If it walks like Obama and talks like Obama, chances are it’s going to reek like Obama. Did you ever wonder why Organizing for Action, the president’s “non-partisan advocacy group,” had the same acronym and logo as Obama for America, his re-election committee? If you did, you won’t be surprised to learn that the new OFA appears to be engaging in politics — which is illegal.
Organizing for Action is looking to help Georgia Senate candidate Michelle Nunn, marking the first time that President Barack Obama’s political arm has explicitly crossed into Democratic politics.
Several political operatives and potential donors told POLITICO that OFA Executive Director Jon Carson made the pitch to help Nunn in various discussions this spring.
OFA Chairman Jim Messina has also held discussions with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee about mobilizing Obama supporters in Republican-held districts in races the party hopes will be competitive, according to a Democratic official.
But it’s all kosher, assures OFA spokeswoman Katie Hogan, who insists the group isn’t working on any specific race. “Organizing for Action does not participate in electoral politics. We are not partisan,” she claims. “We are an issue advocacy group that works on the agenda the American people voted for in 2012 from a better bargain for the middle class to the comprehensive immigration reform that will grow our economy.”
That’s smart. OFA’s activities will be limited by its status as a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization —at least once it gets around to filing its 501(c)(4) application. (Maybe it’s holding back because it got wind of the “phony scandal” implicating the IRS, which reportedly probed groups filing for 501(c)(4) status.)
Meantime, Politico notes, two people interviewed for its story subsequently asked to be removed from the narrative after receiving a phone call from OFA Director Carson.
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