LEBANON, N.H.—With two presidential votes behind him, Democratic frontrunner Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)) starts a new round of fund-raisers in New York, Boston and Chicago as the candidate who is making transparency a centerpiece of his White House bid continues to with-hold details of his higher-end fund-raising operation.
Obama will headline fund-raising events in Boston and New York on Wednesday involving his elite donor networks. He starts Thursday in New York, flies to Charleston, S.C. for a rally and then returns to Chicago for a “Welcome Home” $1,000-per-person reception at the home of Desiree Rogers on Chicago’s Gold Coast. The hosts include Obama Finance Chair Penny Pritzker and his top Illinois fund-raisers and bundlers.
The Obama presidential campaign also refuses to disclose the names of his National Finance Committee or the Illinois Finance Committee. Obama does disclose the names of his top bundlers, many of whom probably are on the finance committee.
Obama has long resisted putting on what he calls his “public” schedule information about all the fund-raising events where he appears. President Bush does disclose fund-raisers he attends.
Obama’s presidential campaign has been eager to get out information about low-end donations—the army of small dollar donors who have given through the internet. Sometimes bigger receptions are disclosed; sometimes not. On Monday, an Obama presidential spokesman declined to provide any explanation of the fund-raising events Obama will be doing in Boston and New York on the grounds they will not be listed on his “public schedule.”
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.
During his 2004 Senate race, when he was starting to fund-raise on a national level for his Obama2004 fund, Obama steadfastly declined to say where he was going across the country to raise money.
Once running for president, Obama’s presidential team decided to put on his schedule the names of the cities Obama was traveling to for fund-raisers—but no other details-- after some reporters complained.
Besides transparency, another centerpiece of Obama’s campaign is his refusal to take money from federal lobbyists and political action committees for his presidential fund, created last February.
Once sworn into his Senate seat, Obama kicked up the level of his fund-raising for several political warchests and other Democrats including: HOPEFUND, his political action committee, which accepted donations from federal lobbyists and political action committees; his Obama2010 Senate re-election fund which accepted donations from those sources.
LIST OF CHICAGO HOSTS OF THURSDAY CHICAGO FUND-RAISER
Robert Blackwell, Neil Bluhm, Peter C.B. Bynoe, Frank Clark, Les Coney, Jim Crown, State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Joe Gutman, Bruce Heyman, State Comptroller Dan Hynes, David Jacobson, Steve Koch, John Levi, Charles A. Lewis, Cindy Moelis, Quintin Primo, Penny Pritzker, Jim Reynolds,
Robert Rivkin, Desiree Rogers, John W. Rogers Jr., Alan Solow, Lou Susman, Tina Tchen, Grace Tsao ‐ Wu, Jim Tyree & Anne Wedner