The NY Times reports on the Organizing for Action group – formerly known as Obama for America – and their goal to sell unprecedented ultimate access to the President … to the highest bidder (bolded emphasis added by me):
President Obama’s political team is fanning out across the country in pursuit of an ambitious goal: raising $50 million to convert his re-election campaign into a powerhouse national advocacy network, a sum that would rank the new group as one of Washington’s biggest lobbying operations.
But the rebooted campaign, known as Organizing for Action, has plunged the president and his aides into a campaign finance limbo with few clear rules, ample potential for influence-peddling, and no real precedent in national politics.
In private meetings and phone calls, Mr. Obama’s aides have made clear that the new organization will rely heavily on a small number of deep-pocketed donors, not unlike the “super PACs” whose influence on political campaigns Mr. Obama once deplored.
At least half of the group’s budget will come from a select group of donors who will each contribute or raise $500,000 or more, according to donors and strategists involved in the effort.
Unlike a presidential campaign, Organizing for Action has been set up as a tax-exempt “social welfare group.” That means it is not bound by federal contribution limits, laws that bar White House officials from soliciting contributions, or the stringent reporting requirements for campaigns. In their place, the new group will self-regulate.
Officials said it would voluntarily disclose the names of large donors every few months and would not ask administration personnel to solicit money, though Obama aides will probably appear at some events.
The money will pay for salaries, rent and advertising, and will also be used to maintain the expensive voter database and technological infrastructure that knits together Mr. Obama’s 2 million volunteers, 17 million e-mail subscribers and 22 million Twitter followers.
The goal is to harness those resources in support of Mr. Obama’s second-term policy priorities, including efforts to curb gun violence and climate change and overhaul immigration procedures. Those efforts began Friday, when thousands of Obama supporters were deployed through more than 80 Congressional districts around the country to rally outside lawmakers’ offices, hold vigils and bombard Congress with e-mails and phone calls urging members to support stricter background checks for gun buyers.
But those contributions will also translate into access, according to donors courted by the president’s aides. Next month, Organizing for Action will hold a “founders summit” at a hotel near the White House, where donors paying $50,000 each will mingle with Mr. Obama’s former campaign manager, Jim Messina, and Mr. Carson, who previously led the White House Office of Public Engagement.
Giving or raising $500,000 or more puts donors on a national advisory board for Mr. Obama’s group and the privilege of attending quarterly meetings with the president, along with other meetings at the White House. Moreover, the new cash demands on Mr. Obama’s top donors and bundlers come as many of them are angling for appointments to administration jobs or ambassadorships.
I’ll take “What is the definition of hypocrisy? for $500,000 Alex.” Even Chuck Todd, an MSDNC “journalist” and avid fan of President Obama like most NBC employees, says this whole thing stinks:
Excuse us? This just looks bad. It looks like the White House is selling access. The definition of how you define selling access. If you believe money has a stranglehold over the entire political system, this is ceding the moral high ground. And the President always has, from the moment he first announced his presidential bid in Springfield, six years ago, he stressed the need to curb the influence of special interests in Washington.
Here’s video of Todd’s commentary below, which includes clips of candidate Obama making promises anyone who paid close attention at the time (hint: Not Chuck Todd and other fawning journos) knew he wouldn’t keep on the issue of special interests:
“Wonder what candidate Obama would say about this?” Todd asks at the end of the clip.
Answer: The same lies and crapola he said the first time around when he ran for President, the same bull sh*t journalists who were so enamored of him at the time (and, in actuality, still are) *willingly* failed to investigate. In fact, the vast majority of failings we’ve “learned” about President Obama over the time he’s served in the White House were either predicted in advance by concerned conservatives are were already known but under-reported (or not reported at all) by mainstream media reporters. Conservative new media types were all over it but were either ignored or called “raaaacists” by “real reporters” who worked for CNN, ABC, CBS, and the like.
Things haven’t changed much, have they?
Chuck Todd and journalists just like him enabled disturbing abuses of power like this to happen in the first place not only by their by their willful ignorance of the facts but also with their dangerous “treat ’em with kid gloves” approach when it comes to their favored Democrat candidate(s) for political office. Had they taken their jobs seriously and not been so derelict, perhaps Obama wouldn’t have even won his first term, let alone the second. But they didn’t, so here we are. As a result, Todd and his colleagues in the mainstream press shouldn’t act so surprised that it has (finally) played out in color on the pages of both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, both outlets of which we should congratulate for finally writing extensively about an issue conservatives have been rightly blasting Obama about in print and broadcast media for years. Better late than never, gang.