Last week, I reported that two former top aides in the Obama administration were forming an outside group to support Democrats, enabling them to raise the same sort of secret money that Obama once decried as a "threat to democracy." In an editorial today, the New York Times blasts Obama for not putting the kibosh on the group, Priorities USA, founded by Bill Burton, who served as deputy press secretary, and Sean Sweeney, who worked as Rahm Emanuel's chief of staff when Emanuel was working in the White House.
The Times editorializes:
If the president stood up and publicly told Mr. Burton to end his effort, that would probably be the end of it. But he has not done so. The White House is clearly worried it will have trouble collecting big checks from Wall Street and other business interests for the re-election campaign, and has decided the political end justifies the unsavory means. At the very least, he and other Democratic leaders could demand that the Priorities group raise its money through an affiliate, Priorities USA Action, which can collect unlimited funds but must disclose its donors.
A political system built on secret, laundered money will inevitably lead toward an increased culture of influence and corruption. Democrats would attract more support as a principled party that refused to follow the Republicans down that dark alley.