Does political fundraising help lobbyists gain influence for their clients? It depends who you ask.

Judy A. Black is a fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain. She’s also a Washington lobbyist. Black tells CIR she raises money “for candidates that I want to be in office to serve the public,” not in order to help her lobbying clients. “I don’t see them mixing it all,” Black says.

But Professor James A. Thurber of American University says an individual’s fundraising cannot easily be “hermetically sealed” from that person’s lobbying. “The fundraising side opens doors,” he says. The connection, Thurber says, needs to be made transparent, so members of public can judge for themselves.

Read CIR’s story on presidential fundraisers lobbying for foreign governments – and judge for yourself.

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Will Evans is a senior reporter and producer for Reveal, covering labor and tech. His reporting has prompted government investigations, legislation, reforms and prosecutions. A series on working conditions at Amazon warehouses was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize and won a Gerald Loeb Award. His work has also won multiple Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards, including for a series on safety problems at Tesla. Other investigations have exposed secret spying at Uber, illegal discrimination in the temp industry and rampant fraud in California's drug rehab system for the poor. Prior to joining The Center for Investigative Reporting in 2005, Evans was a reporter at The Sacramento Bee. He is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.