Major corporations profiting from Obama policies are bankrolling President Obama’s official inaugural committee. While we know the names of the donors to Obama’s inaugural, we don’t know much more, because Obama is once again trampling his promises of transparency.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee is effectively an extension of Obama’s campaign. It is not funded by taxpayers but by contributions, and it pays for aspects of the inaugural weekend not covered by the government. For instance, Obama’s PIC will pay for official inaugural balls but not for the swearing-in at the Capitol. After the inauguration, the PIC can use leftover funds however it pleases.
Four years ago, Obama’s PIC mostly matched his reformer rhetoric: He barred corporate money and capped contributions at $50,000. George W. Bush and Bill Clinton both took large corporate contributions for their PICs.
More importantly, the 2008 PIC website disclosed donors’ names and employment, along with the amount of their donations. The Federal Election Commission’s deadline for disclosing this information was not until April, but the 2008 PIC did it in real time.
So much for transparency — and scruples. This year, Obama is taking unlimited donations, including corporate cash. Instead of a detailed disclosure, the PIC website has one page with a very long list of donors, replete with typos and misspellings — and no information on dollar amounts or donors’ employment. AT&T, for example, is listed under “I,” for “AT&T, Inc.”
The list makes no distinction between corporate donors and individual donors, or between million-dollar donors and $5 donors. The PIC has all this information — it is legally required to collect it for the April FEC filing. But it’s not disclosing the information, and PIC officials didn’t answer when I asked why. They also wouldn’t give me the amounts donated by a few specific corporations.
Microsoft is bankrolling the inaugural. How generously? We don’t know. The software giant was Obama’s top corporate source of funds in the 2012 election — employees and executives of the company gave $815,000 to his re-election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
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