Today the Washington Post described the difference between Obama’s flowery words and what Obama actually does. Apparently Obama, the denouncer of insider Washington is using all sorts of Washington insider financial tricks to salvage his campaign. Experts in the campaign finance field are not amused.
Kent Cooper, the FEC’s retired chief of public disclosure, said the commission, if it chose, could declare that Obama’s presidential campaign and PAC were “affiliated,” meaning some activities involving the PAC could be declared in-kind contributions to the presidential campaign that would exceed current donation limits.
“At this stage of the race, for a presidential candidate, it is a brazen effort to use every avenue to influence an election,” Cooper said. “I can’t believe the Obama people can keep a straight face and claim these aren’t part of the presidential race.”
The Hillary Clinton campaign responded to the latest Obama hypocrisy:
In response to a report this morning in the Washington Post revealing that Senator Obama’s leadership PAC has given the majority of its campaign contributions to officials and committees in the early nominating states, the Clinton campaign released the following statement:
This morning, we learned that Senator Obama has been using his leadership PAC to give political contributions to officials in the early primary states. In fact, 68 percent of contributions from his PAC have gone to those in states that are scheduled to hold nominating contests on February 5th or earlier.
It is our understanding that a candidate’s campaign is barred from using the candidate’s leadership PAC to benefit his or her campaign which is why we shut down HillPAC when Senator Clinton announced her run for the White House.
On the campaign trail, Senator Obama is outspoken about his desire to reform the campaign finance system so it was surprising to learn that he has been using his PAC in a manner that appears to be inconsistent with the prevailing election laws. Considering how often Senator Obama talks about his efforts to be transparent, we presume he will answer the following questions regarding the behavior of his PAC:
1. Who decided what contributions would be made by Hopefund?
2. Did any presidential campaign staff, consultants or advisors participate in any discussions about Hopefund contributions? Who?
3. Did the decision-makers know who was endorsing the presidential campaign? If so, how did they find this out?
4. Who told Hopefund which Iowa and New Hampshire candidates and committees should get contributions?
5. Are there any overlapping employees, consultants and advisors between Hopefund and the presidential campaign?
6. The Washington Post article suggests that Hopefund was dormant earlier in the year. Who made the decision to start making contributions again and on what basis was that decision made?
These are excellent questions. So far no answers.
We’ve listed questions before – so far no answers.
We will post more questions this week. Rezko, Michelle, Obama – lots of questions remain unanswered.