Study: Ambassador Nominees Bundled $4.8 Million for President's Campaign, Inauguration
JAKE TAPPER - ABC NEWS - June 19, 2009 10:49
If all goes according to plan, Colorado businessman Vinai Thummalapally will soon be moving to a Central American tourist paradise to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Belize.
Thummalapally was President Obama's roommate at Occidental College in 1979. As Barbara and Vinai Thummalapally described it to the Colorado Springs Gazette, they "used to party with (the president) in college. He was the guy who'd drink a few beers, maybe take a toke, stay up until 4 a.m. then excuse himself to crank out an 'A' paper due that morning. ... He was Barry, the mellow guy in the leather jacket, dragging on a cigarette."
Of course, friendship only goes so far in the world of ambassadorships. It's Thummalapally's fundraising for -- not partying with -- President Obama that is more characteristic of his fellow ambassador nominees. The Coloradan bundled between $100,000 and $200,000 for the Obama campaign and has personally contributed $13,375 to Mr. Obama's various campaigns since 1999. And according to Federal Election Commission records, Thummalapally's "not employed/student" children Vishal and Sharanya donated $2,300 and $2,275 to the president. (CONTINUE...)