Obama's Advocacy Group Claims to be Nonpartisan

Friday, 08 Feb 2013 12:30 PM

By Lisa Barron

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President Barack Obama’s new nonprofit advocacy group, Organizing for Action, is claiming to be nonpartisan in a statement on its website, saying it will have no involvement in "political activity," according to a report Friday in Politico.

“Neither OFA nor its chapters will be involved in any way in elections or partisan political activity,” the statement reads. “Its exclusive purpose is public policy advocacy and development, and in particular, both enactment of President Obama’s legislative agenda and the identification and advancement of other goals for progressive change at the state and local level."

The tax-exempt nonprofit grew out of Obama’s presidential campaign operation and has the express purpose of promoting his second-term agenda on key issues such as gun control and immigration. Its 501 (c ) 4 status allows it to accept unlimited donations from corporations and individuals.

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The group further states on its website that it will not “directly lobby elected officials on behalf of the policies it supports, nor will it hire lobbyists to do so.” Instead, it said it plans to “mobilize citizens to speak out for their adoption and implementation.”

But despite claims to the contrary, Obama aides have acknowledged that the group is implicitly political in nature. According to Politico, Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s 2012 deputy campaign manager, said at a pre-inaugural event, “I think we can affect elections even if legally we can’t be involved with them for this particular organization."

On its website, the group also says it will not accept donations “from individuals registered as lobbyists or foreign agents, political action committees or foreign nationals."

The group also promises to make full and regular disclosures of donations received, although it is not required to do so by law.

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