This week President Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina gave a sneak preview of their 2012 campaign strategy. Messina noted that because of Citizens United v. FEC, the 2012 election will be different than the 2008 election. Messina warned of the dangers of Republican aligned Super PACs dominating the election cycle. He didn’t mention that a slew of Obama staffers have decamped from Team Obama to form their own “independent” organization innocuously named Priorities USA. These former Obama staffers have set an ambitious goal of raising $100 million to support liberals in 2012. What’s most surprising is that they are planning on raising money to fund their efforts in secret, without the “transparency” they so often demand.
President Obama has been a very vocal opponent of groups of individuals exercising the First Amendment rights that Citizens United restored. He’s argued:
Right now all around this country there are groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity, who are running millions of dollars of ads against Democratic candidates all across the country. And they don’t have to say who exactly the Americans for Prosperity are. You don’t know if it’s a foreign-controlled corporation. You don’t know if it’s a big oil company, or a big bank. You don’t know if it’s a insurance company that wants to see some of the provisions in health reform repealed because it’s good for their bottom line, even if it’s not good for the American people.
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A Supreme Court decision allowed this to happen. And we tried to fix it, just by saying disclose what’s going on, and making sure that foreign companies can’t influence our elections. Seemed pretty straightforward.
Now that President Obama’s friends and former staffers are creating Super PACs to support his reelection campaign, I doubt we’ll hear the President continue to call for transparency.