On Wednesday, President Obama will be the featured speaker at a fundraiser for Organizing for Action, the purported “non-partisan” successor to his 2012 Obama for America presidential campaign committee. Donors at the fundraiser, many of whom contributed to President Obama’s previous political campaigns, are paying $50,000 per person for the privilege of having yet another opportunity to hear the President.
President Obama’s speaking engagement once again highlighted the controversial and unprecedented move by the Obama team to continue operating the campaign organization under an entity that is not subject to the legal limitations that apply to political committees. It also brought up once again charges that Organizing for Action is selling access to President Obama.
Last month, the New York Times reported that OFA is offering direct access to President Obama in personal meetings to anyone who donates $500,000 to the “issues advocacy” non-profit. Despite claims from the Obama administration that there was nothing to see here, so reporters should move along, the usually liberal public interest group Common Cause has called on President Obama to shut down OFA. Common Cause President Bob Edgar said that President Obama should alseo ” disavow any plan to schedule regular meetings with its major donors. Access to the President should never be for sale.” Claims by the White House that OFA was independent of the Obama administration were “laughable,” according to Edgar.
As Breitbart News reported, Organizing for Action has virtually the same management structure as the Obama for America organization. It also now owns all of the valuable assets made possible by the political campaign donations to Obama for America. Those assets include “a sophisticated state-of-the-art analytics driven data base that holds extensive information on each of 2 million Obama for America volunteers, 17 million email subscribers, 22 million Twitter followers, and virtually every registered voter in the country.”
Since its restructuring as Organizing for Action in January, the Obama campaign team has sent out numerous campaign-style emails to support President Obama’s political agenda.
In addition to President Obama, other members of the Obama campaign team will speak at the fundraiser, including Jim Messina, who has served as Chairman of OFA since its organization in January, 2013 and was Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, and Jon Carson, who is OFA’s executive director and was previously the director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.