the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution.

Of course, some of the authors of that report may not be as impartial as Obama claims; as John Nolte of noted, “between 2009-10, [report co-author Adam] Looney was the senior economist for public finance and tax policy with the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.” In other words, Obama is citing one of his former advisers as an independent, non-partisan evaluator of Romney’s plan.

While the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution may be officially unaffiliated with any party, the employees within the organization clearly have a strong preference between the political parties.

So far this year, seven Brookings Institution employees have donated $8,900 to Barack Obama’s reelection campaign this year, including Vice President Melissa Skolfield, fellow Elisabeth Jacobs, and economist Isabel Sawhill. By contrast, no Brookings Institution employee has donated any amount to any Republican presidential campaign this cycle.

Over at the Urban Institute, eight employees have donated $4,767 to President Obama’s reelection campaign so far this cycle. And again, no Urban Institute employee has donated any amount to any Republican presidential campaign this cycle.

Interestingly, Looney has not donated to the reelection campaign of his former boss.

It is a free country, and any employee of any organization is free to donate the legal maximum if they choose. But Washington is full of officially “non-partisan” organizations that lean quite heavily in one direction.


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