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Obama Inaugural Panel to Take Unlimited Corporate Funds

Donors contributed about $45 million to Obama’s 2009 inauguration. Obama banned corporate cash then, and accepted a maximum of $50,000 per donor. Photographer: Scott Andrews/Pool via Bloomberg News
Donors contributed about $45 million to Obama’s 2009 inauguration. Obama banned corporate cash then, and accepted a maximum of $50,000 per donor. Photographer: Scott Andrews/Pool via Bloomberg News

Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama’s inaugural committee will accept unlimited donations from corporations and individuals, reversing his stance of four years ago.

After a U.S. 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 with outstanding loans from the Troubled Asset Relief Program also will be prohibited from making donations.

The contribution policy was reported earlier by Politico.

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

Democrats restricted corporate contributions for their September national convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the host committee fell about $12.5 million short of its fundraising target.

Scaled Down

The inaugural committee plans to scale down events for Obama’s second inaugural. Actress Eva Longoria, who campaigned for the president, and Matthew Barzun, the finance chairman of the re-election bid, are two of the heads of the committee.

Obama’s inaugural speech, and the evening balls will be held on Jan. 21. Obama will officially take the oath of office the day before, which is a Sunday. He will ask Americans to volunteer on Jan. 19 in their communities as a national day of service.

The inaugural committee hasn’t announced its budget for the festivities. The panel’s executive director is Steve Kerrigan, who held a similar role for the convention in Charlotte.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hans Nichols in Washington at hnichols2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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