POLITICS
03/15/2013 03:13 pm ET

2013 Conservative Political Action Conference: Fundraiser Criticizes OFA Donor Access

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Republican fundraising professional Bruce Eberle, who traces the roots of his business back to the Bible, said Friday that there should be no limits on campaign donations.

But in a brief interview with The Huffington Post, he disagreed that Organizing For Action, the successor organization to the Obama campaign, should allow donors or bundlers who raise $500,000 or more to have quarterly meetings with the president.

"I just don't think that is proper. I don't think he should do that," he said. "I feel like that's the people's house, and it's not theirs to auction off, so to speak."

He lamented that such arrangements are likely to become more common. "The whole idea is supposed to be that they're supposed to be public servants and we're supposed to be their masters, not the other way around."

A New York Times' report on donor meetings has opened the White House to paying-for-access criticisms. Press secretary Jay Carney has pushed back, saying the "notion that there is a set price for a meeting with the president of the United States is just wrong."

At a session called "Fundraising Secrets from the Billion Dollar Man," at the Conservative Political Action Conference Friday, Eberle said he has raised $1 billion for conservative associations, foundations, candidates and PACs since 1974.

Campaign contribution limits are "squelching freedom" and "not part of a free society," he said.

"The advent of freedom is always a good thing," he said, when asked about super PACs in the post-Citizens United era. "Let me rephrase that, there shouldn't be any regulations, frankly. I believe in full disclosure and that's all I believe in."

Eberle also distinguished that the left is better at fundraising online, while the right has the edge in direct mail.

"I never felt that the Romney campaign was where they needed to be technologically speaking, and where they needed to be in terms of raising funds. I felt they didn't start soon enough. I never felt the momentum there," he told HuffPost, cautioning that he had no inside knowledge.

Instead, he worked on Herman Cain's presidential campaign, which he thought could have raised $800 million dollars if he had won the GOP nomination.

His talk drew a standing-room only crowd at the conservative confab with many attendees diligently taking notes on his tips on identifying donors and asking people for money directly.

Eberle reminded that the Apostle Paul was first to send a direct mail appeal in Corinthians in the New Testament asking people to give generously.

"It's actually a great fundraising letter," he said. "This is a long, old and honorable profession."

Below, a liveblog of the latest updates from CPAC:

03/16/2013 5:31 PM EDT

Rand Paul Scores Straw Poll Win

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) came out on top of this year's CPAC straw poll. Click here to read more.

03/16/2013 4:54 PM EDT

Birther's 'Inappropriate' Questions Face Fire

From HuffPost's Paige Lavender:

Orly Taitz, commonly known as the "Birther Queen," was rebuked by blogger Pamela Geller during a Saturday panel on Islam and national security at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference.

Click here to read more.

03/16/2013 4:53 PM EDT

Walker Goes 47%: Obama Wants 'Government Dependence'

HuffPost's Jason Linkins reports:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker took the stage Saturday at CPAC, praising the assemblage for its support during the fraught Wisconsin recall fight, which Walker won, allowing him to stay in power. His speech was themed around the idea that the states are the laboratories of policy -- "Real reform does not happen in Washington, it happens in the statehouses throughout this country," he said -- and that he, in particular, was leading the way to end "government dependency."

If future GOP presidential runs depend on silver-tongues articulation of dorm-room "makers vs. takers" arguments, then Walker's future is pretty bright.

Click here to read more.

03/16/2013 1:51 PM EDT

PHOTO: CPAC Highlights, Sarah Palin Drinks 'Big Gulp' On Stage: 'Bloomberg's Not Around. Don't Worry'

sarah palin cpac 2013

(Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

03/16/2013 1:37 PM EDT

PHOTO: CPAC Highlights, Rick Santorum Looks Like He Is About To Give Us A Knuckle-Sandwich

santorum cpac 2013

(Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

03/16/2013 1:34 PM EDT

CPAC Highlights: Steve King

@ elisefoley :

RT @EvanMcSan: Steve King calls them "undocumented Democrats" #Immigration #CPAC2013

03/16/2013 1:01 PM EDT

PHOTO: CPAC Highlights, Michele Bachmann: Conservatism Is "The Movement Of Love, The Movement Of Care."

michele bachmann cpac 2013

(Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

03/16/2013 12:57 PM EDT

Phyllis Schlafly Invited CPAC Audience To Follow Her On Twitter

@ achorowitz :

Phyllis Schlafly just asked if we would please follow her on Twitter. What.

03/16/2013 12:52 PM EDT

Schlafly On Immigration

@ Bencjacobs :

Phyllis Schafly says immigrants will all vote Democratic, I don't think Marco Rubio agrees #cpac

03/16/2013 12:51 PM EDT

Phyllis Schlafly On Amnesty

@ jmartpolitico :

Phyllis Schlafly: "comprehensive is a synonym for amnesty"

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