U TURN: Campaign Urges Donations To Obama Super PAC - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

U TURN: Campaign Urges Donations To Obama Super PAC

MSNBC.COM - President Obama's re-election campaign made an about-face late Monday in its opposition to super PACs, encouraging donors to send their unlimited contributions to one such group founded by a former administration spokesman. 

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina emailed supporters to formally endorse contributions to Priorities USA, the Democratic super PAC founded by Bill Burton, a former White House deputy press secretary. 

"With so much at stake, we can't allow for two sets of rules in this election whereby the Republican nominee is the beneficiary of unlimited spending and Democrats unilaterally disarm," Messina wrote on the campaign's blog. "Therefore, the campaign has decided to do what we can, consistent with the law, to support Priorities USA in its effort to counter the weight of the GOP Super PAC."

The decision represents a stark reversal for Obama, who has been among the most vocal critics of these outside political spending groups since the Supreme Court's 2010 ruling that paved the way for the rise of super PACs.

Obama has led Democrats in opposition to these groups, especially at the height of 2010's congressional elections. Republican-aligned groups like American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS took advantage of the new rules to great effect, spending tens of millions of dollars against Democrats during that election. 

"And thanks to a Supreme Court decision called Citizens United, they are being helped along this year by special interest groups that are spending unlimited amounts of money on attack ads … without ever disclosing who's behind all these attack ads," Obama said of Republicans and super PACs that fall. "Now, that's not just a threat to Democrats — that's a threat to our democracy."

The president expressed his alarm as recently as Sunday in an interview with TODAY's Matt Lauer: "One of the worries we have obviously in the next campaign is that there are so many of these so-called super PACs, these independent expenditures that are gonna be out there," he said in a pre-Super Bowl interview.

'Smell test'
Moreover, after Priorities USA had launched, the White House continued to encourage it to abide by a stricter set of rules and disclose its donors. As recently as last week, Senate Democrats had announced their intention to investigate these groups, with New York Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) arguing that the notion that groups like these don't coordinate a failure of the "smell test."

The Obama campaign's reversal, though, is a testament to the effectiveness of these groups. Restore Our Future, a super PAC established on behalf of Mitt Romney, has raised tens of millions of dollars already and spent some of that war chest with great effectiveness against Romney's rivals in the Republican primary.

Messina's statement Monday evening said that senior campaign officials, along with some White House and cabinet officials, would attend events and solicit donations for Priorities USA. Those actions are permitted under federal election laws, though Priorities USA is barred from coordinating formally with the Obama campaign. (Messina said that Obama, Vice President Biden and the first lady would not participate in this effort.)

"As has become evident in the past month, the only enthusiasm in the Republican Party is among oil company billionaires and investment bankers on Wall Street looking to defeat President Obama," Burton said by email in reaction to the decision. "We're committed to providing a balance to Karl Rove and the Koch brothers who have pledged more than half a billion dollars to their effort."

According to a filing this month with the Federal Election Commission, Priorities USA Action had managed to raise about $1.2 million in the second half of 2011, leaving it with about $1.5 million in the bank at the end of the year. 

With the heft of the Obama campaign behind its efforts, though, Priorities USA could see its bank accounts swell, giving the group millions to spend on behalf of the president — and agains his eventual Republican challenger — over the course of the next nine months.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Family left high and dry after Trader Tots consignment store's surprise closure

    Family left high and dry after Trader Tots consignment store's surprise closure

    Saturday, February 17 2018 1:17 AM EST2018-02-17 06:17:14 GMT

    POST FALLS, Idaho - Billie Swanson has her hands full. Taking care of two boys could be a full-time job. “Kids grow in and out of stuff so quickly and it's a nice place to go and to have that option and some extra money in our pockets,” Swanson said. Swanson is taking about Trader Tots Consignment Store in Post Falls. It’s a place she’s gone to in the past to sell her kids old clothes and buy new ones. That is, until recently. “They 

    >>

    POST FALLS, Idaho - Billie Swanson has her hands full. Taking care of two boys could be a full-time job. “Kids grow in and out of stuff so quickly and it's a nice place to go and to have that option and some extra money in our pockets,” Swanson said. Swanson is taking about Trader Tots Consignment Store in Post Falls. It’s a place she’s gone to in the past to sell her kids old clothes and buy new ones. That is, until recently. “They 

    >>
  • Republican senator arrested & charged with video voyeurism, extortion

    Republican senator arrested & charged with video voyeurism, extortion

    Friday, February 16 2018 4:06 PM EST2018-02-16 21:06:41 GMT

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A Rhode Island state senator has been arrested on charges of video voyeurism and extortion. State police say Republican Sen. Nicholas Kettle was arrested Friday and was being taken to their headquarters to be processed. They say they're unsure when Kettle will appear in court. 

    >>

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A Rhode Island state senator has been arrested on charges of video voyeurism and extortion. State police say Republican Sen. Nicholas Kettle was arrested Friday and was being taken to their headquarters to be processed. They say they're unsure when Kettle will appear in court. 

    >>
  • North Idaho man tries to make off with 40 ft long poles

    North Idaho man tries to make off with 40 ft long poles

    Saturday, February 17 2018 12:11 AM EST2018-02-17 05:11:05 GMT
    Kootenai County Sheriff's OfficeKootenai County Sheriff's Office

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho. - The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office arrested 47-year-old Brett K. Anderson of Post Falls, ID Thursday after he was reported to have been hitting on-coming cars with a large poles sticking out of his own vehicle in the area of N. Meyer Rd. and Hayden Ave. When deputies arrived on scene, they discovered Anderson had stolen stole several 30-40’ long pieces of irrigation pipe from a nearby farm field and was 

    >>

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho. - The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office arrested 47-year-old Brett K. Anderson of Post Falls, ID Thursday after he was reported to have been hitting on-coming cars with a large poles sticking out of his own vehicle in the area of N. Meyer Rd. and Hayden Ave. When deputies arrived on scene, they discovered Anderson had stolen stole several 30-40’ long pieces of irrigation pipe from a nearby farm field and was 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/