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June 29, 2011

Shades Of Bill?
The Obama Administration Has Demonstrated A Troubling History Of Reveling In Gray Areas Of Campaign Finance And Ethics Rules
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OBAMA FILMED A FUNDRAISING APPEAL FOR HIS CAMPAIGN SOMEWHERE IN THE WHITE HOUSE
Obama Filmed An Appeal For The DNC/Obama For America Contest To Win Dinner With Him And Joe Biden In The White House With A DNC Crew. President Obama appealed to supporters and donors in a videotaped message emailed by his campaign team to millions of people Monday -- a message filmed with the president inside the White House by a crew from the Democratic National Committee, according to a White House official who responded to RCP questions about the solicitation. (Alexis Simendinger, White House Says
Obama Fundraising Appeal Not Illegal, Real Clear Politics, 6/28/11)

The Email That Went With Obamas Video Says A Minimum Donation To Obama For American Is Required To Be A Part Of The Contest. In the email message that accompanies Obama's Monday video, however, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina explains to supporters that a minimum $5 donation is required to enter the campaign contest: Make a donation today and be automatically registered for a chance to have dinner with President Obama and Vice President Biden together. We'll cover your airfare and the meal -- all you need to bring is your story and your ideas. (Alexis
Simendinger, White House Says Obama Fundraising Appeal Not Illegal, Real Clear Politics, 6/28/11)

The White House Maintains That Raising Money From The White House Isn't Illegal -- What Is Illegal Is Raising It From Particular Rooms Where Business Is Conducted. (Mark Murray, Obama White House
Defends Web Video Pitch, MSNBC, 6/28/11)

But The Background Of The Video Looks Like The Map Room Where Obama Himself Often Does Official Business. If true, that would be a mitigating factor, but some observers who viewed the video believe it might be the Map Room, a venerated ground-floor office in the mansion that was used as a situation room for Franklin Roosevelt during the Second World War -- and where Obama himself often does official business. A White House aide said Tuesday morning that he didn't think it was the Map Room, although he wasn't certain of the exact location. (Alexis Simendinger, White House Says Obama
Fundraising Appeal Not Illegal, Real Clear Politics, 6/28/11)

EARLIER THIS YEAR, OBAMA MET WITH THIRTY WALL STREET EXECS IN BLUE ROOM AND EVERYONE KNEW WHY THEY WERE THERE
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Just Before Announcing For Reelection, Obama Brought Two Dozen Wall Street Executives And LongTime Donors To The White House. A few weeks before announcing his re-election campaign, President Obama convened two dozen Wall Street executives, many of them longtime donors, in the White Houses Blue Room. (Nicholas Confessore, Obama Seeks To Win Back Wall St. Cash, The New York Times, 6/12/11) The Event, Organized By The Democratic National Committee, Kicked Off An Aggressive Push By Mr. Obama To Win Back The Allegiance Of One Of His Most Vital Sources Of Campaign Cash (Nicholas Confessore, Obama Seeks To Win Back Wall St. Cash, The New York Times, 6/12/11) The Meeting Was Clearly Related To Obamas Reelection Campaign, With One Attendee Noting, [E]veryone Knew Why They Were There. Two attendees at the event who spoke with POLITICO on condition of anonymity said the event was clearly related to the campaign. It was policy-focused, but everyone knew why they were there, said one attendee. (Josh Gerstein, Donor Meeting At White House Draws Fire, Politico,
6/20/11)

All 30 Attendees Had Donated To Obamas 2008 Campaign. All 30 guests were donors to Obama's 2008 campaign, according to Federal Election Commission records. Most have some tie to Wall Street or high finance. (Josh Gerstein, All At DNC Blue Room Meeting With Obama Were Donors, Politicos Under The Radar, 6/26/11) Sixteen Of The Attendees Were Bundlers For Obama In 2008, Together Raising At Least $2.9 Million, And Upwards Of $5.4 Million. (Josh Gerstein, All At DNC Blue Room Meeting With Obama Were Donors, Politicos
Under The Radar, 6/26/11; Center for Responsive Politics, opensecrets.org, Accessed 6/27/11)

At Least Seven Have Hosted At Least One Obama 2012 Fundraiser.

(Josh Gerstein, All At DNC Blue Room Meeting With Obama Were Donors, Politicos Under The Radar, 6/26/11; Gatecrasher, President Obama Will Make Appearances At Two NYC Fundraisers Following Controversial Israel Speech, NY Daily News, 5/29/11; Maggie Haberman, Obama Fundraiser At Corzine Home, Politico, 4/5/11)

Common Causes Mary Boyle: It Has The Appearance That These Are Donors Who Are Getting Special Treatment, Because They Have A Lot Of Money. Boyle's bigger beef is with Obama's March meeting with big donors in the White House's Blue Room. It was disappointing to see... It has the appearance that these are donors who are getting special treatment, because they have a lot of money. (Mark
Murray, Obama White House Defends Web Video Pitch, MSNBC, 6/28/11)

Which Brings Up Some Troubling Comparisons


The Blue Room Meeting Draws Comparisons To DNC Organized Events With Clinton That Turned Out To Have Fundraising Goals Attached To The Invitations. At least on the surface, Obamas Blue Room event seems to have parallels to dozens of so-called coffees President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore held in 1995 and 1996. Most of those events also were organized by the DNC. Clinton aides initially said the events were not fundraisers, and there was no specific donation required for admittance. Documents later emerged showing the DNC had fundraising goals for some events and that some donors were told they could get invited for $50,000. (Josh Gerstein, Donor Meeting At White House Draws Fire, Politico, 6/20/11) Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21: Given The Clinton Fundraising Scandals, One Would Assume No One Would Want To Go Anywhere Near That Again. "Anyone in politics is aware of what happened with the use of the White House for fundraising purposes during the Clinton administration, and one would assume no one would want to go anywhere near that again, said Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21, another group pressing for tighter campaign finance rules." (Josh Gerstein, Donor Meeting At White House Draws Fire, Politico,
6/20/11)

Wertheimer: If This Was Arranged By The DNC And Involved A Substantial Number Of Donors And/Or Fundraisers, Then Its The Kind Of Meeting That Should Not Take Place In The White House. (Josh Gerstein, Donor Meeting At White House Draws Fire, Politico, 6/20/11)
2 Paid for by the Republican National Committee. 310 First Street SE - Washington, D.C. 20003 - (202) 863-8500 - www.gop.com Not authorized by any candidate or candidates committee.

AND OBAMA HAS GIVEN ALMOST 200 OF HIS BUNDLERS JOBS IN HIS ADMINISTRATION ALONG WITH SPECIAL ACCESS TO THE OBAMA WHITE HOUSE
Nearly 200 Of Obamas Biggest Donors Have Raked In Millions Of Taxpayer Dollars Or Plum Positions In The Obama Administration. More than two years after President Obama took office vowing to banish special interests from his administration, nearly 200 of his biggest donors have landed plum government jobs and advisory posts, won federal contracts worth millions of dollars for their business interests or attended numerous elite White House meetings and social events, an investigation by iWatch News has found. (Fred Schulte, John Aloysius Farrell, And Jeremy Borden, Obama Rewards Big Bundlers With Jobs, Commissions, Stimulus Money,
Government Contracts, And More, IWatch, 6/15/11)

Obama Bundlers Had At Least 3,000 Meetings At The White House, Plus Broad Access To Obama Officials And Glitzy Social Events. The big bundlers had broad access to the White House for meetings with top administration officials and glitzy social events. In all, campaign bundlers and their family members account for more than 3,000 White House meetings and visits. Half of them raised $200,000 or more. (Fred
Schulte, John Aloysius Farrell, And Jeremy Borden, Obama Rewards Big Bundlers With Jobs, Commissions, Stimulus Money, Government Contracts, And More, IWatch, 6/15/11)

Obamas Placement Of Donors In Plum Positions Violates His Claims To Have Changed Business As Usual In Washington. While the Obama administration tightened restrictions on hiring lobbyists, the deference it has shown major donors contradicts its claims to have changed business as usual in Washington, critics said. (Fred Schulte, John Aloysius Farrell, And Jeremy Borden, Obama Rewards Big Bundlers With Jobs, Commissions, Stimulus
Money, Government Contracts, And More, IWatch, 6/15/11)

Many Of Those In The Class Of 2008 Are Now Being Asked To Bundle Contributions For Obamas Re-Election, An Effort That Could Cost $1 Billion. (Fred Schulte, John Aloysius Farrell, And Jeremy Borden, Obama Rewards Big
Bundlers With Jobs, Commissions, Stimulus Money, Government Contracts, And More, IWatch, 6/15/11)

OBAMA STAFFERS TRAVEL ACROSS THE STREET FOR MEETINGS WITH LOBBYISTS TO EVADE TRANSPARENCY RULES
White House Officials Have Met "Hundreds Of Times" With Lobbyists At Coffee Shop Across Street From White House. "Here at the Caribou on Pennsylvania Avenue, and a few other nearby coffee shops, White House officials have met hundreds of times over the last 18 months with prominent K Street lobbyists -- members of the same industry that President Obama has derided for what he calls its "outsized influence" in the capital." (Eric Lichtblau, "Across From White House, Coffee With Lobbyists," The New York Times, 6/24/10) Meetings "Reveal A Disconnect Between The Obama Administration's Public Rhetoric ... And The Administration's Continuing, Private Dealings With Them." "But because the discussions are not taking place at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, they are not subject to disclosure on the visitors' log that the White House releases as part of its pledge to be the 'most transparent presidential administration in history.' The off-site meetings, lobbyists say, reveal a disconnect between the Obama administration's public rhetoric -- with Mr. Obama himself frequently thrashing big industries' 'battalions' of lobbyists as enemies of reform -- and the administration's continuing, private dealings with them." (Eric Lichtblau, "Across From White House, Coffee With Lobbyists," The New York Times, 6/24/10) Discussed Issues From Wall Street Regulation To Health Care. "On the agenda over espressos and lattes, according to more than a dozen lobbyists and political operatives who have taken part in the sessions, have been front-burner issues like Wall Street regulation, health care rules, federal stimulus money, energy policy and climate control -- and their impact on the lobbyists' corporate clients." (Eric Lichtblau, "Across From White House, Coffee With Lobbyists," The New York Times, 6/24/10)
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Meetings Are Pushed To Jackson Place So That They Are Kept Off The Books And Hidden From The Public. The White House scoffs at the notion of an ulterior motive for scheduling meetings in what are, after all, meeting rooms. But at least four lobbyists whove been to the conference rooms just off Lafayette Square tell POLITICO they had the distinct impression they were being shunted off to Jackson Place and off the books so their visits wouldnt later be made public. (Chris Frates, Lobbyists: W.H. Hides Meetings Off-Site, Politico, 2/24/11) But By Holding The Meetings With Lobbyists At Jackson Place, The Obama Administration Is Able To Evade Their Own Transparency Rules And The Secret Service Background Checks. The Jackson Place townhouses are a different story. There are no records of meetings at the row houses just off Lafayette Square that house the White House Conference Center and the Council on Environmental Quality, home to two of the busiest meeting spaces. The White House cant say who attended meetings there, or how often. The Secret Service doesnt log in visitors or require a background check the way it does at the main gates of the White House. (Chris Frates, Lobbyists: W.H. Hides
Meetings Off-Site, Politico, 2/24/11)

The Meetings Are Being Held Off-Grounds So That The White House Visitor Logs Would Not Be Released To The Public And Embarrass The President Some lobbyists suspected they were being kept outside the gates for political, rather than logistical, reasons. My understanding was they were holding the meeting there because it included several high-level business and trade association lobbyists, said a senior business lobbyist who attended the meeting. This was an effort to not have to go through the security protocols at the White House which could lead to the visitor logs at some point being released to the public and embarrass the president. (Chris Frates, Lobbyists: W.H. Hides Meetings Off-Site, Politico, 2/24/11)

4 Paid for by the Republican National Committee. 310 First Street SE - Washington, D.C. 20003 - (202) 863-8500 - www.gop.com Not authorized by any candidate or candidates committee.