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from David Rohde:

The best legislation liberals can buy

If George W. Bush had launched such a group, the coverage would be overwhelming and the criticism widespread. Last Friday, a story by Nicholas Confessore of the New York Times revealed that President Obama’s political team is trying to raise $50 million to fund the conversion of his re-election campaign into Organizing for Action, a “powerhouse” new national lobbying group.

The story said that at least half of the organization’s budget will come from a small number of well-connected donors who each raise or contribute more than $500,000. In return, those donors get a spot on a national advisory board, the right to attend quarterly meetings with the president and access to other White House meetings.

“Unlike a presidential campaign, Organizing for Action has been set up as a tax-exempt ‘social welfare group,’ ” Confessore wrote. “That means it is not bound by federal contribution limits, laws that bar White House officials from soliciting contributions or the stringent reporting requirements for campaigns. In their place, the new group will self-regulate.”

In other words, the organization will function as a de facto super PAC with little transparency. As Chris Cillizza pointed out in the Washington Post this week, the creation of Organizing for Action is no surprise. Whatever his public statements have been, Obama has exacerbated the insidious role of money in politics.

from Tales from the Trail:

Lawyer behind Super PAC ruling launches his own

The lawyer behind the case that opened the door to U.S. "Super PACs" and more campaign cash now has one of his own. Thousands of U.S. dollars are seen here in this November 3, 2009 file photo at a Westminster, Colorado bank. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

The conservative lawyer who helped end political spending limits for corporations has now taken advantage of new campaign finance rules that allow "Super PACs" by launching one of his own.

from Tales from the Trail:

Hillary’s mom offers gift ideas to help her daughter

Looking for that perfect gift for the holidays?

Hillary Clinton's mom, Dorothy Rodham, has a suggestion for you -- a children's book about her daughter.  For a slightly-higher-than-retail price you can even get the book autographed by Clinton and help her pay down her campaign debt.clintonbook

The unique gift suggestion and campaign donation idea was sent around in an email from Dorothy Rodham entitled "A Perfect Gift."

from Tales from the Trail:

Democratic Party to adopt Obama’s policies on special-interest money

BRISTOL, Va. - Basking in his new status as the Democratic standard-bearer, Barack Obama announced on Thursday that his party will adopt the same restrictions on donations that his campaign has put in place.

obama-car.jpgUnder the new policy, the party will no longer take contributions from registered lobbyists or special-interest political action committees. 

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