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March 07, 2013

Outside political group reverses stance on donations

After weeks of criticism, Organizing for Action announced Thursday that the outside political group staffed by former Obama aides will not take donations from corporations as it had planned.

National Chairman Jim Messina penned an op-ed on CNN.com said OFA would not accept corporate funds and would disclose the amount contributed by donors who give more than $250.

"While Organizing for Action is a nonprofit social welfare organization that faces a lower disclosure threshold than a political campaign, we believe in being open and transparent," he wrote. "That's why every donor who gives $250 or more to this organization will be disclosed on the website with the exact amount they give on a quarterly basis. We have now decided not to accept contributions from corporations, federal lobbyists or foreign donors."

A 501(c)4 nonprofit social welfare organization can raise unlimited funds and is not subject to Federal Election Commission disclosure rules. 

The group had previously said it would ban on money from federal lobbyists and foreign nationals. But campaign finance advocates called on the White House to shut down the group after it reportedly promised big donors quarterly meetings with Obama.

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