Over the weekend, the New York Times broke a story about Barack Obama’s “rebooted” campaign apparatus, now known as “Organizing for Action,” and its drive to raise money for advocacy by selling access to the President and other top officials:
Next month, Organizing for Action will hold a ???founders summit??? at a hotel near the White House, where donors paying $50,000 each will mingle with Mr. Obama???s former campaign manager, Jim Messina, and Mr. Carson, who previously led the White House Office of Public Engagement.
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.
???It just smells,??? said Bob Edgar, the president of Common Cause, which advocates tighter regulation of campaign money. ???The president is setting a very bad model setting up this organization.???
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked about this story today. Courtesy of the Washington Examiner, here’s what happened:
Carney asserted that OFA was an ???independent organization??? that just happened to support the president???s policy agenda, suggesting that the group was no different from any other advocacy organization.
As reporters continued to press Carney on the issue, he refused to address the New York Times reporting. He ended the press briefing as reporters were still asking questions and fled the podium.
Will the media ever get tired of this “fled the podium” stuff? Will Obama flee if his very special $500,000 donors start asking him tough questions at those quarterly meetings? Is there anyplace the rest of us can flee to get away from the Obama machine? Stay tuned!