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June 28, 2011

Obama Holding ‘Unseemly But Perfectly Legal’ White House Fundraisers


Officials from good government groups Tuesday criticized President Obama for engaging in fundraising-related activities on the grounds of the White House, though they did so noting that the president is joining a long tradition of presidents who have done so.

On March 7, President Obama met with more than two dozen financial leaders and executives, in the Blue Room of the White House. The event was organized by the Democratic National Committee, and all but one of the individuals appear to be campaign contributors to the president.

More recently, the president taped a video in the residence of the White House, as part of a fundraising “raffle” for donors, offering a dinner with him as a prize.

...“It looks bad,” said Mary Boyle, vice president of communications for Common Cause. “It’s disappointing that a president who has gone further than most others in terms of putting up firewalls between the White House and special interests, would host in the White House a meeting with past or current donors.”

Boyle said the meeting “conveys that it’s business as usual, and whether he is or not, it appears he’s selling access. Given the way he campaigned and to some extent has governed, it makes us wonder why he didn’t hold this meeting somewhere else.”

Funny but I don't recall this being an issue during either Bush term. I'm not saying they didn't happen but I'm pretty sure the left would have made a really big stink about it.

Of course, Bush didn't run against the evil of money in politics, lie about taking campaign matching funds, game online credit card donation forms to accept illegal foreign contributions and have a fawning media claim his campaign was funded by small donors when it wasn't.

Speaking of Obama's "small donors"..that's a nice Hope and Change talking point. But big dollar bundlers? Hello!

Campaign officials are working to broaden Obama’s network of “bundlers,” the well-connected rainmakers tasked with soliciting big checks from wealthy donors, while seeking to preserve the aura of a grass-roots movement by luring back the kind of small Internet donations that helped shatter fundraising records four years ago.

...The push comes as Obama’s campaign has roared to life in recent weeks and strategists prepare for a summer of staff hirings and field office openings across key battleground states.

It is an unusually early move to establish the ground-level infrastructure that past campaigns typically put in place in the final months before an election.

A key player in the closed-door donor recruitment is White House Chief of Staff William M. Daley, a former banking executive who has huddled in recent weeks over breakfasts and dinners with business leaders and Wall Street financiers in Chicago, New York and Washington — seeking to ease tensions over new financial regulations and other administration policies.

Out: Hope and Change

In: The Chicago Way

digg this
posted by DrewM. at 02:09 PM

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