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Obama, Biden's Son Linked by Earmarks

Now that Sen. Joseph Biden, left, is the Democratic vice presidential candidate, congressional ties to his lobbyist son Hunter, right, are coming under scrutiny.
Now that Sen. Joseph Biden, left, is the Democratic vice presidential candidate, congressional ties to his lobbyist son Hunter, right, are coming under scrutiny. (By Scott Olson -- Getty Images)
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Murphy said he found Biden's parentage a selling point. Murphy then accompanied Biden to the offices of the Illinois delegation, including Obama's.

Obama requested $1.4 million for St. Xavier, including $900,000 to establish an early-childhood teacher training center "to meet the demand in the southwest Chicago metropolitan area," according to a news release on the Web site of Obama's Senate office. Obama requested the early-childhood money in both 2006 and 2007.

Obama also in June 2007 sought $500,000 for a skills laboratory for St. Xavier's nursing school, which has one of the largest nursing programs in the state.

In the end, Obama's $1.4 million in requests resulted in $192,000 for the nursing facility.

Murphy said that a big selling point was the diversity of the nursing students, who often ended up working in communities where nurses were in shortage.

"Two years ago, we graduated more African American and Hispanic nurses than any private college in the state of Illinois," Murphy said. "I'm not at all apologetic that we asked for federal support for huge health-care needs of this growing community."

Since Hunter Biden signed St. Xavier as a client in December 2005, the firm has earned $320,000 from the university.

In 2006, Obama also asked for $2 million for a cancer research treatment center at Chicago's Thorek Memorial Hospital, according to an Obama letter requesting the money posted on Obama's campaign Web site. Hunter Biden was the registered lobbyist and his firm was paid $120,000 for representing Thorek, which has not received funding.

Obama's spokesman also acknowledged lobbying for Mercy Hospital, another client of Hunter Biden.

In addition to his work for universities, Hunter Biden has done consulting work for MBNA, the largest employer in Delaware.

From 2001 to 2005, Hunter was paid an undisclosed amount by the credit card giant, which has since been purchased by Bank of America. It has been widely reported that he received $100,000 a year.

At the time, Sen. Biden led a successful, high-profile battle in the Senate for a bankruptcy bill that ultimately benefited credit card companies. The law makes it more difficult for people to file for personal bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7.


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