UC affiliates top donor to the Obama campaign

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Individuals associated with University of California are the largest group of donors to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, according to research by The Center for Responsive Politics.Administrators, faculty, staff and others associated with the UC have donated a total of $1,092,906 to Obama’s campaign, about $300,000 more than individuals from Microsoft Corp. and Google, Inc, the next highest.

The UC donors also surpass the value of any of individual donors associated with a single group to Mitt Romney’s campaign. The top bundle to the Republican candidate’s campaign is  $994,139, received from those associated with Goldman Sachs.

Because the UC is a public institution,”University funds (including University paid time and equipment) may not lawfully be used for campaign purposes,”  according to the university’s legal guidelines.

However, the guidelines allow employees to engage in political activities in a private capacity.

“My support for President Obama is completely separate from my employment with the UC,” said David Onek, a lecturer at the UC Berkeley School of Law and the top individual donor to the re-election campaign from the UC.

Onek said that the UC is the largest bundler of campaign contributions because the system employees such a large number of people. Although Onek donated $17,400 to the campaign, most of the other donations from the over 1,000 UC employees who contributed were less than $500.

“I can’t speculate why the UC has so many Obama supporters,” said Onek. “But it’s clear that this election is crucial for all of us.”

UC affiliates also donated a total of $38,400 to Elizabeth Warren’s senate race in Massachusetts, making the institution the No. 5 top bundle contributor to her campaign, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Contact Alex Berryhill at [email protected]