Do wonder if the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein is going to get upset about the Obama campaign’s decision to enlist Superpacs in its reelection efforts. After all, the call is coming from the campaign itself.
Tuesday night, after Rick Santorum swept the beauty contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, he caught “Foster Freiss, the main financial backer” of the Senator’s super PAC standing behind him “as he gave his victory speech“:
(Screen capture with arrow from Huffington Post.) And Mr. Stein warned of the “dangers of the new campaign system”:
The campaign and the super PAC cannot legally coordinate. And it stands to reason that, legally speaking, having Friess next to Santorum on stage doesn’t violate that rule. The former senator from Pennsylvania, after all, wasn’t talking to Friess directly, nor was Santorum speaking explicitly about campaign strategy.
But the proximity of the donor to the candidate on Tuesday night is a wonderful illustration of the dangers of the new campaign finance system: Where big checks don’t just get you a seat at the table, they get you a spot on the stage.
Well, it looks like Mr. Obama’s campaign is coordinating with a Democratic super PAC:
Aides said the president had signed off on a plan to dispatch cabinet officials, senior advisers at the White House and top campaign staff members to deliver speeches on behalf of Mr. Obama at fund-raising events for Priorities USA Action, the leading Democratic “super PAC,” whose fund-raising has been dwarfed by Republican groups. The new policy was presented to the campaign’s National Finance Committee in a call Monday evening and announced in an e-mail to supporters.
I thought campaign coordination with a Super PAC is forbidden, but here they are holding campaign conference calls about O giving the green light to donors to start bankrolling Priorities USA. Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager, actually has a guest post at HuffPo today describing how cabinet officials will be made available to the PAC for fundraising events.
Announced right there in Mr. Stein’s HuffPo. I’m sure he’s got a followup planned.