Former Obama campaign chairman denies selling White House access
(CBS News) President Obama's re-election campaign added volumes of voter data to a national database of voter and volunteer information. Jim Messina, Obama's former campaign chairman, has set his sights on using this information to turn voters into advocates, transitioning the group of campaign supporters known as Obama for America into part of the non-profit Organizing for Action.
The group -- which boasts spokespeople including the first lady -- has come under scrutiny in its early days, for what some say amounts to selling White House access and setting a double standard based on campaign attacks on Mitt Romney's lack of transparency. The 501c4 non-profit has no limit on donation amounts and is required to disclose only those donations above $250,000.Are donors paying for access to Obama?
Messina, who now serves as national chairman of Organizing for Action, refutes the claim that Mr. Obama would take issue with a similar group on the GOP side.
Organizing for Action, Messina said Friday on "CBS This Morning," "is a grassroots organization with volunteers across the country who are coming together with one single mission: to help pass the president's common-sense agenda."
He said that 946,000 Americans "have taken action" through the organization and said 87 percent of Obama supporters during the election said they wanted to continue to be involved in helping to pass the president's agenda.
Messina went on to defend the group and backed off claims that people who contribute $50,000 or more may have the opportunity to meet the president.
"We disclose every single contribution we get," he said.
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