(1939 - living) U.S.A.
Former Consul General to Bermuda
Robert Farmer has been a national campaign treasurer for four Democratic presidential candidates and has been called the "father of soft money" because he realized how to exploit a loophole in campaign finance law to help Michael Dukakis's 1988 presidential bid -- and to put the Democratic Party on equal fundraising footing with the GOP.
Twenty years ago, his Democratic "Trustees" were the forerunners of President Bush's big-donor Rangers and Pioneers. Farmer ran the money operations for John Glenn, Dukakis, and Bill Clinton, and a grateful President Clinton made him U.S. consul general in Bermuda (from 1994 to 1999), where he was often accompanied by his lover, Craig Smallwood. In the 2004 presidential race, after soft money had been banned, Farmer ran fundraising efforts for his friend John Kerry. Experts predict the nominees in 2008 will need to raise a record $500 million apiece to compete.