Sheryl Gay Stolberg

The New York Times

December 8, 2012

Article excerpted below:

“President Obama’s finance team is offering corporations and other institutions that contribute $1 million exclusive access to an array of inaugural festivities, including tickets to a “benefactors reception,” a children’s concert, a candlelight celebration at the National Building Museum, two reserved parade bleacher seats and four tickets to the president’s official inaugural ball.

The offerings are detailed in an online inaugural fund-raising solicitation provided to The New York Times by an Obama fund-raiser. The document describes four packages that Mr. Obama’s finance team can sell, with differing levels of access depending on the level of contribution. Individuals who contribute $250,000 will receive the same package as million-dollar “institutional donors,” which could include corporations, philanthropies, foundations and unions.”

“The online solicitation, sent to donors by e-mail on Friday, described the different inaugural packages, each named for a president: Washington ($1 million from institutions and $250,000 from individuals); Adams ($500,000 from institutions and $150,000 from individuals); Jefferson ($250,000 from institutions and $75,000 from individuals); and Madison ($100,000 from institutions and $10,000 from individuals).

Financing arrangements like these are typical for presidential inaugurals. To help pay for President George W. Bush’s 2005 inaugural, dozens of companies, including Home Depot and Bank of America, contributed $250,000 apiece.

But Mr. Obama’s decision has drawn criticism from good-government advocates, who accuse him of abandoning his pledge to keep big money out of politics.”

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