Changing direction due to harsh criticism, a non-profit group operated by ex-advisers to President Obama announced on Thursday, it would not be accepting any corporate donations and would be disclosing the exact amount of money received from each donor, after it was accused of selling access to the Obama administration.
Organizing for Action Chairman Jim Messina wrote an op-ed that was published online that said his group believes it is important to be transparent and open and therefore decided to not accept corporate donations, which is a move in staying with the practices of past campaigns by Obama. Each donor giving over $250 would be disclosed by the group on its website, with exactly the amount given each quarter, said Messina.
The close ties that exist between Organizing for Action and the White House have raised questions about whether donation bundlers who put together $500,000 or more for the organization would receive meetings quarterly with President Obama. Those allegations have been disputed by members of the White House administration.
Groups have started to say that Obama has changed his course since he was critical of the type of role that money plays in politics during the first campaign for the presidency. The groups have said that OFA offers new ways for individuals and corporations to influence the Obama administration.
Messina also said the organization would not take contributions from any corporation, foreign donors or federal lobbyists. Obama has long rejected any donation from those types of entities, although the committee that ran his second campaign accepted contributions from some corporations and did not specify donor amounts.
Messina runs the OFA along with several former campaign and White House aides of Obama.