As the Obama administration threatens to cut off the meager checks Social Security recipients must live on if Republican leaders do not agree to raise the debt ceiling, one House Republican is exploring the massive campaign checks Democrats may have illegally solicited inside the White House. Congressman Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, sent a scathing 10-page letter to Obama counsel Kathryn Ruemmler on Monday demanding materials that help him determine whether Obama has violated campaign finance laws multiple times.
Issa requested four separate categories of information. The president’s “Dinner with Barack and Joe” video shot in the White House. Cleta Mitchell,a member of the American Bar Association’s election law committee, told CNSNews.com, “I think this is a violation” of federal law, which prohibits anyone “including the President…to solicit or receive a donation of money or other thing of value in connection with a Federal,State,or local election,while in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties.”
While the courts carved out an exception for the residential portion of the White House, the video did not appear to have been filmed in that area.
The Oversight Committee is also probing a March 7, 2011, meeting in the Blue Room in which every participants was an Obama donor. Although spokesman Jay Carney described this as an official talk on improving the economy, it was not on the president’s official schedule, and the invitations were sent out by the Democratic National Committee. Meredith McGehee of the Campaign Legal Center questioned the party sponsorship of the meeting. If the White House had to have a meeting, “why does it need to be DNC-sponsored?” she asked. “Even if it’s not a fundraiser, it’s a cultivation.”
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Issa noted how this contributes to Obama’s incredibly shrinking presidency. “Putting aside the negative impact that these fundraising tactics will have on the stature of the presidency generally,” he wrote, “some of these tactics may also violate federal law.”
The letter presents a White House systematically using the White House as a cash cow while implementing regulations that harm his enemies. “These fundraising activities appear to be part of a broader Administration strategy to maximize campaign donations for the upcoming campaign while simultaneously using official resources to suppress the fundraising of potential political opponents,” it read, referring to a new regulation forcing federal contractors to disclose their political contributions. Many fear this will result in Republicans being denied federal contracts by a Democratic administration. This author has drawn attention to the president’s tendency to use the White House to reward favored constituencies while punishing Republican voters.
Soon, Darrell Issa will determine whether the campaign fleecing aspect of that operation is also a high crime or misdemeanor.