07/22/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Dems Look To Lobbyist To Finance Convention

In terms of lobbyists, few are more connected -- both west of the Mississippi and in the corridors of power in Washington -- than Steve Farber, a Denver lawyer whose political contacts have thrust him into a central fund-raising role for the Democratic National Convention.
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Steve Farber, a politically connected Denver lawyer, is the chief fund-raiser for the Democratic National Convention in August.

Mr. Farber's vast contact list could prove crucial in raising the millions of dollars needed by the Denver host committee to showcase Senator Barack Obama and the Democratic Party in August in Denver. But Mr. Farber's activities are a public display of how corporate connections fuel politics -- exactly the type of special influence that Mr. Obama had pledged to expunge from politics when he said he would not accept donations from lobbyists.

For two years now, Mr. Farber has parlayed his love for Denver and his ability to call on a network of lobbying clients to help him with the daunting task of raising the $40 million, or more, that Democrats need to run their convention. As the host committee's chief fund-raiser, he is on the phone 10, 20 times a day, twisting arms and cajoling potential donors -- a task made more difficult by the fact that Denver has few hometown companies with enough resources to help foot the bills.

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