Excerpt from article by Lisa Rosenberg of the Sunlight Foundation, about Organizing For America, formerly Obama For America:
But with today’s announcement that OFA will limit who it takes money from and that it will disclose donors of $250 or more on a quarterly basis, why aren’t we applauding them for seeing the light?
OFA’s Disclosures are neither Timely nor Complete
As long as OFA is making up the rules as it goes along, there is no reason it shouldn’t meet or surpass the disclosure requirements that apply to political parties. Disclosure delayed is disclosure denied, and the quarterly reporting of donors promised by OFA allows them to hide donors—at least temporarily—in an age when technology could easily facilitate real time online disclosure. Moreover, OFA is not disclosing details normally associated with political contributions—specifically the address, occupation and employer of the donor that not only help identify the donor but the industry or interests that might be important to him. There is no disclosure of bundlers either—a big donor could deliver a fat wad of checks to OFA from his fat cat friends, and while OFA’s chairman and former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina will know who to thank, the public will remain in the dark.
OFA is a Mechanism for Fat Cat Access
Messina took great pains to address the unseemly specter that OFA is a vehicle to sell access to the president to the highest bidder, stating, “we can't and we won't guarantee access to any government officials.” But while he did not guarantee access, nor did he rule it out. Quite the contrary. “Just as the president and administration officials deliver updates on the legislative process to Americans and organizations across the ideological spectrum, there may be occasions when members of Organizing for Action are included in those updates.” Will the members of OFA who give $50 be included in those updates, or only the members who give $50,000 or $500,000?
There is no Accountability
Under OFA’s “voluntary” system of disclosure, there is no enforcement mechanism to ensure that big money donors will be disclosed, or whether the group is sticking to its commitment to prohibit corporate and foreign contributions. There is nothing to prevent a CEO from writing a big check to OFA, only to be reimbursed from her corporate coffers—laundering a corporate contribution. The only legally enforceable rules that apply to OFA are the same ones that apply to every other dark money 501(c)(4) organization—and we know how well those work. [MORE]
Via Coffee Party USA