LA Times: “As he launches his second term, President Obama may get help from an ambitious new political organization being built out of his reelection campaign, a group that could reshape how future presidents harness supporters to press their White House agendas….The organization will be set up as a 501(c)4 social welfare group, according to top Democrats privy to the discussions. That structure allows it to accept unlimited contributions. But rolling over the assets of a presidential campaign into a tax-exempt advocacy group presents some legal challenges. Campaign finance lawyers noted that such an organization cannot have politics as its primary purpose, according to Internal Revenue Service regulations. Such groups also are not required to publicly disclose their donors, a practice that Obama repeatedly deplored as he fielded attack ads in the 2012 campaign from 501(c)4 organizations such as Crossroads GPS and Americans for Prosperity. The pro-Obama group could voluntarily reveal its contributors, however.”
POLITICO discusses the potential irony if the new Obama group fails to disclose its donors:
Opponents of campaign finance reform say it’s another reversal by Obama — who has said repeatedly that he is against the amount of money sloshing around in politics.
“It’s just further evidence that everybody recognizes that there are valid reasons for people to want to remain anonymous,” said Bradley Smith, a former Federal Election Commission chairman and head of the Center for Competitive Politics.
Smith — a vocal opponent of increased regulation of money in politics — called some of Obama’s rhetoric on campaign finance “B.S.”