Organizing for Action: Er, we won’t be accepting corporate donations after all — how’s that sound?

posted at 9:01 pm on March 7, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

President Obama’s campaign-machinery-turned-”advocacy group” got a lot of rather negative attention last week, when the New York Times reported that donors who contribute or raise $500,000 or more for Organizing for Action will be magnanimously granted the high privilege of attending quarterly meetings with the president, along with other meetings at the White House — a.k.a., Organizing for Action will be selling access to the president to the highest bidders.

It would seem that Team Obama took offense at that unfortunate turn of phrasing, and Jim Messina — erstwhile Obama campaign manager and newfound OFA national chairman — was compelled to pen an op-ed defending the new group and announcing a couple of policy changes. Because, you know, they’re so committed to transparency and thwarting special interests, and everything.

The president has always believed that special interests have undue influence over the policymaking process, and the mission of this organization is to rebalance the power structure.

While Organizing for Action is a nonprofit social welfare organization that faces a lower disclosure threshold than a political campaign, we believe in being open and transparent. That’s why every donor who gives $250 or more to this organization will be disclosed on the website with the exact amount they give on a quarterly basis. We have now decided not to accept contributions from corporations, federal lobbyists or foreign donors.

Supporters of Organizing for Action will dedicate their time to mobilize their friends and neighbors on behalf of the president’s agenda. Whether you’re a volunteer or a donor, we can’t and we won’t guarantee access to any government officials. But just as the president and administration officials deliver updates on the legislative process to Americans and organizations across the ideological spectrum, there may be occasions when members of Organizing for Action are included in those updates. These are not opportunities to lobby — they are briefings on the positions the president has taken and the status of seeing them through.

Let me just reiterate that. OFA cannot and will not guarantee access to any government officials, but “just as the president and administration officials deliver updates on the legislative process to Americans and organizations across the ideological spectrum, there may be occasions when members of Organizing for Action are included in those updates.” …So, basically, all you’re really saying is… ‘This is happening, sorry we’re not sorry’?

Not accepting corporate, foreign, or federally-registered lobbyist donations and disclosing the names and amounts all big-dollar donors might be a small step in a more transparent direction, but that doesn’t really address the heart of the “selling access” complaints, does it? Individuals can still donate in unlimited amounts, and probably get a visit with the president out of it. “These are not opportunities to lobby”? Spare us the lip service.

On Thursday, campaign-finance watchdog groups remained critical of its fundraising structure, despite the new ban on corporate giving.

“OFA remains an unprecedented entity that allows individual donors and bundlers to provide unlimited amounts of money to an organization functioning as the arm of the Obama presidency,” Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, said in a statement.


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Hey its the guy with the too dark by half lips!

Bmore on March 7, 2013 at 9:02 PM

Have got to remember to do a photoshop of him.

Bmore on March 7, 2013 at 9:03 PM

I have the perfect idea.

Bmore on March 7, 2013 at 9:04 PM

Thanks Erika! ; )

Bmore on March 7, 2013 at 9:04 PM

Jim Messina is one ugly man. He probably got punched in the face a lot, and shoved in to lockers growing up, and rightfully so.

But give the guy credit, he sure was able to put together a strong campaign infrastructure.

Why don’t Republicans get someone like that?

Raquel Pinkbullet on March 7, 2013 at 9:04 PM

Why don’t you write it on your hands, weirdo.

Bishop on March 7, 2013 at 9:08 PM

When you’re digging in a hole……

itsspideyman on March 7, 2013 at 9:10 PM

This guy is from the Berkley of MT.
My ashamed face%{

MontanaMmmm on March 7, 2013 at 9:12 PM

“It puts the lotion on it’s skin…

… or it gets the hose again.”

Seven Percent Solution on March 7, 2013 at 9:15 PM

“it puts lotion on it’s skin”

The dude is uber creepy and that movie comes to mind every time I see his mug.

wolly4321 on March 7, 2013 at 9:18 PM

you beat me to it, Seven, Cheers!!!

ninjacoastie on March 7, 2013 at 9:18 PM

Laws don’t apply to dictators … which is how you know that one exists …

ShainS on March 7, 2013 at 9:19 PM

7%- lol! yep.

wolly4321 on March 7, 2013 at 9:20 PM

Creepy.

Curtiss on March 7, 2013 at 9:20 PM

Those LIPS … those LIPS … those luscious lying LIPS!

Pork-Chop on March 7, 2013 at 9:20 PM

I forecast he will be featured some day on Investigation Discovery…

hillsoftx on March 7, 2013 at 9:22 PM

Anyone else on the mailing list? They hit me up almost daily. It’s not a bad idea to see the propaganda coming in a timely fashion.

wolly4321 on March 7, 2013 at 9:23 PM

ninjacoastie on March 7, 2013 at 9:18 PM

wolly4321 on March 7, 2013 at 9:20 PM

Bishop on March 7, 2013 at 9:08 PM

Bmore on March 7, 2013 at 9:03 PM

*clinky!*

:)

Seven Percent Solution on March 7, 2013 at 9:25 PM

We have now decided not to accept contributions from corporations, federal lobbyists or foreign donors.

TRANSLATION: We’ll get front men to pass the money.

GarandFan on March 7, 2013 at 9:26 PM

I get lovely letters from stephanie cutter, too. Full of joy. About how guys like me want to commit atrocity.

wolly4321 on March 7, 2013 at 9:26 PM

Nothing says 99%er like paying $500,000 for quarterly access to the potus for influence peddling.

may you 50.8%ers combust spontaneously.

tom daschle concerned on March 7, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Reggie Love is accepting donations. Specifically back door donations at Chicago’s ‘Man’s Country’.

BHO Jonestown on March 7, 2013 at 9:30 PM

Seven Percent Solution on March 7, 2013 at 9:25 PM

*clinky!* 7%, I am fixing Mr. Messina up real good with photoshop. At least we all finally understand how those lips got that way. ; )

Bmore on March 7, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Bmore on March 7, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Uh oh. Hope I’m on the right thread when that one is premiered!

KCB on March 7, 2013 at 9:32 PM

*clinky!* 7%, I am fixing Mr. Messina up real good with photoshop. At least we all finally understand how those lips got that way. ; )

Bmore on March 7, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Looking forward to it…

Seven Percent Solution on March 7, 2013 at 9:34 PM

It’s groupthink. They are plugged in and on message. It’s why you hear them all hammering the same thing. Convienantely, they’ll send you their talking points.

It wouldn’t hurt us to see what’s coming. At least what they divulge for public consumption.

These are some scheming bastards fer sure.

*clink*

wolly4321 on March 7, 2013 at 9:35 PM

At least we all finally understand how those lips got that way. ; )

Bmore on March 7, 2013 at 9:31 PM

That’s just wrong.

But fair.

Curtiss on March 7, 2013 at 9:35 PM

So,if your a Lefty Campaign Bundler,you`ll get a nice
government job!!

Barack Obama’s Bundlers

Bundlers are people with friends in high places who, after bumping against personal contribution limits, turn to those friends, associates, and, well, anyone who’s willing to give, and deliver the checks to the candidate in one big “bundle.”

Even though these donors direct more money to the candidates than anyone else, disclosure can be spotty, candidates generally release bundlers by ranges of fundraising, indicated in this chart with the “max” and “min” columns, and with the top ranges being simply “$500,000 or more.” NOTE: Federal Election Commission regulations only require disclosure of funds bundled by registered lobbyists. In 2008, both Barack Obama and John McCain agreed to disclose any bundlers who raised over $50,000 for their campaigns. Obama’s re-election campaign is again disclosing those bundlers for the 2012 election. No 2012 Republican presidential candidates have agreed to voluntarily disclose their entire bundlers lists.

See our Bundlers infographic

Barack Obama Bundlers

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/bundlers.php
==============================================

Report: Obama Administration Rewards Big Donors With Jobs

By JAKE TAPPER (@jaketapper)
June 15, 2011

President Obama launched his campaign in 2007 promising a change in the way business is done in Washington, D.C., but today a report from the Center for Public Integrity says that when it comes to major campaign donors scoring plum administration positions, it’s business as usual.

The report says that 184 out of 556 2008 Obama campaign “bundlers,” donors who agreed to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for a campaign — or their spouses — joined the administration in some role.

But the percentages are much higher for the big-dollar bundlers. Nearly “80 percent of those who collected more than $500,000 for Obama took ‘key administration posts,’ as defined by the White House,” the report said.

The center pointed out that candidate Obama suggested that big moneyed interests would not have as prominent a role in D.C. during his administration.

“The cynics, the lobbyists, the special interests who’ve turned our government into a game, only they can afford to play,” said then-Sen. Obama in his February 2007 announcement speech. “They get the access while you get to write a letter. … The time for that kind of politics is over.”
(More…)
===========

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/report-obama-administration-rewards-big-donors-jobs/story?id=13849435

canopfor on March 7, 2013 at 9:46 PM

Okay guys, I’m getting a bit creeped out by the inordinate attention being paid here to Messina’s lips.

cam2 on March 7, 2013 at 9:46 PM

Okay guys, I’m getting a bit creeped out by the inordinate attention being paid here to Messina’s lips.

cam2 on March 7, 2013 at 9:46 PM

I’m with you. His freakish lips are highlighted by that massive overbite. I’m guessing he’s a freaking radical commie because his mommy didn’t give him enough hugs and much needed dental work.

Happy Nomad on March 7, 2013 at 9:49 PM

Seven Percent Solution on March 7, 2013 at 9:25 PM

*clinky!* 7%, I am fixing Mr. Messina up real good with photoshop. At least we all finally understand how those lips got that way. ; )

Bmore on March 7, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Bmore:Why yes,Canadian EnQuiring minds need to know,er,or not!:)

canopfor on March 7, 2013 at 9:50 PM

canopfor on March 7, 2013 at 9:46 PM

Excellent work…

… as always!

*clinky!*

:)

Seven Percent Solution on March 7, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Uhh..has ‘Creep’ been mentioned yet..

or ‘creepy’?

‘pasty’?

BigWyo on March 7, 2013 at 10:12 PM

…I think that guy…is OUR HotLips !

KOOLAID2 on March 7, 2013 at 10:25 PM

We were for it before we were found out and now we are against what we are really for, until you find out again.

Russ86 on March 7, 2013 at 11:07 PM

I’m with you. His freakish lips are highlighted by that massive overbite.
Happy Nomad on March 7, 2013 at 9:49 PM

Messina and Fry from Futurama — separated at birth?

cam2 on March 7, 2013 at 11:15 PM

Hello, I’m Mickey Mouse, and I’d like to donate anonymously here’s…

$249 over 1 million times

thanks for not reporting it since it’s within your guidelines

LAWFARE BABY!!! ANYTHING MEANS EVERYTHING AND NOTHING!!

John Kettlewell on March 8, 2013 at 6:58 AM

Its a face that just begs to be smashed.

Dingbat63 on March 8, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Its a face that just begs to be smashed.

Dingbat63 on March 8, 2013 at 8:07 AM

It hasn’t been?

tom daschle concerned on March 8, 2013 at 8:16 AM

You can fool some of the people some of the time……..

Old Abe knew his people all too well and said it better than anyone. Now we see this bunch trying to fool all the people all the time and with the help of the MSM they might get away with it. It is up to “we the people” to make certain that they no longer fool any of the people any of the time.

Pardonme on March 8, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Who needs Corporate donors when they got 4B donors in China?

Now if only the Republicans can wake up and realize that a major all out political war is brewing in our country and if they don’t act soon, the result will be the total irrelevance of the Republican party, if they haven’t reached that point already.

stuartm80127 on March 8, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Creepy.

Curtiss on March 7, 2013 at 9:20 PM

Oh come on, who wouldn’t feel safe letting him watch their 8 year old for an afternoon?

roy_batty on March 8, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Picture of the times

Schadenfreude on March 8, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Whether it comes as a single $500,000 donation, or 2,008 $249 donations, in the end it still spends the same.

Gator Country on March 8, 2013 at 2:53 PM

What is it about this Jim Messina that makes me think each time I see him that if he were an actor, he would be typecast as a pedophile?

pilamaye on March 9, 2013 at 11:32 AM