The kind of headline you never want to see....
Weeks after top Obama allies announced plans to convert his victorious re-election campaign into an unprecedented nonprofit, questions remain about how the group, dubbed Organizing for Action, will interact with the White House. Chief among them is what benefits will be offered to those who shell out hefty sums to help bolster Obama's legislative priorities.
Asked Monday whether there was a price tag to see the president, White House press secretary Jay Carney said emphatically that there was not. But he wouldn't directly address reports that donors who give or raise $500,000 will be invited to quarterly meetings with Obama.
"Administration officials routinely interact with outside advocacy organizations," Carney said. "This has been true in prior administrations and it is true in this one."
Organizers of the nonprofit group have outlined plans to raise tens of millions of dollars for the organization, according to someone who has been briefed on the plans. The group has reached out to 50 top Obama donors who intend to raise at least $500,000 this year, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to describe the group's plans publicly.
The donors, many of whom served on the Obama campaign's National Finance Committee, are expecting they'll receive benefits similar to what they received in the campaign, he said. Those benefits included briefings from top White House officials, campaign operatives and access to Obama. But an explicit menu of benefits available to those who raise specific amounts has not been offered.
Nudge nudge wink wink.