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March 17, 2009


Via JOM, Qb, thought I'd just drop the comments here as they will be more useful:

In re: the operation

Straight forward, the sort of "grassroots lobbying" campaign the President has announced is probably a violation of 18 USC 1913; however, the Lobby[ist] Disclosure Act (which amends 18 USC 1913) seems to not include "grassroots lobbying" activities although relevant IRS regulations do. My guess is that the administration's safe harbor is "no controlling legal authority" because the campaign would be conducted by members of the White House Office or Executive Office of the President as part of their duties and my bit of google research indicates that there has never been an charges brought on this statute and punishment under the LDA appear to be civil in nature.

the law-

No part of the money appropriated by any enactment of Congress shall, in the absence of express authorization by Congress, be used directly or indirectly to pay for any personal service, advertisement, telegram, telephone, letter, printed or written matter, or other device, intended or designed to influence in any manner a Member of Congress, a jurisdiction, or an official of any government, to favor, adopt, or oppose, by vote or otherwise, any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation, whether before or after the introduction of any bill, measure, or resolution proposing such legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation...

Rove has mentioned the illegal nature of Obama's permanent campaign before and I've hoped someone with better skills than I have would have researched it and written it up.

Moreover, this campaign is the sort of casual lawlessness that I've come to expect of the Obama Administration and portends poorly for how they will account for the 3 600 000 000 000 dollars they'd like to see pass through their hands in the next budget.

Rove op-ed in which illegality is mentioned: here.

With this disclaimer "PAID FOR BY ORGANIZING FOR AMERICA, A PROJECT OF THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE"- this would probably indicate that it is another shadow 501c (probably 4) hqed at the DNC which would allow some coordination with the DNC but not the White House. The other fly in the ointment is that Obama is turning the National Security Council into a platform for Alinsky organizing based on the ACORN organization model.

Hope this helps-I'll take a look see at the rest of the links and the data entry page when I get sometime later in the week.

Seems I was too quick to comment:

Obama is on YouTube launching the thing so proving coordination doesn't seem to be an issue.

Sourcewatch page with newspaper links to discussion. Found these points interesting:

The New York Times reported that "there will be clear coordination between this independent operation at the Democratic National Committee and a communications arm being set up at the White House, under Macon Phillips, the “new media” director for Mr. Obama’s administration. Mr. Phillips was an Internet strategist with Blue State Digital, a private firm closely tied to Mr. Obama’s campaign. His team signaled the new direction Mr. Obama is bringing with a redesigned White House Web site that was introduced shortly after Mr. Obama was sworn in and is modeled after his campaign site.

They aren't even trying to hide and with Geithner running the IRS they don't need to. Coordination among the White House, the DNC, and this Organization is a violation of FEC and IRS rules. This sort of coordination is what sent FBI officials into orbit when investigating Clinton-Gore 1996 (which was turned over to the FEC for an eventual fine of 750k, but the lead investigator wanted-and should have gotten-an independent counsel).

Pretty busy Qb, but I hope to have more for you to write up by weeks end. Hope it helps.

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