It was reported on Sunday that Obama was so broken up after touring the devastation caused by the Colorado wildfires that he promptly hopped aboard Air Force One and made an 18-minute conference call to his big donors asking for cash that was described as “pleading” and “a tad worried.” Daily Beast columnist Lloyd Grove, who obtained the audio tape from an Obama donor, went on to refer to the call as “rambling[s]”…from “a dog-tired idealist.”
Almost a year ago today, Obama was in hot water for videotaping a campaign commercial in the White House Map Room begging for cash; U.S. Code clearly states that fundraising in a government building is strictly forbidden. The question is, does this also apply to Air Force One? The law does not include the term “airplane,” but by extension, one would think it applied to anything serving a building-like function. Furthermore, presumably while on Air Force One paid for by taxpayers at a cost of $180,000 per hour, Obama should be engaged in activity relating to his job, not on his hands and knees begging for cash from his cronies.
Here’s the relevant U.S. Code:
(1) In general. – It shall be unlawful for any person to solicit or receive a donation of money or other thing of value in connection with a Federal, State, or local election from a person who is located in a room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties by an officer or employee of the United States. It shall be unlawful for an individual who is an officer or employee of the Federal Government, including the President, Vice President, and Members of Congress, 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 by an officer or employee of the United States, from any person.
(2) Penalty. – A person who violates this section shall be fined not more than $5,000, imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both.