Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Sweet: Obama secretive about fund-raisers he will be attending. UPDATE. The list of Chicago hosts.


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.


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


This is off topic Ms. Sweet, but last night you won the honor of "pinhead" on the O'Reilly Factor for your coverage of his dust up with the Obama bodyguard. I assume getting this national publicity on the highest rated show on cable is an honor. Would you care to respond to big Bill calling you a pinhead? Also, the topic of this blog just shows what a phony Obama is, and it also shows how stupid a high percentage of voters are by supporting this con man.

How is this policy transparent? It does not represent change to me.
Is BO not proud of who is helping out? Does he something to hide?

It's about time someone starting evaluating how pristine he is, reality check as HRC said Saturday night!

I've donated $350 to the Obama campaign thus far through the website. If he wins again tonight, I intend to donate an additional $500. I don't expect any favors, I expect a better country.

His donor network is his business. I don't see why making it public is yours. Would you prefer to potentially "Out" some previous Clinton People possibly, or people who owe the Clintons, or they can influence? He is complying with the law, you can review his filings, and to suggest wrong doing here is equal to suggesting Guilt before Innocence.

No smoke and no fire here. A campaign of this magnitude is responsible for balancing a number of concerns: Transparency is one of them. Security is another. The decision about what to include in "real time" on a publicly available schedule must strike a balance between those two concerns and any number of others.

On another note, per the comment by Jerry above, it stinks of desperation when people blindly disparage the intelligence of supporters of another candidate. Part of the problem in this country right now is that too many people think it is better to be bitter in defeat just to show that you are resolute. You wouldn't be an HRC backer, would you Jer?

oh lynn, thanks so much for printing something questionable about the junior senator. oh, gosh...are we having a senior moment?
i'm beginning to this blog managed by an intern or by ms. sweet herself?

There's very good reason not to make public his fundraising events and who's attending them: the further to thwart the Clintons' efforts to corral, talk to, persuade the people attending to back out. It's a rather simple tactical move, and your efforts to paint it otherwise smacks of sophistry.

yeah, Ms Sweet, didn't you know he's made out of magic?

I've been a voter for 50 years, and have heard the same old rhetoric.CHANGE,GHANGE the way Washington works,but it seems to me when they get there, they are in lock step with the lobbyists,
special interest groups,and the big money boys and nothing changes.

I think it is importnat to note Obama not disclosing this information for two reasons, and both are initiated by Obama.
Obama promises transparency into the presidency, and states that Hillary isn't and wasn't and won't turn over her files. (Obama claims to not have kept any file to make public.) And Obama is stating over and over about the lobbyist and changing the way Washington works. Yet, his co-chair in NH was a big lobbyist. In fundraising, money is money, so where is he getting the money from and who has the strings on this campaign? Who is really going to run Washington if he is elected? Someone will be. So since Obama has made claim about changing Washinnton, making the Presidency transparent, and not letting lobbyists owe him....I find it rather interesting that he apparently has something worth hiding in the fund raising world. So what is he exactly goign to change again?

Great way to run a blog Ms. Sweet. You post all the comments that support your view and the ones that are not critical of you, but you consistently omit my posts that disagree with your view. That's top notch journalism. I'll say it again, you would be better off coming out and saying you are supporting Hillary. Anyone who reads your columns or blogs know that you are bias toward Hillary. You are in the same boat as the NBC guys that are bias toward Obama. You failed to mention that Obama is disclosing more information than any of his Democratic rivals. Why let facts get in the was of a good blog topic?

Not revealing fund raisers is not good by any standard Mr. Democray, Barak Obama is held to.

Transparency and truth is part of the evase Obama modus. But when asked for a record of his Illinois voting record, his reply was that he never thought it would be important. And when asked to get it said it was too expensive and would take too much time. Sure. The rest of his often dicey absences and votes can be found on WashingtonPostonline political section that gives all congressional voting records.

The vagueness, the promisses. The bull story of not voting for the Iraq war. He couldn't have voted as he wasn't a senator yet.

I fear we are having another celeb moment of Pritzker and Chicago Boss backed money parading as Obama who fluffs hope and change to to Indie Masses, African Americans, and first time [now 17] voters who are confused,angry, and believing.

God help them all. He is just another Pol and Kerry's endorsemenr today was, "You scratch my Barak, I'll scratch yours."

Morris1030, go to to see Obama's voting record in the Illinois Senate. It is shockingly liberal.

Leave a comment

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets


Lynn Sweet

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

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on January 8, 2008 6:33 AM.

Sweet column: Obama turns Clinton's "false hopes" into potent NH closer. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet: At Dartmouth College, Obama stops rally for 9 minutes when woman collapses. Waiting for paramedics. Pictures. is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.