Chicago Sun-Times
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Obama inauguration committee creates campaign-style social networking web site

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WASHINGTON -- President-elect Barack Obama picked prominent Chicagoans -- all prolific fund-raisers -- to co-chair his Presidential Inaugural Committee.

The committee -- nicknamed the PIC -- will limit individual donations to $50,000 and will not -- in contrast to other PICs -- accept money from corporations, political action committees, current federally-registered lobbyists, non-U.S. citizens or registered foreign agents. There are no legal limits to contributions, which in the past have soared to $250,000.

The PIC fund-raising is separate from Obama fund-raising for his presidential transition team, with $5,000 caps.

The PIC co-chairs are Penny Pritzker, chair of Obama's presidential finance committee; John Rogers, the Illinois finance co-chair during the campaign; William Daley, the former commerce secretary; business executive and Republican Patrick Ryan, the Chicago insurance magnate who can tap donors the others can't. Joining them is Julianna Smoot, who was Obama's campaign chief fund-raiser.

On the drawing boards is a massive inauguration event on the National Mall. The PIC launched a campaign-style social networking web site, pic2009.org. A person signing up for e-mail alerts on the inauguration is automatically channeled to a page encouraging them to get their friends to also sign up. The separate transition operation is also running a web operation based on the presidential campaign.

In the announcement, the PIC asserted it is abiding by "an unprecedented set of limitations on fundraising" -- a claim "not entirely true," according to the watchdog Public Citizen. President Clinton's second inauguration banned corporate dollars, set $100 donation limits and sold inaugural ball tickets for up to $3,000. Public Citizen put together a new web feature tracking the transition called Becoming44.

However, Clinton did take corporate money for his first inauguration and carried a $9 million surplus over to the 1997 festivities.

PIC Communications Director Josh Earnest said in reply,"By ensuring that corporate money is not used to pay for inaugural activities and voluntarily capping individual donations to the PIC, President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden are following through on their commitment to change the way business is done in Washington. While these measures are not perfect, they represent the kind of change that Americans in both parties are ready to see in Washington."


15 Comments

Who F#%@@)G Cares

this is even cooler then the million man march!! oops...THIS IS EVEN COOLER THAN THE MILLION MAN MARCH!! now, will somebody clarify that 'change thing. are they talkin' loose 'change'...small'change'...wha? cause ain't no other 'change' in sight...lol!! and will some people get off that harvard thing! i went there...so did the unabomber...lol. now we got all these folk that don't grasp harvard college from the professional schools. ought to straighten that out, cause technically, the oba ain't no 'harvard man'. nor is "W". the hottest selling t-shirt in the square was 'blame yale'. let's hope the new one doesn't read 'blame occidental/columbia'.

Okay, now I'm disgusted.
Read this from The Nation:
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20081208/scheer?rel=hp_picks

Return of the Wall Street Hustlers
By Robert Scheer

November 26, 2008

Robert Scheer is the editor of Truthdig, where this article originally appeared. His latest book is The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America(Twelve).
Maybe Ralph Nader was right in predicting that the same Wall Street hustlers would have a lock on our government no matter which major party won the election. I hate to admit it, since it wasn't that long ago that I heatedly challenged Nader in a debate on this very poin

But how else is one to respond to Barack Obama's picking the very folks who helped get us into this financial mess to now lead us out of it? Watching the president-elect's Monday introduction of his economic team, my brother-in-law Pete said, "You can see the feathers coming out of their mouths" as the foxes were once again put in charge of the henhouse. He didn't have time to expound on his point, having to get ready to go sort mail in his job at the post office, but he showed me a statement from Citigroup showing that the interest rate on Pete the Postal Worker's credit card was 28.9 percent, an amount that all major religions would justly condemn as usurious.
Moments earlier, Obama had put his seal of approval on the Citigroup bailout, which his new economic team, led by proteges of Citigroup Executive Committee Chairman Robert Rubin, enthusiastically endorsed.
.....
This outrageous conflict of interest in which Rubin gets to exploit his ties to both the outgoing and incoming administrations was best described by Washington Post writer Steven Pearlstein: "The ultimate irony, of course, is that just as Rubin and Co. at Citi were being bailed out by the Bush Administration, President-elect Barack Obama was getting set to announce a new economic team drawn almost entirely from Rubin acolytes."

As opposed to the far tougher deal negotiated on the bailout of AIG, the arrangement with Citigroup leaves the executives, including (Robert) Rubin, who brought Citigroup to the brink of ruin, still in charge. Nor is there any guarantee of the value of the mortgage bundles that taxpayers will be guaranteeing. That is because, as candidate Obama clearly stated in his major economics address back in March, the deregulation pushed though during the Clinton years ended transparency in banking.

Why then has he appointed the very people responsible for this disaster to now make it all better? Why not ask him? Heck, yes, it is time for the many of us who responded to his e-mails during the campaign to now challenge our e-mail buddy as to why he suddenly acts as if the interests of Wall Street and Main Street are one and the same.

STOP READING THE NATION, YOU ARE GOING TO SELF
DESTRUCT!
FIRST LET HIM GET SWORN IN, THEN YOU CAN CRY
ABOUT WHAT YOU DON'T APPROVE OF!
THE MAN IS PUTTING HIS TEAM TOGETHER TO HELP US!
STOP LETTING ARTICLES WAVER YOU FROM WHO YOU
VOTED FOR!
IF SOME OF THESE PEOPLE WORKED FOR BUSH THE LAST
8 YEARS, YOUR POINT IS WELL-TAKEN, IF NOT, RELAX
AND WATCH AND LEARN AND PRAY WE DON'T GET IN A
DEPRESSION SITUATION!
AND YOU KNOW THAT OBAMA KNOWS THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN MAIN STREET AND WALL STREET!
ALSO TELL YOUR BROTHER-IN-LAW PETE TO CHILL OUT
AS WELL!

THE STOCK MARKET HAS BEEN UP FOR FOUR STRAIGHT
DAYS AND YOU WANT TO BE A COMEDIAN BUT KEEP UP
WITH YOUR STAND-UP ACT!
PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA HAS CALMED THE FEARS OF
AMERICA!
5 MILLION EXPECTED AT THE INAGURATION AND THAT
IS THE TRUTH, RUTH!

Phil--Stop reading the Nation? Reading and talking about it doesn't "waver" me from the fact that I voted for the guy.

I would like to trust the Obama I sensed in the candidate I watched. But my good will is waning the more I learn the history of those he has chosed for his economic team.
Coupled with his endorsements of the bailouts of the wealthy investor and stock holder bunch, instead of advocating for strengthening the position of us the American working people, I am beginning to believe that Great Hope Obama is actually wearing no clothes.

This leads me to wonder whether these Clinton Choices might actually be the result of all those behind the scene negotiations with Hillary to concede the nomination. Just as I believe Hillary's three week wait for the official announcement of her as Secretary of State is due to fierce negotiations with Obama as to her role and power in Obama's administration.

Why doesn't Obama come out for the auto workers in this way: Instead of throwing our tax money at the rich guys on wall street, why not have the US government buy up the big three's pension plans and guarantee payment, and also buy up their $5 billion healthcare cost for ,thus " taking the burden" off the troubled car companies without throwing money at the CEO's? This is a progressive use of Naomi Klein's " Shock Doctrine" to get us closer to Medicare for all - Universal Health Care!

Yeah -=I'd Like to believe that Obama will really shore up working America and infuse money rom our wages and consumption into this flagging economy; that he will see he must stop the foreclosure hemorrage devastating families and realestate values across the nation, but it's getting harder and harder, faced with the actual facts- his choices of advisors, and his statements, which have not been at all definitive in our direction. Linda k reporting.

I would like to trust the Obama I sensed in the candidate I watched. But my good will is waning the more I learn the history of those he has chosed for his economic team.
Coupled with his endorsements of the bailouts of the wealthy investor and stock holder bunch, instead of advocating for strengthening the position of us the American working people, I am beginning to believe that Great Hope Obama is actually wearing no clothes.

This leads me to wonder whether these Clinton Choices might actually be the result of all those behind the scene negotiations with Hillary to concede the nomination. Just as I believe Hillary's three week wait for the official announcement of her as Secretary of State is due to fierce negotiations with Obama as to her role and power in Obama's administration.

Why doesn't Obama come out for the auto workers in this way: Instead of throwing our tax money at the rich guys on wall street, why not have the US government buy up the big three's pension plans and guarantee payment, and also buy up their $5 billion healthcare cost for ,thus " taking the burden" off the troubled car companies without throwing money at the CEO's? This is a progressive use of Naomi Klein's " Shock Doctrine" to get us closer to Medicare for all - Universal Health Care!

Yeah -I'd Like to believe that Obama will really shore up working America and infuse money rom our wages and consumption into this flagging economy; that he will see he must stop the foreclosure hemorrage devastating families and realestate values across the nation, but it's getting harder and harder, faced with the actual facts- his choices of advisors, and his statements, which have not been at all definitive in our direction. Linda k reporting.

@Phil Smith Jr
Stop typing in all caps.
& stop trying to stifle different opinions.
I dont think there is anything wrong w ppl being concerned about $ wasted on a party when the economy is receding.

Excellent article -- I have already signed up as a volunteer for the Inaugural Events. I do not remember a time when Americans have been encouraged to participate with ideas following an election.

Today I received an official looking invitation to the Obama inauguration event on the 20th. Of course, this invitation was to attend any “Public event”. What a joke. These official invitations are nothing more than a scheme to get money for the inauguration committee. If this is the type of change the Democratic Party is selling us, count me out. I’m getting sick and tired of schemes in the private sector, and public sector. Isn’t there any honesty left in America? Come on people, are'nt we are sick of it, and we’re not going to take it anymore? Or are we?

We received an official looking invitation (on Jan 8, 2009) to the Obama inauguration event. Included was a second piece of paper saying that "This commemorative invitation invites your presence at any of the public events in what will be the most open and acciessible..." Also included was a pamphlet of inagural collectibles (pins, posters, etc.) that are for sale. Terrance, does this sound like what you received?

I received one too. Although they cannot be used to attend any events, only one million of these invitations were printed so it's a collectable. Frame it!

Here is a link to an article in the NY Times about it.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/nyregion/thecity/21prin.html?hp

Yeah, we got one today. One of 3% of Americans to be so honored (ah-yuh). I believe I am still owed a t-shirt that I never got for donating to the campaign before they swung through Florida. Barack should make us want to donate because of demonstrated principle and policy, not from the snakecharmers and hypes he employs who keep blowing smoke up my pant leg. I least I knew who I was dealing with when lobbyists were backing a candidate. This way, you feel like you can be nickel-and-dimed daily until the re-election comes around. This was the first campaign I gave to, but it will probably be the last, too.

I was really excited when I received the invitation. There was no RSVP or anything, so I was really confused as to its significance. I immediately got on the phone and called my dad, thinking I had been 'invited." I started thinking of ways to go to the event. Thinking the invitation would be of some significance when I got there. To be "invited" you'd think you would be on a special list or something.

So many of the events surrounding this entire process have been secretive and last minute.

I am disappointed that the inaugural committee did not take the time to print up the entire and correct information explaining to the recipients exactly what it is for. They need to be made aware. I am sure there are uncertain people that will show up and become very angry.

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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 November 26, 2008 6:48 AM.

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