In Reversal, Organizing for Action Won’t Take Corporate Cash

  • submit to reddit

Jim Messina, national chairman of Organizing for Action and President Obama's former campaign manager. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Organizing for Action, the new non-profit created to promote the president’s agenda, will disclose donors and dollar amounts over $250, won’t accept corporate donations and won’t guarantee face time with the president to big donors, the organization’s chairman Jim Messina wrote Thursday on CNN.com.

“There has been some confusion about what Organizing for Action is and is not,” Messina wrote. “Organizing for Action is an issue advocacy group, not an electoral one. We’ll mobilize to support the president’s agenda, but we won’t do so on behalf of political candidates. The president has always believed that special interests have undue influence over the policymaking process, and the mission of this organization is to rebalance the power structure.”

Since Organizing for Action was launched in January, it has been criticized by editorial boards and campaign finance advocates for saying it would accept corporate cash, would disclose donor names but not amounts and for reports that donors or bundlers who contributed $500,000 would be invited to quarterly meetings with the president. Today’s reversal appears to be a response to that criticism (and perhaps to this attack ad paid for by by Karl Rove’s American Crossroads).

“It’s encouraging to see that the president’s associates have reconsidered their initial decision to solicit corporate contributions and sell access to the president through OFA and that they’ve pledged to make full and prompt disclosure of all gifts of $250 or more,” said Bob Edgar of Common Cause, one of the organizations leading the charge against Organizing for Action. “But that’s really just a start.”

Edgar pointed out that Organizing for Action is still accepting unlimited donations from wealthy individuals.

“If Organizing for Action is serious about putting to bed public concerns that contributions buy access, it should mobilize its impressive small-donor and activist base to push for real reform to clean up Washington,” Edgar said.

 

  • submit to reddit

BillMoyers.com encourages conversation and debate around issues, events and ideas related to content on Moyers & Company and the BillMoyers.com website.

  • The editorial staff reserves the right to take down comments it deems inappropriate.
  • Profanity, personal attacks, hate speech, off-topic posts, advertisements and spam will not be tolerated.
  • Do not intentionally make false or misleading statements, impersonate someone else, break the law, or condone or encourage unlawful activity.

If your comments consistently or intentionally make this community a less civil and enjoyable place to be, you and your comments will be excluded from it.

We need your help with this. If you feel a post is not in line with the comment policy, please flag it so that we can take a look. Comments and questions about our policy are welcome. Please send an email to feedback@billmoyers.com

Find out more about BillMoyers.com's privacy policy and terms of service.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wendy.mcmillan.338 Wendy McMillan

    I went to there site because I would like to be involved in some type of action to improve our country…they just wanted a donation……Just more of the same BS…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mikki-Mack/1427792927 Mikki Mack

    Campaign finance reform is long past due. So is the need for term limits. No more career politicians going to Washington and getting rich.

  • ML Wade

    “Organizing for Action is an issue advocacy group, not an electoral one. We’ll mobilize to support the president’s agenda, but…”

    Sadly, the president’s agenda isn’t what a lot of us thought we were voting for. Still watching for him to protect the middle class by maintaining Social Security and Medicare at current levels, to block Keystone XL, to act on what The People want rather than what the oil and financial and weapons companies want. We’re waiting for him to use his impressive strategic and tactical abilities to out-maneuver those in Congress who are blocking action that benefits the majority of us and our long term future.

  • Turd Ferguson

    You don’t have to be a career pol to get rich. The one-and-outs get rich, too. Its not the number of terms that matter, its the existence of the river of money into the place.

  • Reddoor2

    Unfortunately it’s already too late, “Since Organizing for Action was launched in January, it has been criticized by editorial boards and campaign finance advocates
    for saying it would accept corporate cash, would disclose donor names
    but not amounts and for reports that donors or bundlers who contributed
    $500,000 would be invited to quarterly meetings with the president.”

    The die is cast for OFA and President Obama’s place in history. They blew it right out of the gate by trying to beat them at their own game, he has become one of them. Issues or electoral advocacy, none of them get that we, the People want to stop the “purchase” of access to power, and want the President of the United States to STOP SELLING HIMSELF, and stop selling out the American People. It is about representing ideas and ideals that money should not be able to buy and the President should be willing, at any price, to sell.

  • Reddoor2

    Wendy McMillan, look at the Green Party-I think you’ll find their platform closer to the Eisenhower sanity we remember. They are not a PAC but a third party and have many opportunities for people to take action, and help.

  • amanda

    A problem is that the political parties have been weakened by heavy donations. You can’t even get a Democrat to back the environment, for instance. We badly need some group who will step forward and talk about what used to work as a political party platform. Candidates can thumb their noses because they can get elected just by supporting a move to rebate back contributions using our tax dollars to wealthy corporations. Bravo. OFA. Build it and they will come. say it and at least it become a part of a conversation.

  • Theo

    I voted for Mr. Obama in ’08, but for Stein in ’12. I don’t support the President’s agenda and this organization will make nice over an agenda that stinks to high heaven. It is just another con game and the middle class and poor are the marks. In the end the Democrats get us in almost the same place as the Republicans do. The whole neoliberal and conservative projects have been shown time and time again to be dishonest and elitist as well as antidemocratic. Mr. Obama has been at the head of a criminal foreign policy and national security state domestic policy that is even worse than those of Nixon and Bush II. His economic program is smoke and mirrors. I can no longer take him seriously. His dishonesty should be plain to all those who voted for him, but sadly is not. The Republican alternative is even worse economically and would continue the crimes now committed daily by the President and his administration, the Congress, the military, the CIA, the FBI and so many of the true believers in the supremacy of the national security state to the detriments of every decent value. Domestically, he is convinced he is correct in wanting to weaken the safety net, yet calling it strengthening. This is profoundly dishonest. Meanwhile, his administration and the Congress play games with the unemployment numbers as well as the inflation numbers. The whole thing is a house of cards and the American people as a whole are continually dealt the losing hand in this game. And do you really believe that there are corporate solutions to global warming other than those backed up by loophole free laws and draconian regulations? If so, I have a bridge to sell you, as they say.