Federal Politics

Published — April 12, 2013 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Wealthy supporters fuel Obama nonprofit

Donors include presidential campaign bundlers

Introduction

Sixteen people accounted for nearly a quarter of the $4.8 million collected by Organizing for Action, the self-described “grassroots” nonprofit group affiliated with President Barack Obama that was created to push the White House’s policy agenda.

About 109,000 people gave money to the nonprofit from January through March, Organizing for Action announced today.

Donors from California ($568,215), New York ($363,893), New Jersey ($221,737), Florida ($84,010) and Massachusetts ($75,975) gave the most, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis.

The top donor by far was Philip Munger of New York City who gave $250,000. Munger is a philanthropist, academic and long-time contributor to Democratic causes.

Next were John Goldman of Atherton, Calif., and Nicola M. Miner of San Francisco who both gave $125,000. Goldman is former chairman of Willis Insurance Service of California, Inc. a U.S. branch of a global insurance brokerage firm. Miner is the daughter of Bob Miner, co-founder of Oracle Corp. and wife of John Mailer Anderson, a novelist and screenwriter.

Of the top 16 donors, each who gave $50,000 or more, nine are Obama campaign bundlers — elite fundraisers credited with raising funds from well-connected friends, family members and associates, then delivering it in a “bundle.” Organizing for Action bills itself as nonpartisan.

Among other top donors:

  • Orin S. Kramer of Englewood, N.J. ($75,000): Chairman of hedge fund Kramer Spellman LP and former Clinton administration transition team adviser.
  • Ryan Smith of Salt Lake City ($50,875): CEO of Qualtrics, a Utah company that produces Web-based software for surveys.
  • Anthony P. Crabb of Healdsburg, Calif. ($50,000): Philanthropist and marriage equality advocate.
  • Barbara Grasseschi of Healdsburg, Calif. ($50,000): Bundler who raised at least $200,000 for Obama’s re-election efforts and is married to Crabb.
  • John Morgan of Orlando, Fla. ($50,000): Partner at Morgan & Morgan, the Florida law firm that employs former Gov. and Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist. Morgan is also a campaign bundler who raised at least $500,000 for Obama’s re-election efforts.
  • Laura Debonis of Boston ($50,000): Former director of the Google Books Library Project.
  • William H. Freeman of Nashville, Tenn. ($50,000): Campaign bundler who raised at least $500,000 for Obama’s re-election efforts.
  • Wayne Jordan of Oakland, Calif. ($50,000): Campaign bundler who raised at least $500,000 for Obama’s re-election efforts.
  • Michael Kempner of East Rutherford, N.J. ($50,000): Campaign bundler who raised at least $500,000 for Obama’s re-election efforts.
  • Charles H. Murphy III of Little Rock, Ark. ($50,000): Founder of Murphy Oil Corporation.
  • S. Donald Sussman of Portland, Maine ($50,000): Prominent hedge fund investor.
  • Andrew Tobias of New York City ($50,000): Treasurer of the Democratic National Committee and gay rights activist. Also a bundler who raised at least $500,000 for Obama’s re-election efforts.
  • Imaad Zuberi of El Monte, Calif. ($50,000): Campaign bundler who raised at least $500,000 for Obama’s re-election efforts.

About 60 percent of the group’s money appears to have come from donors who gave less than $250 and were not identified.

Although the group actively collects donors’ employer and occupation information, it has declined to release such information publicly. Withholding such data complicates confirming the identities of donors with common names.

As a nonprofit organization, Organizing for Action is not required to release any information about its donors — unlike campaign committees or super PACs. And for weeks after its founding early this year, leaders offered no indication that it would.

After pressure from campaign finance reformers and others, the group relented and agreed to reveal some donor information. The group also reversed course on seeking corporate contributions. It also refuses lobbyist money, but accepts cash from unions.

The National Education Association is one union that donated early this year, giving the pro-Obama nonprofit $15,466.

Not all big-dollar Obama backers, however, have contributed to Organizing for Action.

For example, the four largest donors to the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action — James H. Simons, Fred Eychaner, Steve Mostyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg — were absent from Organizing for Action’s donor list.

Reity O’Brien and John Dunbar contributed to this report.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

jan v
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jan v

all the lobbyists are running all our government agencies and all the career civil servants who know how to run the country have been fired. YOU think this is a good thing ? what a crock…

thomas alessi
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thomas alessi

I am for Trump

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.