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Old 03-04-2013, 10:48 AM   #1
bimmerfan08
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Obama outside groups forming influence network



From campaign strategists to online gurus and policy hands to press agents, Obama loyalists are slicing his agenda into smaller parts and launching highly targeted efforts on subjects including health care, job creation and electoral politics.


WASHINGTON President Barack Obama learned in his first term that he couldn't change Washington from the inside, saying in the heat of his re-election race, "You can only change it from the outside."

Months later, his former White House aides and campaign advisers are embracing Obama's words as a call to action.

Obama veterans are building a wide network of deep-pocketed groups and consulting firms independent of government, the Democratic Party and traditional liberal groups, a sweeping if not unprecedented effort outside the White House gates aimed at promoting the president's agenda and shaping his legacy.

From campaign strategists to online gurus and policy hands to press agents, Obama loyalists including many who discovered that a second term yields fewer administration job vacancies are slicing his agenda into smaller parts and launching highly targeted efforts on subjects including health care, job creation and electoral politics.

The lynchpin of the effort is Organizing for Action, a nonprofit run by former Obama advisers that has essentially transformed his re-election campaign into a grassroots machine to support his initiatives. In its early stages, the group is raising millions from big and small donors alike and whipping up support for issues like gun control and an immigration overhaul.

Known by its initials, OFA is chaired by Jim Messina, a former White House aide who ran Obama's 2012 campaign, and several former Obama aides sit on its board. David Plouffe, who until February served as Obama's senior adviser, is expected to join the board soon.

OFA's close ties to the West Wing and its control over the former campaign's resources has raised questions about where the nonprofit group ends and the White House starts. The group controls Obama's massive email list and also his campaign Twitter handle, which has more than 27 million followers and frequently tweets links to his government website.

As a tax-exempt entity, OFA by law can't intervene in elections and is subject to strict limits on lobbying. The group accepts unlimited donations from individuals and corporations but plans to release the names of its donors. The corporate funding is a shift: Many of the same operatives involved with OFA were once loud critics, along with Obama, of big money- and corporate-fueled entities that emerged after a series of court rulings, especially the Citizens United case, loosened restrictions on money and politics.

The arrangement has also opened the White House to criticism that contributors, in exchange for supporting the groups, could receive special access to Obama that the public is denied. White House press secretary Jay Carney fielded repeated questions last week over whether bundlers who raised $500,000 or more for OFA were promised quarterly meetings with the president a claim that OFA disputed.

"They have created literally a cottage industry solely devoted to access and making money off the access," said Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee.

As advocacy groups, OFA and the smaller organizations can coordinate with the White House on messaging and tactics. Carney said the administration interacts with a variety of such groups, adding that administration officials may appear at OFA events but won't be raising money.

An OFA "founders' summit" for donors on March 13 at a Washington hotel will include addresses by Messina, Plouffe and others, according to an invitation obtained by The Associated Press. The next day will include briefings on immigration, gun control and climate change, with former Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson expected to attend.

But when OFA asks supporters to cut a check, it will be competing with a growing list of pro-Obama factions making appeals to a limited pool of Democratic donors.

Business Forward, a 3-year-old trade group that has facilitated meetings between businesses and Obama officials, is ramping up operation as a liberal counterweight to the conservative-leaning U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Business Forward is funded by corporate money that was banished from Obama's campaign coffers in 2008 and 2012.

More than 50 corporate members pay $25,000 or $50,000 a year to be involved in briefings between Obama administration officials and business leaders, small businesses and entrepreneurs. Its members include AT&T and Microsoft, which donated to Obama's inaugural committee, and Citi, Comcast and Facebook, whose executives served on Obama's jobs council.

"The goal is to bring new people into the process and help them tell Washington how to create jobs and accelerate our economic recovery," said Jim Doyle, Business Forward's president.

On health care, former White House official Anne Filipic recently took control of a nonprofit called Enroll America, which plans a massive push to get people to sign up for insurance under Obama's health care law, a key part of his legacy. The group is preparing for the opening of new insurance exchanges in October with on-the-ground organizing, online efforts and paid advertising.

Another team of Obama campaign aides, including field director Jeremy Bird and battleground state director Mitch Stewart, have formed a consulting firm called 270 Strategies that aims to bring grassroots organizing to political and industry clients. One early project, dubbed Battleground Texas, has set a long-term goal to make GOP-heavy Texas competitive for Democrats.

Although there's no one group formally coordinating the efforts, outside organizations allied with Obama hold regular check-in meetings and conference calls. Representatives compare notes about strategy, priorities and budgets.

"Many of us have spent at this point six years or longer together," said Teddy Goff, Obama's 2012 digital director, who is not affiliated with the fledgling bodies. "I have no doubt that people are talking to their old friends and making sure they're efficient as possible."

And while the various groups supporting Obama's agenda operate independently, the overlap in tactics, messaging and staff is tough to miss. For example, Blue State Digital, a firm founded by the campaign's digital strategist, Joe Rospars, is providing the same technology platform the campaign used to both OFA and Battleground Texas.

The blurring of the lines between outside groups, the campaign and the White House has rubbed some the wrong way. Critics say it's a sign that Obama has reversed course since rebuking the role of money in politics during his first campaign and at the start of his presidency.

"Organizing for Action is unlike any entity we have ever seen before tied to a president," said Fred Wertheimer, a campaign finance reform advocate with Democracy 21, a Washington nonprofit. "This group is so tied to Obama himself, that it creates opportunities for corporations and individuals to buy corrupting influence with the administration and at a minimum, to create the appearance of such influence."

http://news.msn.com/politics/obama-o...luence-network
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:50 AM   #2
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Good.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:54 AM   #3
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Good.
I was expecting this from you.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:08 AM   #4
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I was expecting this from you.
Because I support grass root efforts?
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:09 AM   #5
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Because I support grass root efforts?
Do you even support grass root efforts?
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:15 AM   #6
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do you even support grass root efforts?
yogreo
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:17 AM   #7
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You two are having quite the love affair lately, lol
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:26 AM   #8
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OMG!!! Its a freakin bunch of PACs!! Its the end of civilization as we know it!! :yawn:

So the Obama crowd and cronies are using the system and putting together groups to put leverage on the govt to make changes. So far nothing as been shown to be illegal nor do these groups seem any different than a ton of other PACs around on both sides of the spectrum. OK, this set is more integrated and leveraged.
Great for them, they are doing things in a more efficient way than other groups. Not a bad thing, maybe the govt could learn a thing or two from then, just on that alone. Aren't you always harping on about how the govt needs to be much more efficient about how they do things?

As a PAC do they have potential influence on politics (corrupting or not is largely a matter of opinion), yes. But, so does every other PAC. So nothing new there.

So you have posted this. What are your views?
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:00 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by bimmerfan08 View Post


From campaign strategists to online gurus and policy hands to press agents, Obama loyalists are slicing his agenda into smaller parts and launching highly targeted efforts on subjects including health care, job creation and electoral politics.


WASHINGTON President Barack Obama learned in his first term that he couldn't change Washington from the inside, saying in the heat of his re-election race, "You can only change it from the outside."

Months later, his former White House aides and campaign advisers are embracing Obama's words as a call to action.

Obama veterans are building a wide network of deep-pocketed groups and consulting firms independent of government, the Democratic Party and traditional liberal groups, a sweeping if not unprecedented effort outside the White House gates aimed at promoting the president's agenda and shaping his legacy.

From campaign strategists to online gurus and policy hands to press agents, Obama loyalists including many who discovered that a second term yields fewer administration job vacancies are slicing his agenda into smaller parts and launching highly targeted efforts on subjects including health care, job creation and electoral politics.

The lynchpin of the effort is Organizing for Action, a nonprofit run by former Obama advisers that has essentially transformed his re-election campaign into a grassroots machine to support his initiatives. In its early stages, the group is raising millions from big and small donors alike and whipping up support for issues like gun control and an immigration overhaul.

Known by its initials, OFA is chaired by Jim Messina, a former White House aide who ran Obama's 2012 campaign, and several former Obama aides sit on its board. David Plouffe, who until February served as Obama's senior adviser, is expected to join the board soon.

OFA's close ties to the West Wing and its control over the former campaign's resources has raised questions about where the nonprofit group ends and the White House starts. The group controls Obama's massive email list and also his campaign Twitter handle, which has more than 27 million followers and frequently tweets links to his government website.

As a tax-exempt entity, OFA by law can't intervene in elections and is subject to strict limits on lobbying. The group accepts unlimited donations from individuals and corporations but plans to release the names of its donors. The corporate funding is a shift: Many of the same operatives involved with OFA were once loud critics, along with Obama, of big money- and corporate-fueled entities that emerged after a series of court rulings, especially the Citizens United case, loosened restrictions on money and politics.

The arrangement has also opened the White House to criticism that contributors, in exchange for supporting the groups, could receive special access to Obama that the public is denied. White House press secretary Jay Carney fielded repeated questions last week over whether bundlers who raised $500,000 or more for OFA were promised quarterly meetings with the president a claim that OFA disputed.

"They have created literally a cottage industry solely devoted to access and making money off the access," said Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee.

As advocacy groups, OFA and the smaller organizations can coordinate with the White House on messaging and tactics. Carney said the administration interacts with a variety of such groups, adding that administration officials may appear at OFA events but won't be raising money.

An OFA "founders' summit" for donors on March 13 at a Washington hotel will include addresses by Messina, Plouffe and others, according to an invitation obtained by The Associated Press. The next day will include briefings on immigration, gun control and climate change, with former Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson expected to attend.

But when OFA asks supporters to cut a check, it will be competing with a growing list of pro-Obama factions making appeals to a limited pool of Democratic donors.

Business Forward, a 3-year-old trade group that has facilitated meetings between businesses and Obama officials, is ramping up operation as a liberal counterweight to the conservative-leaning U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Business Forward is funded by corporate money that was banished from Obama's campaign coffers in 2008 and 2012.

More than 50 corporate members pay $25,000 or $50,000 a year to be involved in briefings between Obama administration officials and business leaders, small businesses and entrepreneurs. Its members include AT&T and Microsoft, which donated to Obama's inaugural committee, and Citi, Comcast and Facebook, whose executives served on Obama's jobs council.

"The goal is to bring new people into the process and help them tell Washington how to create jobs and accelerate our economic recovery," said Jim Doyle, Business Forward's president.

On health care, former White House official Anne Filipic recently took control of a nonprofit called Enroll America, which plans a massive push to get people to sign up for insurance under Obama's health care law, a key part of his legacy. The group is preparing for the opening of new insurance exchanges in October with on-the-ground organizing, online efforts and paid advertising.

Another team of Obama campaign aides, including field director Jeremy Bird and battleground state director Mitch Stewart, have formed a consulting firm called 270 Strategies that aims to bring grassroots organizing to political and industry clients. One early project, dubbed Battleground Texas, has set a long-term goal to make GOP-heavy Texas competitive for Democrats.

Although there's no one group formally coordinating the efforts, outside organizations allied with Obama hold regular check-in meetings and conference calls. Representatives compare notes about strategy, priorities and budgets.

"Many of us have spent at this point six years or longer together," said Teddy Goff, Obama's 2012 digital director, who is not affiliated with the fledgling bodies. "I have no doubt that people are talking to their old friends and making sure they're efficient as possible."

And while the various groups supporting Obama's agenda operate independently, the overlap in tactics, messaging and staff is tough to miss. For example, Blue State Digital, a firm founded by the campaign's digital strategist, Joe Rospars, is providing the same technology platform the campaign used to both OFA and Battleground Texas.

The blurring of the lines between outside groups, the campaign and the White House has rubbed some the wrong way. Critics say it's a sign that Obama has reversed course since rebuking the role of money in politics during his first campaign and at the start of his presidency.

"Organizing for Action is unlike any entity we have ever seen before tied to a president," said Fred Wertheimer, a campaign finance reform advocate with Democracy 21, a Washington nonprofit. "This group is so tied to Obama himself, that it creates opportunities for corporations and individuals to buy corrupting influence with the administration and at a minimum, to create the appearance of such influence."

http://news.msn.com/politics/obama-o...luence-network
So what? this is a joke right, just trying to get responses or what?
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:09 PM   #10
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OMG!!! Its a freakin bunch of PACs!! Its the end of civilization as we know it!! :yawn:

So the Obama crowd and cronies are using the system and putting together groups to put leverage on the govt to make changes. So far nothing as been shown to be illegal nor do these groups seem any different than a ton of other PACs around on both sides of the spectrum. OK, this set is more integrated and leveraged.
Great for them, they are doing things in a more efficient way than other groups. Not a bad thing, maybe the govt could learn a thing or two from then, just on that alone. Aren't you always harping on about how the govt needs to be much more efficient about how they do things?

As a PAC do they have potential influence on politics (corrupting or not is largely a matter of opinion), yes. But, so does every other PAC. So nothing new there.

So you have posted this. What are your views?
You know me well. I agree the government needs to be smaller and more efficient.

I don't disagree with the notion as the idea behind them is great. However, I tend not to care too much for PACs. They have their own agendas with the horse blinders engaged. Not my cup of tea. Now with Super PACs...yes corruption is always of concern. Not a fan of inaccurate and false ads either.

What is your stance on PACs and Super PACs?

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So what? this is a joke right, just trying to get responses or what?
PoliTalk was slow. It's Monday. Was hoping to get your response. I succeeded.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerfan08 View Post
You know me well. I agree the government needs to be smaller and more efficient.

I don't disagree with the notion as the idea behind them is great. However, I tend not to care too much for PACs. They have their own agendas with the horse blinders engaged. Not my cup of tea. Now with Super PACs...yes corruption is always of concern. Not a fan of inaccurate and false ads either.

What is your stance on PACs and Super PACs?
While I am not a PAC/SPAC supporter. They are legal, both sides of the aisle have them. It doesn't surprise me that Obama's big money supporters would do this. The fact that they are more highly efficient than others is cause for concern amongst the other PAC/SPAC groups. Especially on the right-hand side. They better pull their finger out and "cut the fat, and maximize their effectiveness".

I do find it a bit amusing that the (allegedly) "pro-business, cut the waste" right sees the efficiency as an
I would think they would be more of a " why didn't we think of this"

It does raise the issue that the rhetoric of the right does not match their actions. They are allegedly obsessed with "efficiency and economy", yet it is the left (and some would say the far-left) that are leading the way in this area. Even a dyed-in-the-wool conservative like yourself has to see some humor in that.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:48 PM   #12
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While I am not a PAC/SPAC supporter. They are legal, both sides of the aisle have them. It doesn't surprise me that Obama's big money supporters would do this. The fact that they are more highly efficient than others is cause for concern amongst the other PAC/SPAC groups. Especially on the right-hand side. They better pull their finger out and "cut the fat, and maximize their effectiveness".

I do find it a bit amusing that the (allegedly) "pro-business, cut the waste" right sees the efficiency as an
I would think they would be more of a " why didn't we think of this"

It does raise the issue that the rhetoric of the right does not match their actions. They are allegedly obsessed with "efficiency and economy", yet it is the left (and some would say the far-left) that are leading the way in this area. Even a dyed-in-the-wool conservative like yourself has to see some humor in that.
I'm not so sure dumping millions of dollars into failed green energy programs is efficient and sustainable.

Quote:
Obama's green energy handouts costing billions

Remember Solyndra? That's where taxpayers lost hundreds of millions of dollars after the Obama administration handed out money and the company took it and went out of business.

But how about Evergreen Solar? Or Beacon Power? Or EnerDel subsidiary Ener1?

In fact, a new report from the Heritage Foundation says, "So far, 36 companies that have received federal support from taxpayers have either gone bankrupt or are laying off workers and are heading for bankruptcy."

"It is no secret that President Obama's and green-energy supporters' (from both parties) foray into venture capitalism has not gone well. But the extent of its failure has been largely ignored by the press. Sure, single instances garner attention as they happen, but they ignore past failures in order to make it seem like a rare case," the report said.

"The truth is that the problem is widespread. The government's picking winners and losers in the energy market has cost taxpayers billions of dollars, and the rate of failure, cronyism, and corruption at the companies receiving the subsidies is substantial. The fact that some companies are not under financial duress does not make the policy a success. It simply means that our taxpayer dollars subsidized companies that would've found the financial support in the private market," the report said.

The report, by Ashe Schow, said, "The problem begins with the issue of government picking winners and losers in the first place. Venture capitalist firms exist for this very reason, and they choose what to invest in by looking at companies' business models and deciding if they are worthy. When the government plays venture capitalist, it tends to reward companies that are connected to the policymakers themselves or because it sounds nice to 'invest' in green energy."

The report noted the $80 billion set aside in the 2009 stimulus to fund politically preferred energy projects, and documented "at least 10 percent has gone to companies that have since either gone bankrupt or are circling the drain."

Among those commenting on the report were several who objected to Obama's actions.

"This guy has broken the sound barrier wasting taxpayers' money," said "belleboy."

And Falcon said, "He's demonstrated he has no clue how economics work."

The companies cited were: (Money listed is how much was offered, and does not include other state, local or federal tax credits and subsidies. Asterisk notes that the company has filed for bankruptcy)

Evergreen Solar ($24 million)*
SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
Solyndra ($535 million)*
Beacon Power ($69 million)*
AES's subsidiary Eastern Energy ($17.1 million)
Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
SunPower ($1.5 billion)
First Solar ($1.46 billion)
Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
EnerDel's subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
Amonix ($5.9 million)
National Renewable Energy Lab ($200 million)
Fisker Automotive ($528 million)
Abound Solar ($374 million)*
A123 Systems ($279 million)*
Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($6 million)
Johnson Controls ($299 million)
Schneider Electric ($86 million)
Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
ECOtality ($126.2 million)
Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
Olsen's Crop Service and Olsen's Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
Range Fuels ($80 million)*
Thompson River Power ($6.4 million)*
Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
LSP Energy ($2.1 billion)*
UniSolar ($100 million)*
Azure Dynamics ($120 million)*
GreenVolts ($500,000)
Vestas ($50 million)
LG Chem's subsidiary Compact Power ($150 million)
Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
Navistar ($10 million)
Satcon ($3 million)*
The total? More than $10 billion.

Previously, it was reported A123, the maker of electric car batteries, sought bankruptcy to allow "the company to provide for an orderly sale of the automotive business assets and and all other assets and business units," the company said.

About the same time, the Washington Times found a series of emails from solar power giant BrightSource Energy Inc. showing how the company "applied political pressure and used behind-the-scenes cajoling to win a $1.6 billion loan guarantee."

And the IRS has argued regarding Solyndra that the bankruptcy plan "amounts to little more than an avenue for owners of an empty corporate shell to avoid paying taxes."

"The undeniable conclusion is that tax benefits drive this plan," attorneys for the IRS told the bankruptcy court.
http://www.wnd.com/2012/10/obamas-gr...ting-billions/


And what makes you think I'm a hardcore conservative? I'd cause some to roll over in their graves if I really spouted my views.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:10 PM   #13
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I'm not so sure dumping millions of dollars into failed green energy programs is efficient and sustainable.
Yes...we all know...green energy is a failure

Should we talk about how many billions Reagan and Bush burned on "Star Wars"? And that is when a billion was a billion. Every administration has egg on its face on something like that.

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And what makes you think I'm a hardcore conservative? I'd cause some to roll over in their graves if I really spouted my views.
And what makes you think Obama is a hardcore liberal. JFK and Abbie Hoffman would roll over in their graves is I really spouted my views.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:20 PM   #14
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Yes...we all know...green energy is a failure

Should we talk about how many billions Reagan and Bush burned on "Star Wars"? And that is when a billion was a billion. Every administration has egg on its face on something like that.
I think it might just come with being a politician.


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And what makes you think Obama is a hardcore liberal. JFK and Abbie Hoffman would roll over in their graves is I really spouted my views.
I don't think he is.

I'm a bit too liberal for the extreme conservatives to want me championing for their agenda.
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