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Sweet column: Obama, under media pressure, makes public some fund-raising events. Did not disclose fund-raiser with Gov. Patrick.

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WASHINGTON — White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who is making transparency a centerpiece of his presidential bid, will now put on his schedule fund-raisers if they are in a public place, a campaign spokesman said Friday.

The move comes after I wrote last Tuesday in my blog how Obama was starting another round of fund-raising without releasing details — this time about events in New York, Boston and Chicago — and after the campaign was asked by the Obama traveling press corps to open fund-raisers to the press and disclose the names of hosts and amounts raised.

The memo signed by the reporters who have been traveling with Obama noted that the White House provides such details. The change of policy came last week. “If the event is in a public place, there will be a pool reporter,” said spokesman Ben LaBolt.

On Monday, an Obama spokesman declined to provide any explanation of the fund-raising events Obama was doing in Boston, New York and Chicago on the grounds they would not be listed on his “public schedule.”

A revised schedule issued Wednesday listed some, but not all, fund-raising information. At issue is not who gives — that eventually is disclosed under federal law — but who is helping Obama by hosting an event. That information does not have to be made public.

The Obama campaign invited a reporter from the New York Post to act as a “pool” reporter for a fund-raiser Wednesday at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan and a Chicago Sun-Times reporter to be the pool reporter at a Thursday fund-raiser at the New Leaf in Old Town.

A Chicago fund-raiser at the Gold Coast home of Desiree Rogers on Thursday was not disclosed, nor were the names of the other hosts. (I got the list and ran it in my blog.) The Obama schedule for Wednesday omitted a fund-raiser hosted by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

It seems in the public interest to disclose when a governor is hosting a fund-raiser for a presidential candidate. Local reporters got wind of the event. The Boston Herald reported that the “crowd of supporters at the [Patrick] event included two members of Patrick’s Cabinet, Economic Development Secretary Dan O’Connell and Labor Secretary Suzanne Bump. Also on hand were Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh, hotel union head Janice Loux and U.S. Rep. William Delahunt (D-Quincy).”

This new pledge, if carried out, means Obama is ahead of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) on some routine fund-raising disclosure and coverage. When Obama started his presidential campaign last February, the campaign on occasion would have some pool coverage, but that ended.

5 Comments

I wish some one had the nerve to ask Obama critical questions. They seem to be afraid. He is constantly talking about Hillary voting for the war. Well he wants to bomb Iran, or so he said in a Chicago Trib interview.

He has missed 150 votes in the senate this year alone. He made a production about saying 7 years ago he was broke. Then one year later he buys a 1.5 million dollar home, with a $300,000 discount from his friend.

Why is the press asking all these questions? They and the Obama campaign are constantly berating Hillary Clinton of every single thing she does, but Obama is getting a free ride.

Keep up the good work.Why is the press so afraid to dig in and report all of his strange contacts and shady dealings?He has a very dark side,he is underhanded and scary.He is parading these Senators out who have a peeve with Bill Clinton hiding behind their skirts,What a WIMP America wake up.

His Rev Wright advisor is a Nationalist and has offered all kinds of ideas what should happen to America(not good things)while traveling with Louis Farrakhan.Please Reveal all the Chicago stuff.Please hurry so these followers will wake up.
The Republican party has all kinds of garbage that they are digging up.
Hillary is the strong,experienced Leader this country needs at this critical time.

"A revised schedule issued Wednesday listed some, but not all, fund-raising information. At issue is not who gives — that eventually is disclosed under federal law — but who is helping Obama by hosting an event. That information does not have to be made public."

Lynn, perhaps the host or hostess would like to keep some of the information quiet so that "friends" who were not invited to this or that party might not get their knickers in a twist. Perhaps Camp Obama is abiding by some agreement with their hosts, that information would be released after the fact. Deval Patrick has made no secret of his support for Barack Obama.

I'm all for disclosure, but I think this is just a little picky. But that's just me.

and Margaret, Obama has people like Lynn scrutinizing him 24/7. He is not getting a free ride. I would vehemently argue that Hillary is. 35 years of "experience making change." (Sounds like she's a bus driver getting ready to retire from Chicago Transit Authority.)

The scrutiny that Obama is undergoing now will be nothing compared to the huge microscope he will be under in the general election. For you Democrats out there, Hillary is far more electable than Obama in the general election. If you vote with your hearts, you are apt to get them broken.

Margaret, Obama is getting a free ride from the media because he's black. The media is mostly run by guilty white liberals and they would rather have their families be murdered than dare say anything negative about Obama. Hillary also has to watch what she says about the coddled Obama for fear of losing black votes. But in the general election the republicans don't have to worry about losing the black vote because they never get it anyway. So in the general election you can bet your life my fellow republicans will make it known that Obama's reverend is a Farrakhan supporter, they will also make it known about his crooked Chicago ties. This is why I want Obama to beat Hillary.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on January 12, 2008 6:16 PM.

Sweet: New Obama health care ad makes debateable claim "everyone" will be covered under his insurance plan. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet: Not far from the Chicken Ranch. Waiting for Barack. is the next entry in this blog.

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