New Obama Policy Group Scandal Waiting to Happen?

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WASHINGTON -- President Obama's new policy group Organizing for Action is holding a summit in Washington Wednesday, and the president is a featured speaker.

Some watchdog groups call it a "scandal waiting to happen," and are asking the president to "shut down" what they call a new "dangerous arm of his presidency."

The non-profit, created out of the president's re-election machine, Obama for America, is designed to redirect the might of his political campaign to back his policy agenda.

OFA deploys resources to promote items like gun control, immigration reform, and climate change.

It's run by former top Obama advisers. Even the group's website bears a close resemblance to the president's campaign website, making many question where the White House ends and OFA begins.

First lady Michelle Obama helped launch OFA.

"This is your movement and going forward it can be whatever you make of it," the first lady said in an online video announcement of the group.

But those who want access will likely have to spend money - a lot of it.

On Wednesday night, OFA is holding its Founders' Summit, where donors have access to the commander in chief himself. The cost for a seat at the table is $50,000 per person.

"I just think that's wrong," said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, a group dedicated to open and accountable government.

He said the president is blowing a chance to prove his dedication to campaign finance reform and minimize the role that money plays in politics.

"Once the president won re-election he should have stopped, thought about this organization and organized from the bottom up and not the top down," Edgar told CBN News.

The White House said OFA is for average Americans and denied reports that mega donors who bundle $500,000 or more for OFA will get quarterly meetings with the president.

"OFA was set up to promote the president's public policy agenda and therefore as anyone would expect, the president would likely meet with their representatives to discuss his agenda," White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

"Any notion, as we've talked about, that there's a price set for a meeting for, with the president is absurd and wrong," Carney added.

People who donate $250 or more will be disclosed on OFA's website.

Since controversy about the group broke, OFA announced it will not take money from corporations, federal lobbyists, or foreign countries. The group is vowing to raise millions to deploy an army of activists to advance the president's agenda.

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CBN News
Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News White House Correspondent

Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at