In what he called “my last election,” President Barack Obama scored a hard-fought but comfortable victory over Mitt Romney last month, but that doesn’t mean his email list will no longer be hit up for campaign cash. To wit, Mr. Obama’s electoral operation, Obama for America, is asking their supporters to contribute after filling out a form backing his plan to increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
“Thanks for sharing your story. The next chapter begins today. Stand with President Obama for the next four years,” a subsequent contribution form declares. Suggested donation amounts range from $15 to $1,000 and a picture of Mr. Obama is presented with the text, “Stand with me, work with me, let’s finish what we’ve started.”
What the president’s short- or long-term objective might be is a less pressing question than the one pertaining to the legality of his fund-raising appeal. The article quotes former (current?) campaign manager, Jim Messina, as publicly signaling that the Obama for America website will continue to exist. There is no problem there. Campaign finance laws, however, are pretty specific and straightforward about the duration of campaign fund-raising. To wit, it ends with the election.
Messina seems to acknowledge this:
“What’s true is just from FEC [Federal Election Commission] law, the campaign needs to shut down. We cannot expend funds for non-presidential activities. So we have got to figure out what we do next. That’s a conversation we’re having with our supporters now.”
It is presumably with a wink that he added, “I think anything’s possible.”