Obama Dark Money Group to hold ‘Founders Summit’ at Luxury Hotel

Campaign finance reform groups have 'no plans' to protest money for access, spokesmen say


A secretive Democratic advocacy group will hold a secretive conference at the plush St. Regis hotel in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, according to an ABC News report.

President Barack Obama will reportedly headline the event.

Organizing for Action, the 501(c)(4) group founded by former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina, had previously refused to disclose details about its Wednesday “founders summit.”

OFA spokesperson Katie Hogan also continued to ignore the Washington Free Beacon’s phone calls on Monday.

ABC News reports:

The summit will stretch over two days at Washington’s St. Regis Hotel, including a series of meetings, discussions, and brainstorming sessions aimed at shaping the group’s advocacy agenda and grassroots mobilization strategy, the official said.  It will also engage key Democratic donors who have pledged to underwrite the group.

Obama has drawn criticism from government watchdog groups and some Republicans for reportedly promising regular face-time at quarterly meetings to wealthy would-be donors—a charge which OFA has denied.  He is not expected to spend any one-on-one time with the donors in attendance on Wednesday, the official said.

“Everyone will be in one room,” including donors, former campaign aides, and dozens of grassroots organizers and volunteers, the official told ABC News.  The group has pledged to voluntarily disclose the identities of its donors and post online the amounts of their contributions.

While OFA has drawn criticism from some left-wing groups who say it is selling access to the president and other top administration officials, those groups do not appear to be organizing large protests for the event, as they have for conservative fundraising events.

A spokesperson for Public Citizen told the Free Beacon that the group is keeping an eye on OFA, but that it currently has no plans to protest the founders summit, as it did an annual gathering of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity.

Common Cause, another left-wing advocacy group that has protested conservative fundraising efforts, did not return a request for comment. Its website did not suggest that it is planning any comparable actions to protest OFA, which the group has criticized.