The White House is officially on the market!
I’m not kidding.
No, there’s no “For Sale” sign swinging in the wind on that carefully manicured lawn… but make no mistake about it; in D.C., everything’s got a price.
And that includes access to the man of the house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
This smells fishy…
In an effort to turn President Obama’s reelection campaign into an advocacy network, the group known as Organizing for Action will now rely on a small number of very wealthy donors to keep it funded.
Because Organizing for Action is set up as a tax-exempt social welfare group — and not as a campaigning vehicle — it doesn’t have to abide by federal contribution limits.
In other words, the group does not have to disclose the names of its donors or how much they give.
According to the New York Times, Organizing for Action will hold a founders summit next month at a hotel in D.C. where donors paying $50,000 each will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with the president’s former campaign manager.
The New York Times piece goes on to say:
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 don’t know about you, but this whole thing smells fishy.
Ethics are for suckers!
Unethical or not, it does seem that the president has found a way to legally use this organization as a way to fund his second-term agenda. Not that such a thing is new in Washington. It’s just that this president uncovered a new loophole that allows him to bypass ethics regulations that exist to counter this type of thing.
Interestingly, the group claims that its resources will help support efforts to curb gun violence.
And this got me thinking…
If the White House is looking for direction on how to curb gun violence, why not talk to the folks who live in this nation’s most dangerous neighborhoods, which (as I’ve pointed out on numerous occasions) are plagued by broken homes, third- and fourth-generation welfare families, high unemployment, low literacy rates, rampant drug abuse, and limited opportunities for kids to spend their time constructively.
Seems to me these folks are more affected by gun violence than deep-pocketed bankers with a half million dollars to blow…
Or perhaps time would be better spent speaking with all those law-abiding gun owners in this country who can’t rely on law enforcement for protection, so they protect themselves and their families on their own — properly armed and responsibly trained.
Why not meet with those folks?
Oh, that’s right. Most of them don’t have a spare $500,000 lying around.
My friends, this is just more evidence that our government regularly sells our democracy to the highest bidder.
Even MSNBC’s Chuck Todd criticized this new fundraising effort, writing,
“This just looks bad — it looks like the White House is selling access. It’s the definition of selling access.”
Fire Up the Spin Machine
After the New York Times first reported on Organizing for Action, press secretary Jay Carney fired up the spin machine.
When asked by a reporter if donors to Organizing for America would meet with the president, Carney responded:
The fact is, there are a variety of rules governing interaction between administration officials and outside groups, and administration officials follow those rules. White House and administration officials will not be raising money for Organizing for Action, and while they may appear at appropriate OFA events, in their official capacities they will not be raising money.
… because clearly those who shell out a half million dollars do so to meet with a chatty press secretary and a couple of cute bartenders that serve them top shelf scotch.
Don’t kid yourself.
If President Obama or any other high-ranking member of his cabinet show up at one of these events, they’re raising cash.
Because you see, you don’t have to hold out your hand to accept a donation. You just need to be there. To suggest otherwise is a lie.
Of course, you’ll find plenty of other equally snake-like fundraising vehicles on the other side of the aisle as well. But let us not forget that it was President Obama who, throughout this last election, railed against special interest influence.
Now here we are, just a few months into his second term, and the president is actively taking part in the very thing he vilified in order to get your vote.
Live honorably, live free…
Jeff Siegel for Freedom Watch