Transparency fail: Obama committee provides donor list but prohibits publication

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Organizing for Action, the political non-profit that morphed out of President Barack Obama’s campaign committee, released a list of top donors late Friday afternoon, and while the group made a step in the direction of better disclosure, it promptly took two steps back.

In a release to reporters, OFA supplied the names of 49 donors who gave the committee $5,000 or more since January, along with their cities of residence and their corporate affiliations — the last a key piece of information that has not been included in previous releases.

While the release advised reporters that this additional information (the sort of stuff that would be demanded by the FEC, if this committee were required to file there) is being provided “in an effort to make your reporting easier.” It also advised reporters that the list was “FOR YOUR GUIDANCE ONLY, NOT FOR PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION” (emphasis OFA’s).


So while we can tell you (we guess) that the list is topped by $500,000 donor David Shaw, founder of a hedge fund that backs renewable fuel projects, and includes a $50,000 gift from Nelson Rising, a developer featured in our “Most Likely to Exceed” story about which donors were poised to shatter pre-McCutcheon campaign finance limits, we can’t share the entire list with you in the nice tabular format so you can search it yourselves.

Unless the committee dedicated to advancing the agenda of the president who famously promised us “the most transparent administration ever” decides to change its mind.

We’ll update this post if so.