Chuck Todd on OFA Fundraising: ‘This Just Looks Bad’

OFA donors who give $500,000 get quarterly meetings with Obama


MSNBC’s Chuck Todd criticized Monday the new fundraising efforts of President Obama’s dark money group, Organizing for Action, calling a scheme for high donors to meet regularly with Obama “the definition of selling access.”

Todd was describing the quarterly meetings that will be enjoyed by OFA’s $500,000 donors, the New York Times reported over the weekend:

But those contributions will also translate into access, according to donors courted by the president’s aides. Next month, Organizing for Action will hold a “founders summit” at a hotel near the White House, where donors paying $50,000 each will mingle with Mr. Obama’s former campaign manager, Jim Messina, and Mr. Carson, who previously led the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Giving or raising $500,000 or more puts donors on a national advisory board for Mr. Obama’s group and the privilege of attending quarterly meetings with the president, along with other meetings at the White House. Moreover, the new cash demands on Mr. Obama’s top donors and bundlers come as many of them are angling for appointments to administration jobs or ambassadorships.

“This just looks bad–it looks like the White House is selling access,” Todd said Monday. “It’s the definition of selling access. If you believe money has a strangle hold over the entire political system this is ceding the moral high ground.”

The perk was first reported by the Los Angeles Times earlier in February after a meeting between OFA leadership and top Los Angeles and Bay Area fundraisers for Obama’s reelection campaign.

OFA is a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) and therefore not required to disclose the identities of its donors, nor the amounts they give. In addition to major campaign donors, the organization’s leadership has been courting corporate donors.