President Barack Obama’s campaign organization has officially turned into a nonprofit group. The group, called Organizing for Action, will be classified as a group that cannot influence an election and will be mainly tasked with pushing the president’s agenda for the next four years.
Using a former campaign organization to push your agenda (using White House resources) doesn’t sit well with me. It just seems like a propaganda tool.
Why, if what you are doing is so good for those who elected you, do you need a campaign-style organization, run by former campaign workers, to sell your agenda to the American people? If the people are so supportive of your agenda, why do you need to use these tactics?
If OFA runs commercials and grassroots operations, will it openly disclose its relationship to the Obama administration? I hope the administration doesn’t try to use support from this “independent” group as evidence of wider national support.
Then there is the matter of the possible slate of contributors. The Associated Press reported the group will accept contributions from corporations as well as individuals, though not from lobbyists. But this invites the question of whether or not contributing to OFA could be considered de facto lobbying or bribery, as corporations could influence the administration when it comes to their issues by donating to the group.
The president has been a vocal critic of campaign finance, but he seems to be complicating the issue by allowing the formation of OFA.
Many people complain about how far campaigning has gone in the 21st century, with elected officials now treating every issue as a political one: Politicians seem to be campaigning 24/7.
Obama’s campaign organization turning into a non-profit group is the most obvious embodiment of this concern in the United States today. It introduces the idea that politicians may campaign for their jobs, and once elected, use campaign tactics to campaign for their initiatives.
I wonder if Ohio will be flooded with political ads indefinitely now that campaigns could be a permanent fixture in daily life. Will the 24-hour news media have campaign-style maps when they talk about issues such as immigration reform? I can picture it now: Politicos staying up late the night of a vote on an important bill, as pundits light up green and yellow maps in the districts of each voting congressman.
Maybe I will start seeing “Joe Biden for President” posters in Eastern Michigan University’s Pray-Harrold building next week. Perhaps Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., will be making a re-election speech when we return for the 2013 fall semester.
Of course, most of what I am saying is speculation, but these questions have not been answered.
The executive branch has its own press and public relations people who officially work for the president and do a pretty good job representing him (at the expense of taxpayers). Therefore, I am naturally suspicious when Obama decided he needs his former campaign organization to push his agenda even more.