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February 26, 2013

Obama Administration Under Fire For Selling Access

Posted in: Uncategorized

In a post-Citizen’s United world quid pro quo is a way of life. So maybe it should not be a surprise that the Obama team’s fundraising strategy involves selling access to President Obama in exchange for cash despite President Obama’s clear promise not to do so in his early campaigns.

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…

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.

Self-regulation, of course. I wonder if that idea came from the Wall Street donors. But what about the other side of the quid pro quo?

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.

America has come up with an innovative solution to its corruption problem – we legalized it. What used to be called bribery is giving money to a “social welfare” organization to be on an advisory board that meets with the elected official you want to lobby for an appointment. Is the Lincoln bedroom next? And let’s not kid ourselves, much of the money raised is going to be siphoned off by Obama consultants not advance reforms in gun and immigration issues, another smoke screen.

Then again, don’t they deserve a reward for their loyalty to such a great President, you know the one who cleaned up Washington influence peddling.

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