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Old 09-15-2012, 08:10 AM  
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What Citizens United Has Brought

Who could have seen this trend coming.

Color me shocked.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/us...tors.html?_r=1

Obama Grows More Reliant on Big-Money Contributors
By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE
Published: September 12, 2012

Kirk Wagar, a Florida lawyer who has raised more than $1 million for President Obama’s re-election bid, had his choice of rooms for the Democratic convention at Charlotte’s Ritz-Carlton or Westin hotels and nightly access to hospitality suites off the convention floor.

Jay Snyder, a New York financier who has raised at least $560,000 for Mr. Obama, was entitled to get his picture taken on the podium at the Time Warner Cable Arena.

And Azita Raji, a retired investment banker who has raised over $3 million for Mr. Obama — more than almost anyone else during the last two years — could get pretty much anything that she wanted last week in Charlotte: briefings with senior Obama officials, invitations to post-speech parties, along with “priority booking” at the city’s finest hotels.

In the race for cash, Mr. Obama often praises his millions of grass-roots donors, those die-hards whose $3 or $10 or $75 contributions are as much a symbol of the president’s political identity as they are a source of ready cash. But his campaign’s big-dollar fund-raising has become more dependent than it was four years ago on a smaller number of large-dollar donors and fund-raisers.

All told, Mr. Obama’s top “bundlers” — people who gather checks from friends and business associates — raised or gave at least $200 million for Mr. Obama’s re-election bid and the Democratic National Committee through the end of May, close to half of the total up to that point, according to internal campaign documents obtained by The New York Times.

The documents provide a detailed look into the intricate world of presidential fund-raising, which Mr. Obama and his team have mastered, and donor-stroking, which some supporters complain they have not. The campaign closely monitors its top bundlers, rating them by how much each individual or couple has raised and donated each year going back to 2007.

Officials used that amount, in turn, to offer donor packages of access and entertainment for the convention last week, themed to the location in North Carolina: “OBX” (bumper-sticker shorthand for the Outer Banks) for those raising at least $1 million, down to “Carolina on My Mind” for those who have donated merely $75,800 to Mr. Obama and the Democratic National Committee, the maximum allowed under federal law.

“It confirms everything we’ve always believed about the role of big money in politics,” said Ellen Miller, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, a watchdog group that tracks political fund-raising. “The more you give, the more you gather, the more you get.”

Each individual or couple is also assigned a lifetime Obama total. Topping the list is Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Hollywood producer, who, along with his fund-raising partner, Andy Spahn, has brought in at least $6.6 million combined for the 2008 and 2012 campaigns, according to the documents.

The top fund-raiser for 2011 and 2012 is Andrew Tobias, a Miami-based author who is treasurer of the Democratic National Committee and a major bundler for Mr. Obama among gay donors. Terry McAuliffe, a former party chairman and Bill Clinton loyalist, shot into Mr. Obama’s top bundler ranks this year after he and Mr. Clinton agreed to hold a Virginia fund-raiser for Mr. Obama. He has raised about $2.2 million for Mr. Obama, according to the documents, more than all but a few supporters.

Because not all of Mr. Obama’s bundlers are represented through the end of May, the documents may understate the total that top supporters have raised for Mr. Obama. But even so, they reveal how dependent even Mr. Obama — whose grass-roots fund-raising machine is unrivaled in political history — is on a relative handful of wealthy individuals raising millions of dollars on his behalf, often while having significant business or legal interests before the Obama administration.

Among the top 10 fund-raisers on the list for 2012, for example, are Steve Spinner, a former Department of Energy official who pushed the White House to approve a $535 million loan guarantee for Solyndra, the failed solar power company.

DreamWorks Animation, the studio Mr. Katzenberg leads, is among several in Hollywood that earlier this year were notified of an investigation into whether entertainment companies had made illegal payments to officials in China in connection with their dealings there.

Mitt Romney has fielded an equally formidable high-dollar fund-raising machine this year and could raise as much or more than Mr. Obama during the election cycle. Like the Democrats, Republicans offered big donors an array of perks at their convention, held in Tampa, Fla., last month, including choice hotel access, boat trips and access to Mr. Romney himself.

Mr. Obama already makes public the names of his bundlers, along with ranges for how much they have raised, a practice not required by law. Mr. Romney has declined to release such information, though monthly disclosures filed by his campaign suggest that he is even more dependent than Mr. Obama on big bundlers and donors who have given the legal maximum.

“Our major volunteer fund-raisers, as well as the ranges of contributions they raised, were previously made public because unlike Governor Romney, we disclose them on our Web site,” said Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for Mr. Obama.

Mr. Obama’s publicly disclosed categories stop at the $500,000-and-up level, however. The internal documents show that at least 60 individuals and couples reside in an even more elite club, having raised more than $1 million for Mr. Obama and the party.

They include Frank White Jr., a technology entrepreneur who has raised $2.3 million for Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign; Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, who has raised $2.7 million; Robert Wolf, a former executive at UBS Americas, the banking company, who has raised about $1.3 million; and Reshma Saujani, a lawyer who is running for New York City public advocate next year and is active among young larger donors, who has raised about $1 million.

About 260 of the bundlers did not raise any money for Mr. Obama during his 2008 campaign, according to the document. That reflects the extraordinary effort Mr. Obama made to recruit new fund-raisers for his re-election effort, as former supporters lost enthusiasm or moved on to other pursuits.

But it also reflects the number of former fund-raisers whom Mr. Obama appointed to ambassadorial and other posts, leaving them barred from political activities.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:25 PM   #46
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Hell there is danger in the old system. How do you ensure that small dollar contributions are not from foreign people.
oh I agree our pre-citizen United political process was far from squeaky clean.

I guess the theory was that if China got 5000 people to publically contribute $2,000 and somehow they didnt get caught that it was still only $10 million to swing a national election. Pocket change for the Koch brothers.

Now they can get an American front that doesn't disclose its donors. They can give $500 million and no one would be the wiser.
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I believe Hitler hated Jews and had a lot of them killed. I dont believe it was anywhere close to 6 million though. I'm not an anti-semite; I just think that number has been severely inflated and there is a lot of evidence that supports this belief.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:29 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by BigRedChief View Post
Now they can get an American front that doesn't disclose its donors. They can give $500 million and no one would be the wiser.
Go and find out what non-disclosing PACs can do compared to disclosing PACs.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:30 PM   #48
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Go and find out what non-disclosing PACs can do compared to disclosing PACs.
why bother, I'm too stupid to learn.
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Originally Posted by MTG#10 View Post
I believe Hitler hated Jews and had a lot of them killed. I dont believe it was anywhere close to 6 million though. I'm not an anti-semite; I just think that number has been severely inflated and there is a lot of evidence that supports this belief.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:39 PM   #49
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why bother, I'm too stupid to learn.
Well don't complain about it until you understand it. Or at least don't expect to be persuasive.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:03 PM   #50
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I haven't, but I can't believe he would claim something that stupid.
Politically stupid, I suppose, but I can't personally think of a corporation that formed itself, ran itself, or conducted business without people.
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:06 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Baby Lee View Post
thanks for omitting 'including foreign corporations.'

Makes my rage all the more righteous.
Doesn't change the fact that every opponent of the "unlimited money in elections" business, including the President, has been vindicated completely by the funding of the 2012 election.
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:18 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Doesn't change the fact that every opponent of the "unlimited money in elections" business, including the President, has been vindicated completely by the funding of the 2012 election.
Boy, that's gonna put a helluva taint on Obama's victory.
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:30 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Baby Lee View Post
Boy, that's gonna put a helluva taint on Obama's victory.
Thanks for introducing the partisan angle.

The real angle here is that it's going to put a taint on every election from now to until this era in political financing is over.
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:44 PM   #54
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Thanks for introducing the partisan angle.

The real angle here is that it's going to put a taint on every election from now to until this era in political financing is over.
Its not partisan, it's pointing out that $$ behind an unpopular POV =! popular POV.

$$ just means 'I have xxx avenues to plead with the public to see things my way.' It's energy, but it's not a force. It provides potential, but it doesn't do work.*




* google the differences between energy and force, and potential and work.
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:49 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Baby Lee View Post
Its not partisan, it's pointing out that $$ behind an unpopular POV =! popular POV.

$$ just means 'I have xxx avenues to plead with the public to see things my way.' It's energy, but it's not a force. It provides potential, but it doesn't do work.
Your first paragraph and second paragraph contradict each other. Your second paragraph is the naive ideal, your first paragraph is the practical reality.

You're attempting to argue that money can't make people change minds, it can only provide an avenue for which they can do that. While at the same time, you are admitting that flooding the market with enough money practically means enough minds will change.

Care to clarify?
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:16 AM   #56
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Its not partisan
Boy, thats a
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I believe Hitler hated Jews and had a lot of them killed. I dont believe it was anywhere close to 6 million though. I'm not an anti-semite; I just think that number has been severely inflated and there is a lot of evidence that supports this belief.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:23 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by RINGLEADER View Post
Politically stupid, I suppose, but I can't personally think of a corporation that formed itself, ran itself, or conducted business without people.
Don't each one of those people already have their individual rights/protections within the political process...one man one vote?
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:27 AM   #58
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Don't each one of those people already have their individual rights/protections within the political process...one man one vote?
Don't know what you're trying to say.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:29 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Your first paragraph and second paragraph contradict each other. Your second paragraph is the naive ideal, your first paragraph is the practical reality.

You're attempting to argue that money can't make people change minds, it can only provide an avenue for which they can do that. While at the same time, you are admitting that flooding the market with enough money practically means enough minds will change.

Care to clarify?
I think he's pointing out that money can change opinion and is most certainly required to amplify speech to the masses. If you curtail what can be spent by an individual or how they can spend it (at the heart of the CU case) then you are restricting free speech. The Supreme Court ruled that corporations should enjoy these same benefits, lest their ability to promote their goods and services be limited. And political speech can be defined as a position worthy of this protection.

I don't understand why this is so difficult for the left to understand.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:29 AM   #60
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Politically stupid, I suppose, but I can't personally think of a corporation that formed itself, ran itself, or conducted business without people.
And those people have a right as individuals. Why did we single out groups as having special rights? Why not give the Boy Scouts, the local PTA, your softball team those special rights to try to buy elections?

We all know the answer, they don't have millions/billions to give politicians.
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