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Several first-time 2012 bundlers already have snagged administration posts:
— Norma Lee Funger, of Potomac, Md., who raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama, was appointed last month to the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
— Glenn S. Gerstell, of Washington, D.C., who bundled the same amount, was appointed to the National Infrastructure Advisory Commission last fall.
— Richard Binder, of Bethesda, Md., another $50,000 to $100,000 bundler, was appointed to the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health last spring.
And note: The most transparent administration ever still refuses to disclose recusal orders involving the nearly 100 lobbyists and ex-lobbyists on its payroll.
— Super PAC super-hypocrisy. “Super PACs” are federal political action committees that only make independent expenditures in support of, or in opposition to, candidates. Their birth and growth were fueled indirectly by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission (FEC) ruling in 2010. The decision overturned severe campaign finance restrictions that essentially criminalized certain forms of political speech. As Chief Justice John Roberts put it during oral arguments: “We don’t put our First Amendment rights in the hands of FEC bureaucrats.”
Until this week, the Obama administration vehemently condemned the Citizens United decision and vowed to eschew super PACs. The entities are a “threat to our democracy,” Obama railed two years ago. The ruling would “open the floodgates for special interests,” he warned. And last July, Obama campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt kept talking the anti-super PAC talk. “Neither the president nor his campaign staff or aides will fundraise for super PACs,” he asserted. Now? President Obama and his wife won’t fundraise for the democracy-undermining super PACs. But countless other Cabinet members and advisers, partying with Obama bundlers gone wild, will.
In 2008, Obama lambasted rival Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards for criticizing independent expenditures while raking in big PAC bucks: “So you can’t say yesterday you don’t believe in them, and today you have three quarters of a million dollars being spent on you. You can’t just talk the talk.”
Obama 2012 campaign motto: Empty talk? Yes, we can!
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