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Transparency Fail

- April 27, 2011

There Is A Severe Lack Of Transparency When It Comes To Obama’s Fundraisers

OBAMA HITS THE FUNDRAISING CIRCUIT, BUT PRESS ACCESS TO HIGH DOLLAR EVENTS WILL BE RESTRICTED

“President Obama Has Three Fundraisers In New York City Wednesday Night, And Each Has Different Rules For Press Access Set By The White House.” (Matt Negrin, “Varying Access At NYC Fundraisers,” Politico4/27/11)

Obama’s Fundraiser With The Biggest Price Tag Will Be The Most Restricted To The Press. “At Wednesday night’s first fundraiser, which will be open to just a print pooler, Obama will mix and chat with ‘big donors’ on Fifth Avenue, the Daily News reports.” (Matt Negrin, “Varying Access At NYC Fundraisers,” Politico,4/27/11)

  • Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine Is Co-Hosting A $35,800-A-Plate Fundraiser For Obama. “President Obama's first New York event since he declared his reelection will be at the home of former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, the former Goldman Sachs financier who will host a high-dollar, small dinner, an invitation to the event shows. Tickets to the event, which sources said Corzine is co-hosting with another financier, longtime Obama backer Orin Kramer and his wife, cost $35,800 per person.”(Maggie Haberman, “Obama Fundraiser At Corzine Home,” Politico4/5/11)
  • Obama Took Questions At A Fundraiser With Major Donors In San Francisco, But Only When The Press Were “Ushered Out Of The Room.” In his remarks to supporters seated at seven small tables in Benioff’s Victorian-style home, Obama spoke of the ‘stark choice’ between his policies and Republicans, while touting policies he said were going to lead the way in the globalized economy of the 21st century.  The president took a few questions from the crowd as the traveling press pool following Obama was ushered out of the room. (Jamie Crawford, “Fundraiser-In-Chief,” CNN’s “The 1600 Report” Blog, 4/21/11)

Spotty, Partial Access To His Remarks Shouldn't Be The Standard” For The President. “As Knoller notes, Obama is the president and a candidate for reelection. Spotty, partial access to his remarks shouldn't be the standard, and Knoller raised the issue at the briefing.” (Julie Mason, “Knoller’s Lonely Vigil,” Politico,4/26/11)

  • “It's Totally Arbitrary By The WH/Obama Campaign - Seeking To Limit The Amount Of Political Coverage Pres Obama Gets, Esp On TV.” (Mark Knoller, Twitter Feed, 4/22/11)

CBS News’ Mark Knoller Has Been Pushing For Access To Obama’s Fundraisers, “So Far With No Luck.” “It's been a bit of a lonely vigil lately for Mark Knoller of CBS News. At the White House and on Twitter, he's pushing for wider press access to President Obama's fundraisers -- so far with no luck.” (Julie Mason, “Knoller’s Lonely Vigil,” Politico4/26/11)

These Fundraisers "Seem To Go Against [Obama's] Promise" For "Most Transparent" Administration Ever. "When Obama took office, he promised his administration would be the 'most transparent' ever, but the private fundraisers seem to go against that promise. David Jackson, president of the White House Correspondents' Association, said he is 'constantly bringing it up with the White House' to no avail. 'We object to any closed events where the president is speaking,' said Jackson, a USA Today reporter. 'We want a pool with the president, wherever he goes.'" (Matt Negrin, "President Obama Courts Wealthy Donors," Politico, 8/4/10)

 OBAMA’S REFUSAL TO REVEAL HOW MUCH MONEY IS RAISED IS “A BLOW TO TRANSPARENCY”

 “Pres. Obama's Re-Election Campaign Won't Be Disclosing How Much Money Is Taken In At The Individual Fundraising Events Attended By Pres. Obama. Neither Will The Democratic National Committee.” (Mark Knoller, “Obama Campaign Won't Reveal Fundraising Numbers,” CBS News4/19/11)

“A Blow To Transparency.” “Further, the WH/Obama campaign is not disclosing the amount of money raised at each fundraising event. A blow to transparency.”  (Mark Knoller, Twitter Feed, 4/22/11)

 “Pres. Obama Often Trumpets That His White House Is More Transparent And Open Than Any Other. But It's Clear He Does Not Apply That Approach To His Political Fund-Raising.” (Mark Knoller, “Obama Campaign Won't Reveal Fundraising Numbers,” CBS News4/19/11)

Other Re-Election Campaigns Have Disclosed The Totals From Individual Events. “The Obama Campaign is not the first to adopt such a policy, although Pres. Bush's re-election operation in 2004 freely disclosed how much money was taken in at individual events.” (Mark Knoller, “Obama Campaign Won't Reveal Fundraising Numbers,” CBS News4/19/11)

WHILE TAXPAYERS ARE STUCK WITH THE TRAVEL BILL

“Air Force One Costs The Government $181,000 An Hour To Operate.” (Andrew Malcolm, “The Increasingly Odd Political Optics Of Barack Obama” Los Angeles Times’ “Top Of The Ticket” Blog, 4/26/11)

“Obama Is Entitled To Use Air Force One For Political Trips” But Must Reimburse Taxpayers For “A Relatively Small Portion Of The $100,000-Per-Hour Operating Costs.” “Being president cuts into a candidate's fundraising time, but it also facilitates travel. As chief executive, Mr. Obama is entitled to use Air Force One for political trips, though his campaign must reimburse the government for a relatively small portion of the $100,000-per-hour operating costs of flying aboard the 747-version of Air Force One.” (Mark Knoller, “Obama Seeks To Bring In Big Bucks For 2012 Campaign,” CBS4/4/11)

  • “For Two-Years, CBS News Has Been Trying To Get The White House To Disclose The Costs Of Political Travel By The President And The Amount The Government Is Reimbursed By The Candidates And Political Committees For Whom He Was Raising Money. For Two Years, The White House Has Declined To Disclose The Data.” (Mark Knoller, “Obama Seeks To Bring In Big Bucks For 2012 Campaign,” CBS4/4/11)

There Are No Official Events Listed On The White House Schedule In New York City For April 27th(White House Schedule, WhiteHouse.gov, Accessed 4/27/11)


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