WASHINGTON (AP) – In an unprecedented move, President Barack Obama’s vaunted political organization is being turned into a nonprofit group — funded in part by corporate money — to mobilize support behind the president’s second-term agenda.
Democratic officials familiar with the plan said Thursday the tax-exempt organization will be called Organizing for Action and seek to harness the energy of the president’s re-election campaign for future legislative fights. Officials said the group will be separate from the Democratic National Committee and advocate on key policy issues such as gun control and immigration, train future leaders and devote attention to local issues around the nation.
The president’s 2012 campaign manager, Jim Messina, will serve as the group’s national chairman, and White House official Jon Carson is leaving the administration to become its executive director. The officials said the organization plans to accept donations from individuals and corporations — and disclose their identities — but not take money from lobbyists and political action committees, a move in line with donor rules set up for the president’s Inaugural Committee. It will have offices in Washington and Chicago, the officials said.