Organizing For Action Decides Not To Disclose Donors, Watchdogs Mostly Silent

Well, this is a stunning reversal of fortune.  Remember when Organizing for Action – the so-called non-partisan 501(c)4 group aimed at disseminating and lobbying for Obama’s agenda – would release the names of its donors, especially the ones who give big to the organization.  Well, they’ve decided to nix that, not that the liberal media care to note the reversal.

The Washington Free Beacon reported today that:

President Barack Obama’s recently formed dark-money group Organizing for Action confirmed to the Center for Public Integrity Thursday that it would not release donor information such as employer and occupation despite collecting the data in its online donor application.

The Center for Public Integrity reports:

“Our voluntary disclosure will be posted on our website with the exact dollar donation, name and city and state of the donor,” Organizing for Action spokeswoman Katie Hogan told the Center for Public Integrity.

As a practical matter, a lack of employer and occupation information makes it more difficult for the public to determine the corporate, union or special interest ties donors may have.

It also complicates confirming their identities, particularly when they have common names. A similar issue arose when Obama’s inauguration committee released the names of its donors, but no other identifying information. …

Organizing for Action — the successor organization to Obama’s re-election campaign — is not compelled by law to release any of its donor information because it was established as a 501(c)(4) ”social welfare” nonprofit group and falls under the auspices of the Internal Revenue Service. It may raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, but electing politicians cannot be its primary purpose.

OFA has been accused by many of selling access to the president, which isn’t uncommon, but Obama campaigned against such business-as-usual politics when he ran in 2008.  However, given this administration’s penchant to keep various parts of its governing apparatus hidden from the public – and the fact that the co-founder of the liberal ethics watchdog CREW is now the White House’ ethics czar – the watchdog community in D.C. has remained silent since OFA’s inception. 

OFA's executive staff is compromised of former Obama campaign operatives, and their email chain is anything but non-partisan.   When will the media investigate this?  After all, the URL for OFA is barackobama.com.

Below is an email thread from OFA which illustrates how nakedly partisan the organization is:

Friend --

Thanks to Republican obstructionism in Congress, the nation was forced into the sequester last Friday -- a series of automatic and destructive budgets cuts that you and your neighbors are just beginning to feel.

In the face of these devastating cuts, House Speaker John Boehner went on TV and said, "I don't know whether it's going to hurt the economy or not ... I don't think anyone quite understands how the sequester is really going to work."

Really? We're not talking about some abstract numbers on a piece of paper -- this is real.

The sequester will cut 10,000 teaching jobs, 70,000 spots for preschoolers in Head Start, $43 million for food programs for seniors, $35 million for local fire departments, and access to nutrition assistance for over half a million women and their families.

And the reason congressional Republicans let these cuts go into effect is because they simply wouldn't support closing tax loopholes for millionaires and billionaires -- for things like yachts and corporate jets. I wish I were kidding.

More than 340,000 OFA supporters have added their names to support President Obama's balanced plan and call on congressional Republicans to take action to stop the sequester budget cuts right now.

Add your name, today, and join them:

http://my.barackobama.com/Tell-the-GOP-to-Act

Thanks, and keep it up.

Stephanie [Cutter]

-----Original Message-----

From: Jon Carson, BarackObama.com

Subject: Devastating

Friend --

Today, because congressional Republicans refused to act, devastating budget cuts known as the sequester are going into effect.

They're self-inflicted wounds, and they didn't have to happen.

Congress can stop all of this right away -- and pursue a balanced approach to deficit reduction.

That's what the vast majority of Americans want, and yesterday, more than 100,000 Americans called on Congress to be reasonable about the budget.

Add your name now:

http://my.barackobama.com/Tell-the-GOP-to-Act

Thanks,

Jon

-----Original Message-----

From: Jim Messina, BarackObama.com

Subject: Stand behind the President's plan, before tomorrow

Friend --

Brace yourself.

If congressional Republicans don't act by tomorrow, we're going to be hit by a series of devastating, automatic budget cuts called the sequester.

It's a sledgehammer to the budget, our economy, and millions of Americans across the country -- and the most frustrating part? It doesn't have to happen.

The majority of Americans support President Obama's balanced approach to deficit reduction -- add your name if you do, too.

So far, congressional Republicans are refusing to compromise -- all because they don't want to close tax loopholes for millionaires, billionaires, vacation homes, and corporate jets. Seriously.

This has very real consequences.

On the chopping block are 10,000 teaching jobs, more than 70,000 kids' spots in Head Start, $35 million for local fire departments, $43 million to make sure seniors don't go hungry, and access to nutrition assistance for 600,000 women and their families. That's just a few of the things we'll lose.

President Obama has put forth a balanced deficit reduction plan with smart spending cuts that protect the critical investments needed to strengthen middle-class families and our economy.

We need to send a strong signal about where Americans stand on this issue.

Add your name today:

http://my.barackobama.com/Tell-the-GOP-to-Act

Thanks,

Messina

Jim Messina

Chair

Organizing for Action

P.S. -- If Congress fails to act, this fight doesn't end tomorrow. We'll need to put even more pressure on Republicans to stop these budget cuts and pass a balanced plan. Join this fight now.

Sources: The White House and Center for American Progress

(H/T Free Beacon)