Carney Dodges Question on Corporate Donors for Inauguration

In reversal, WH will allow corporate donors at different levels


White House press secretary Jay Carney declined to answer questions Tuesday on why President Barack Obama has reversed his decision to allow corporate donations for the inauguration.

The New York Times reported over the weekend that the White House will accept corporate donations for the inauguration, and is seeking a range of donations in exchange for special event packages:

President Obama’s finance team is offering corporations and other institutions that contribute $1 million exclusive access to an array of inaugural festivities, including tickets to a “benefactors reception,” a children’s concert, a candlelight celebration at the National Building Museum, two reserved parade bleacher seats and four tickets to the president’s official inaugural ball.

The offerings are detailed in an online inaugural fund-raising solicitation provided to The New York Times by an Obama fund-raiser. The document describes four packages that Mr. Obama’s finance team can sell, with differing levels of access depending on the level of contribution. Individuals who contribute $250,000 will receive the same package as million-dollar “institutional donors,” which could include corporations, philanthropies, foundations and unions.

Actress Eva Longoria, a major fundraiser for the Obama reelection campaign, is one of the event’s co-chairs, along with several other major fundraisers for the campaign.