Obama’s Inauguration: Corporations are People Too, Unlimited Welcome

Photograph by Mark Wilson/Pool via Bloomberg

President Barack Obama and his wife at the Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Ball in Washington on Jan. 20, 2009.

Written with Joe Sobczyk

President Barack Obama’s inaugural committee will accept unlimited donations from corporations and individuals, reversing his stance of four years ago.

After a presidential campaign that cost more than $2 billion in spending by candidates, political parties and political action committees, the inaugural committee is casting a wider net for contributions.

“Our goal is to make sure that we will meet the fundraising requirements for this civic event after the most expensive presidential campaign in history,” Addie Whisenant, spokeswoman for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, said in an e-mail.

The identities of all donors will be posted regularly on the committee’s website, she said. Lobbyists and political action committees won’t be allowed to contribute. Corporations that accepted but haven’t yet repaid funding from the Troubled Asset Relief Program also will be prohibited from making donations.

Donors contributed about $45 million to Obama’s 2009 inauguration. Obama banned corporate cash then, and accepted a maximum of $50,000 per donor.

The inaugural committee plans to scale down events for Obama’s second inaugural. The formal ceremonies and balls will be held on Jan. 21. Obama will officially take the oath of office the day before, which is a Sunday.


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