Tags: obama | lobbying | group | unions

Obama Group Expects to Tap Labor and Hollywood Money

Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013 11:08 AM

By Lisa Barron

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President Barack Obama's new lobbying outreach group, Organizing for Action, may be getting some help from labor unions and Hollywood donors, The Hill reported Wednesday.

The organization is already courting liberal nonprofits and major corporations, looking for big money. But unions appear to be standing by ready to assist in the group's mission, which is to promote Obama's second-term agenda.

”If Organizing for Action mobilizes or communicates on issues that are directly germane to, or beneficial to, the interests of professional firefighters, we would consider supporting the effort,” Kevin O’Connor, head of governmental and political affairs for the International Association of Fire Fighters, told The Hill.

The Hill also quoted Brandon Davis, national political director for the Service Employees International Union, saying his members might be open to providing support as well.

"We want to work with every partner that we can to advance the agenda of working families," he said.

Organizing for Action, which was established as a tax-exempt nonprofit, is allowed under federal law to raise unlimited contributions from big business and wealthy individuals. But that hasn't stopped criticism of its efforts from political watchdog groups and privacy advocates concerned about the large amounts of money being solicited to influence government.

Those complaints, however, appear to be falling on deaf ears in Hollywood.

“While donors are still catching their breath from the election, we expect they will be very generous in support of the president’s ambitious agenda,” Kevin Ryan of Andy Spahn & Associates, a Los Angeles-based consulting firm that works with Hollywood donors, told The Hill.

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