The politics of perks – Obama WH style

More from the land of HopeNChange, via the Washington Times (h/t: JWF):

During his first nine months in office, President Obama has quietly rewarded scores of top Democratic donors with VIP access to the White House, private briefings with administration advisers and invitations to important speeches and town-hall meetings.

High-dollar fundraisers have been promised access to senior White House officials in exchange for pledges to donate $30,400 personally or to bundle $300,000 in contributions ahead of the 2010 midterm elections, according to internal Democratic National Committee documents obtained by The Washington Times.

TWT INTERACTIVE: “Bowling for dollars at the White House”

One top donor described in an interview with The Times being given a birthday visit to the Oval Office. Another was allowed use of a White House-complex bowling alley for his family. Bundlers closest to the president were invited to watch a movie in the red-walled theater in the basement of the presidential mansion.

Mr. Obama invited his top New York bundler, UBS Americas CEO Robert Wolf, to golf with him during the president’s Martha’s Vineyard vacation in August. At least 39 donors and fundraisers also were treated to a lavish White House reception on St. Patrick’s Day, where the fountains on the North and South Lawns were dyed green, photos and video reviewed by The Times and CBS News also show.

The WH’s response to this story? Laughable, of course:

Presidential aides said there has been no systematic effort to use the White House complex to aid fundraising, though they acknowledge the DNC has paid for some events at the presidential mansion.

Many guests at the White House not only had fundraising connections, but also have personal friendships with the president, Mr. Obama’s aides said.

“Contributing does not guarantee a ticket to the White House, nor does it prohibit the contributor from visiting,” said Dan Pfeiffer, deputy White House communications director.

Pfeiffer’s expanded spin response can be read here.

Now that’s “change you can believe in.”