Obama Turns Campaign Machinery into Promo Tool
President Barack Obama made a new political operation to advance his agenda in his second term. It would be allowed to collect unlimited money and accept corporate contributions. Officials said that the donations will be disclosed.
Obama for America, which is the organization that mobilized the president’s supporters during his two presidential bids, is now known as Organizing for Action. Its goal is to promote President Obama’s policies and to give Democratic activists a way to support his agenda. It will be supervised by former campaign advisers.
Organizing for Action is headed by Jim Messina, who was the president’s campaign manager in 2012. He said that the grass-roots effort would start by tackling gun control, climate change, and immigration. It would operate under the same financing rules as the president’s inauguration committee that accepts corporate contributions.
The group will also be advised by David Plouffe and other Obama political aides. It shows the changes in the president’s view on the intersection of politics and money. A year ago, President Obama reversed himself and gave his blessing to a super PAC to support his re-election bid as he faced the prospect of having a financial disadvantage against Republicans.
Organizing for Action will be tax exempt and can get unlimited donations to take advantage of a muscular campaign apparatus that includes millions of Obama supporters. The group will buy airtime to run television ads in a campaign-style effort to push the president’s agenda.
Previous administrations used the White House Office of Political Affairs or the Democratic National Committee to perform similar tasks. With an outside group, it allows the operation to raise money, broadcast TV ads, and run a political campaign on issues without going against government guidelines that don’t allow advocating for legislation.
Organizing for Action will be set up under Section 501 (c)(4) of the tax code. This is the federal designation for social welfare groups that are dedicated to advancing broad community interests.