Unprecedented: Obama Campaign to Turn Itself into Non-Profit
Never in U.S. history has a sitting president morphed his campaign team into a tax-exempt nonprofit designed to use its voter databases to ramrod a president’s legislative agenda. Until now.
On Friday, First Lady Michelle Obama said the Obama campaign, officially known as Obama for America, will soon be turned into a 501 (c) 4 social welfare non-profit called Organizing For Action that can raise unlimited donations and will become “the next phase of our movement for change.” Former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina will become the group’s chairman of the board, Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod will be a consultant, and Obama media strategist David Plouffe will join the group once he exits the White House.
According to Politico, the group claims it will disclose its donors and not take money from lobbyists or political action committees (PACs), but will take unlimited money from corporations.
“It’s ironic and puzzling that a grassroots organization with a public interest agenda is going to take unlimited corporate money. It doesn’t square,” said Mary Boyle of Common Cause. “There’s one reason that corporations spends money on politics–they’re looking for something in return.”