Good thing those evil millionaires and billionaires are still welcome in the Obama White House.
While taxpayers pay for inaugural events at the Capitol — the swearing-in ceremony and inaugural luncheon — the president must raise money from private donors for everything else, including the inaugural parade, ball and concerts. In 2009, Mr. Obama raised $53 million.
The online solicitation, sent to donors by e-mail on Friday, described the different inaugural packages, each named for a president: Washington ($1 million from institutions and $250,000 from individuals); Adams ($500,000 from institutions and $150,000 from individuals); Jefferson ($250,000 from institutions and $75,000 from individuals); and Madison ($100,000 from institutions and $10,000 from individuals).
Financing arrangements like these are typical for presidential inaugurals. To help pay for President George W. Bush’s 2005 inaugural, dozens of companies, including Home Depot and Bank of America, contributed $250,000 apiece.
But Mr. Obama’s decision has drawn criticism from good-government advocates, who accuse him of abandoning his pledge to keep big money out of politics.
John Wonderlich, policy director of the Sunlight Foundation, which advocates for openness in government, wrote on the group’s blog that the decision “prioritizes a lavish celebration over the integrity of the office,” and that Mr. Obama was “turning away from a principled approach to money in politics.”
Yeah, what’s staggering hypocrisy got to do with anything?