President Obama is scheduled to speak at a summit for Organizing for Action — the nonprofit offshoot of his presidential campaign arm — at a “Founders’ Summit” this week, Politico reports.
Other speakers scheduled to attend the summit are Jim Messina, the OFA director and manager of Mr. Obama’s 2012 campaign, and David Plouffe, a former senior White House adviser.
Following the 2012 elections, Mr. Messina turned the Obama for America campaign operation into the 501(c)4 nonprofit organization to build grassroots support for Mr. Obama’s second-term agenda on issues like the economy, immigration and gun control.
The White House may call OFA “independent,” but it’s a thinly veiled outgrowth of Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign. It was created immediately after the election by people such as Mr. Messina, Mr. Obama’s former campaign manager, to build grassroots support for the president’s second-term agenda. OFA’s executive director, Jon Carson, formerly ran the White House office of public engagement. Its spokeswoman, Katie Hogan, was a deputy press secretary for Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign.
As a 501(c)4 nonprofit group, OFA is not allowed to engage in partisan political activity. But such advocacy groups have considerable leeway to exert pressure on lawmakers on policy matters.