MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF.--- White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) at a town hall meeting at the Google headquarters here plans to unveil a technology plan Wednesday describing how an Obama administration would bring a “new level of transparency” to public life. As a candidate, he still has some ways to go on that front himself.
Not on Obama’s public schedule today and Tuesday are three high end fund-raisers in northern California. While Obama released a list of his biggest bundlers on Tuesday—that’s more disclosure than you get from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.)—Obama is still not ready to bring out in the sunlight when they throw events for him.
Obama is not against publicizing some of his fund-raising activities—a low dollar event in San Francisco later today is on his schedule. Low dollar events fit more into the Obama grass roots narrative.
Not on Obama’s public schedule is a fund-raiser Steve Westly—the former California controller who ran for governor in 2006—is hosting for Obama today in Atherton after Obama's Google town hall. I do know from checking the superbundler list Obama released on Tuesday that Westly has raised at least $200,000 for Obama. Westly is a co-chair of Obama's California campaign.
Obama also was headlining a lunch in Tibourn—that’s in Marin County—hosted by Pam Hamamoto. Hat tip to Obama fund-raising director Julianna Smoot for providing the name after I inquired about the identity of the hostess. That's an encouraging move towards more transparency. Smoot herself is at this Google event, along with other bundlers. Last night (Tuesday) Obama picked up more checks in San Francisco at a dinner hosted by Steven Davis.
Obama’s campaign drew the line at the $200,000 level on their bundlers list. But within the group of elites there is even a more elite level —the members of Obama’s National Finance Council who have pledged to raise at least $250,000.
No presidential campaigns make public their major donor fund-raising activities; Obama, however, is the only one making government transparency a centerpiece of his campaign and he is slamming Clinton on secrecy.
By extension, one would think that Obama's pledges on government transparency could extend to transparency in a political campaign.