The White House refuted a report Monday that President Obama’s former campaign team is selling access to him for wealthy donors who contribute at least $500,000 to a newly organized advocacy group pushing his liberal agenda.
White House press secretary Jay Carney offered a flat “no” when asked by reporters if donors to the group Organizing for Action — a spinoff of Obama for America — would be rewarded with quarterly meetings with Mr. Obama in exchange for their hefty contributions to the tax-exempt group.
“Of course not,” Mr. Carney said “The president is engaged in an effort to pass items on his agenda. And outside organizations that support that agenda … like organizations that support his manufacturing agenda, administration officials can meet with them. This is an independent organization.”
The White House may call OFA “independent,” but it’s a thinly veiled outgrowth of Mr. Obama’s reelection campaign. It was created immediately after the election by people such as Jim Messina, Mr. Obama’s former campaign manager, to build grassroots support for the president’s second-term agenda, such as gun control and immigration reform.
OFA’s executive director, Jon Carson, formerly ran the White House office of public engagement. Its spokeswoman, Katie Hogan, was a deputy press secretary for Mr. Obama’s reelection campaign.
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