The Democratic National Committee announced late Wednesday that it was eliminating the fundraising restrictions imposed by Barack Obama for accounts underwriting the party's convention and presidential campaign.
As a candidate in 2008, Obama restricted contributions from political action committees and lobbyists, as he vowed to change the culture of Washington. While the DNC is tweaking the rules for others, a spokesman said Wednesday that President Obama will not personally raise funds from lobbyists or political committees.
The change comes amid a critical time for the convention fundraisers. First, Obama -- a hugely effective party fundraiser -- is returning to private life. Second, competing with GOP mega-donors has become more of a challenge for Democrats in an era of fewer restrictions on contributions from wealthy individuals. In addition, Congress recently cut public support for the conventions. And so the welcome mat will once again be put out for Washington lobbyists.
"These changes restore the fundraising policies in effect at the DNC in most prior cycles for its joint fundraising and Convention activities," said Holly Shulman, a spokeswoman for the DNC. She added in an e-mailed statement sent Wednesday afternoon that "at this time the D.N.C. will continue its policy of not accepting donations from political action committees and lobbyists for its general fund-raising operations. The D.N.C. will continue to review and update its policies looking ahead to 2016.”