”If the NRA’s got a list, then Obama for America has a bigger list” - Robert Gibbs
WAPO - "President Obama’s recent announcement that he is setting up a group to keep his supporters energized and enrolled for action in a second term. To be called Organizing for Action, the group will harvest the rich data — e-mails and names — of the Obama foot soldiers who knocked on doors and got out the vote. Certainly, there’s something bigger going on here — a mix of technical prowess and grass-roots smarts. But there is also a whiff of something fishy.
A second worry is that the Obama team is willing to accept corporate money. While officials say that the group won’t accept cash from political action committees and lobbyists, they apparently welcome companies and individuals making donations. At a closed-door meeting during the inaugural celebrations, the group made its first pitch to Democratic donors and bundlers, Politico reported. No doubt some donors will sign checks in hopes of influencing Obama administration policy decisions.
A third minefield is what role Organizing for Action might play in election campaigns. Under the law, a 501(c)4 group can engage in some electoral politics, but that can’t be its “primary” purpose. As we’ve noted, several organizations appear to have abused this standard in 2012 by spending heavily for political advertising to support candidates. Is the president now creating an apparatus that could do the same?
What’s most troubling is that President Obama seems to have developed a tin ear about shadow money in politics. In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United campaign-finance case, Mr. Obama warned of “a new stampede of special-interest money in our politics.”
Why, then, is he opening a cashier’s window with his name on it for the same special interests? The president and his team may be wizards at social media and grass-roots organizing, but from an influence-peddling standpoint this organization looks to be fraught with hazard."