Obama to speak at advocacy group dinner

March 11, 2013

President Obama will speak Wednesday night at a dinner hosted by Organizing for Action, the nonprofit formed out of his campaign apparatus, as part of a two-day summit in Washington, several people familiar with his plans have confirmed.

While the event will include some meetings open to grass-roots organizers without financial means, others have been invited to a closed-door “Founders Summit” with admission set at $50,000 per person. Obama's speech will be his first address to the group.

The summit, running from Wednesday to Thursday at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, comes as top officials push back on criticism from campaign finance reform leaders. Chairman Jim Messina announced last week that the group would not take corporate dollars, a reversal from previous plans, and would publicly report all donations over $250 on a quarterly basis.

However, advocates for reform still argue that for a group affiliated with the president to take unlimited donations is a serious conflict of interest. OFA also has come under fire for offering supporters who raise $500,000 the opportunity to attend quarterly events with Obama.

Messina and 2008 Obama campaign manager David Plouffe will both speak at the summit.

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