Being a top Democratic donor can have its perks, reports the Washington Times..
At least 39 Democratic donors attended a White House fete on St. Patrick's Day and others have ringed in Independence Day and Cinco de Mayo with President Obama. Despite the president's campaign pledge of change, the donor benefits are a part of a time honored tradition of handing perks to those who contribute significant sums of money to political parties.
From the Times:
"Contributing does not guarantee a ticket to the White House, nor does it prohibit the contributor from visiting," Dan Pfeiffer, the White House's deputy communications director, told the Washington Times.
Donors can get private White House briefings, like the Jim Messina, deputy chief of staff, gave to donors in California this summer. The President even invited one fundraiser, Robert Wolfe, who happens to head the UBS Group in the United States, to play golf with him at Martha's Vineyard.
The Times obtained internal memos from the Democratic National Committee that report donors who pledge top dollar before the 2010 midterm elections will get access to senior White House offices.
The White House quickly refuted charges today that it woos big donors with special access to the White House.
Democratic and White House officials shrugged off the documents as part of normal "donor maintenance" that does not provide contributors with any quid pro quo. And they insisted that current donors are getting fewer perks than they did during Bill Clinton's term, when nights in the Lincoln Bedroom became controversial.