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Illinois gala for Obama supported by lobbyists he banned from donating to campaign

Supporters from Barack Obama's home state held a celebration this week that was paid for, in part, by the same lobbying firms the president-elect banned from donating to his campaign and inaugural committee, Bloomberg's Jonathan D. Salant and Kate Andersen report. Seven firms that earned a total of at least $30 million in lobbying fees last year gave as much as $50,000 apiece for the Illinois gala.  At least 28 state societies -- nonprofit groups that sponsor the balls -- have held pre-inaugural balls and events in Washington. Many relied on money from corporations and lobbyists to help make up for a drop in donations from society members because of the weak economy.

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