The Obama re-election campaign that morphed into an advocacy group to promote the president's agenda is attempting to raise $50 million, which would make it one of Washington's biggest lobbying operations, the New York Times reports.
The tax-exempt group, called Organizing for Action, puts the president and his aides into an unprecedented area of money and politics, which critics say allows the potential for influence-peddling.
"It just smells," Bob Edgar, the president of Common Cause, a group that advocates for regulation of campaign money, told the Times. "The president is setting a very bad model setting up this organization."
If supporters give or raise $500,000 or more, they get to be on a national advisory board for Obama's group. That role comes with the privilege of attending occasional meetings with the president. The fundraising effort comes at a time when many of Obama's big donors could be angling for appointments to administration jobs or ambassadorships, the Times points out.
The group will harness the Obama campaign's database of 2 million volunteers, 17 million e-mail subscribers and 22 million Twitter followers, to promote his efforts on gun control, immigration reform and climate change.
Via the New York Times