Obama Using Controversial 'Recess Appointment' to Raise Campaign Cash

President Obama is hoping to capitalize on his controversial decision to appoint Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Less than 12 hours after making the announcement, Obama’s campaign sent a fundraising email seeking up to $2,500 from supporters.

The purported “recess” appointment enraged conservatives because the Senate isn’t even in recess. Senators never passed a resolution to adjourn, meaning it is officially still in session.

That didn’t dissuade Obama, however. Now the president is seeking to use the publicity to raise money for his re-election campaign.

“We can’t afford to continue allowing Wall Street to write its own rules. But today’s action by the President is already coming under partisan attack, which we expect to intensify in the days to come,” wrote James Kvaal, national policy director at Obama for America, in Wednesday night’s email.

The fundraising pitch was disguised as a petition to supporters. Only when recipients click on the link to “stand with President Obama and Richard Cordray” and sign the petition are they taken to a fundraising page with a form to donate up to $2,500 to Obama.

It reads:

This is what this campaign is all about: making sure everyone who plays by the same rules gets a fair shake.

Our opponents and their allies in Congress would rather protect their Wall Street allies than middle-class families–that’s why there’s so much at stake in this election.

Donate today to make sure we can protect our progress, and keep making more.

Obama ignored 100-plus years of precedent on recess appointments when he tapped Cordray as the new consumer czar. He also appointed three members of National Labor Relations Board at the behest of Big Labor.

Both moves were immediately criticized. The Heritage Foundation’s Todd Gaziano called it a “tyrannical abuse of power.” He added: “The House of Representatives did not consent to a Senate recess of more than three days at the end of last year, and so the Senate–consistent with the requirements of the Constitution–is having pro forma sessions every few days. In short, Congress is still in session.”

Obama also ignored the legal advice of his own Justice Department, which confirmed in 2010 that a recess would need to be longer than three days for the president to make an appointment.