Friday, April 29, 2011

Democrats Make It Official: They'll Take Undisclosed Donations, Too (Full text of Memo)

Priorities USA and Priorities USA Action, the two companion committees, hope to raise $100 million to defend Obama, organizers said - National Journal
The organization will not live up to the same campaign finance standards by which Obama has pledged to run its campaign. They will take unregulated donations that do not require disclosure....

A spokesman for Crossroads, the conservative independent fundraising behemoth, immediately accused President Obama of "brazen hypocrisy." The president's "own political operatives are launching the very type of groupes they demagogued as 'shadowy threats to democracy,'" Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio said in a statement....
In memo, Priorities USA defends secret-money shift - Politico
The brand-new pro-White House group Priorities USA distributed a memo to backers this morning defending itself from the intense, expected fire this morning over its flouting President Obama's stated opposition not just to outside money, but to undisclosed outside money.

Here's the full memo, sent to Democratic activists and forwarded over by a Democrat:

To: Interested Parties
From: Bill Burton & Sean Sweeney
Re: The Start of Priorities USA and Priorities USA Action

Today, Priorities USA and Priorities USA Action will begin its operations. The mission of these groups is to counter the hundreds of millions of dollars pledged by the Koch brothers and Karl Rove. Below you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about our new groups. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have further questions.

1. Why is the effort necessary?

Our groups were formed to answer the hundreds of millions of dollars Karl Rove and the Koch brothers have dedicated to spending in the 2012 election. In 2010, Republicans spent millions distorting the debate on important issues and running vicious, dishonest attack ads. This is an effort to level the playing field and not allow right-wing activists to hijack the political system. We are simply trying to give an equal voice to the American middle-class and supporting policies that reflect America's core value of fairness.

2. What will the groups do?

Priorities USA is a 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to mobilizing Americans to preserve, protect and promote the middle class, and to ensure opportunity and freedom for the next generation. It will advocate for economic policies that generate jobs here in America through innovation, education and investment in the infrastructure vital to our future success. Priorities USA will support policies that are fiscally responsible and reflect America's core value of fairness. It will oppose right-wing attempts to harm the American middle class in order to bestow special treatment on special interests. It will promote national security policies that protect our nation, defend our interests and enhance America's position as a respected world leader.

Priorities USA Action is an Independent Expenditure PAC that supports candidates who will advance policies that provide the strongest and most sound outcomes for middle class families.

3. What has changed from earlier election cycles, when Democrats did not support these kinds of groups?

In the Citizens United ruling, the right-leaning Supreme Court created a new set of rules that allows individuals to give as much as they want and remain anonymous should they choose. Karl Rove and the Koch brothers then chose to exploit this decision to press their right-wing agenda without accountability. While we agree that fundamental campaign finance reforms are needed, Karl Rove and the Koch brothers cannot live by one set of rules as our values and our candidates are overrun with their hundreds of millions of dollars. We will comply with all applicable rules and laws but we won’t be boxed in by a double standard.