The Republican National Committee called on Monday for a federal investigation into whether President Obama violated federal law by using a room in the White House to film a video for his campaign encouraging supporters to enter a raffle contest.
In a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., the committee’s chairman, Reince Priebus, suggested that the video, which was shot in the Map Room, a part of the White House residence, might have broken a law prohibiting federal officials from soliciting donations in rooms being used for official purposes.
In the video, the president encourages supporters to enter a raffle to win a chance to have dinner with him and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. The president’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, sent the video in a e-mail to supporters in late June, asking them to contribute $5 to enter the raffle. Supporters could also enter the drawing without donating any money.
For those who say President Obama did nothing wrong by using the White House in a campaign video, the Feds have already ruled on this issue
Feds: Bush White House broke campaign laws in 2006
Officials in the Bush administration systematically broke election laws by using a political office inside the White House for campaign purposes, a federal investigation has found.
In a report (PDF) released Monday, the Office of Special Counsel said staffers in the Bush-era White House Office of Political Affairs violated the Hatch Act by using taxpayers’ money to run parts of the Republican campaign out of the White House in the mid-term elections of 2006.
“As the 2006 elections drew nearer, OPA became a partisan political organization,” the report states, noting that “OPA was essentially an extension of the [Republican National Committee] in the White House.”
The report alleged that OPA staffers held campaign-oriented meetings during work hours, encouraged federal employees to participate in Republican events, and coordinated administration business trips with political events around the country — all apparent violations of a 1939 law that seeks to keep party politics out of the executive branch of government.
The report said it could not “pinpoint” the exact moment the Bush-era OPA became a “political boiler room” for Republicans, but
OPA engaged in a significant amount of political activity during the 2006 midterm election cycle, such as: conducting partisan political briefings for agency personnel; developing and managing lists of targeted Republicans in upcoming elections; coordinating the travel of high-level agency political appointees to events with targeted Republican campaigns; interfacing and strategizing with the RNC, NRCC, and other political groups; suggesting participation in 72-hour deployment efforts; tracking the results of such volunteer efforts; and tracking money raised at fundraisers attended by administration officials.
WASHINGTON –Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus today called on the Department of Justice to investigate whether or not President Barack Obama broke federal election laws by conducting illegal political fundraising activity in the White House. A fundraising video featuring the President appears to have been recorded in the Map Room which is not part of the White House residence, but rather “occupied in the discharge of official duties.” According to federal law, it is a crime for the President of the United States to solicit political contributions in a place of official government business. Chairman Priebus has asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for the Department of Justice to investigate the matter to determine if, in fact, federal laws were broken by President Obama. Below are excerpts from Chairman Priebus’ letter to Attorney General Holder:“It is with grave concern that I write to request a Department of Justice investigation into an apparent crime committed by President Barack Obama. On or about June 27, 2011, Obama for America Campaign Manager Jim Messina sent an email message containing an announcement he said President Obama wanted to make personally. The message solicited funds for a raffle, of which the winner would have the opportunity to have dinner with President Obama and Vice-President Biden. “If you haven’t yet thrown your name in the hat for this thing,” Mr. Messina wrote, “I have a feeling this announcement might change that.” Embedded in Mr. Messina’s message was a video of President Obama, along with a link to a website through which donors could enter the raffle by making contributions to the President’s reelection campaign …“According to multiple individuals with knowledge of the White House’s rooms and layout, the video appears to have been recorded in the Map Room. According to news reports, however, the White House Counsel has indicated that the video was filmed somewhere in the residential portion of the White House …“As Chairman of the Republican National Committee, I have the responsibility to hold the President accountable for his reckless spending, for the unsustainable growth of government and the crushing debt he is leaving for future generations of Americans, and now, sadly, for his apparent criminal behavior. I never expected I would be in this regrettable position, but the President’s conduct and the White House staff’s stonewalling leave me no choice …”To view the full letter click here: http://bit.ly/qhXJvk