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Soros, Shaw help raise first $10 mil for Obama inauguration
Bloomberg News
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Published: 12/14/2008 12:00 AM

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Billionaire George Soros and hedge- fund founder David E. Shaw are among donors who have helped President-elect Barack Obama raise almost $10 million so far for inaugural celebrations next month in Washington.

About 240 people are listed on the inaugural committee's Web site, which yesterday released the names of those giving at least $200. The maximum individual donation allowed is $50,000 and money from labor unions, lobbyists and corporations won't be accepted, the site says.

The limits on who can give, and how much, mark a "commitment to changing the way business is done in Washington," the Obama group said. Federal law makes no restriction on donation amounts, which have reached as high as $250,000 in past inaugurations.

Hollywood names are prominent among the $50,000 donors, including actors Jamie Foxx and Sharon Stone and producer Robert Zemeckis. Seattle-area glass artist Dale Chihuly also gave the maximum, as did Soros, his sons Robert and Jonathan, Shaw and Howard Marks, the chairman of Oaktree Capital Management LP.

The money raised will pay for festivities such as inaugural balls around the city. The swearing-in is Jan. 20.

President George W. Bush raised $42.8 million for inaugural festivities in 2005, according to the nonprofit group Public Citizen.

The searchable Web site will post donors' names within two days, faster than the 90 days past the inauguration that's required by law. The database also lists donors' employers.