October 28th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Special White House access for big Democratic contributors?


President Obama is pictured golfing on Martha's Vineyard back in August. (PHOTO CREDIT: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama promised to be different - but he's not.

The Washington Times reports that the president has been giving top Democratic contributors special access to the White House. Internal Democratic National Committee documents show this includes everything from private briefings with top administration officials - to invitations to big speeches and town hall meetings - to golfing with the president in Martha's Vineyard - to birthday visits to the Oval Office... plus bowling and movies at the White House.

Remember the hell President Clinton caught when we found out he was letting contributors sleep in the Lincoln bedroom?

Handing out goodies to big money contributors just ahead of the midterm elections flies in the face of all of that high-minded rhetoric about reform, lobbyists, transparency etc. that we heard during the campaign. You can buy access to this president for $30,400 as an individual or for bundling $300,000.

The White House insists President Obama has set the "toughest ethics standards in history" and they say many of these guests weren't only fundraisers, but personal friends of the president. Whatever they are - it smacks of selling access to the highest office in the land in exchange for political donations, and it stinks.

Democratic Party officials say there's "absolutely no correlation" between fundraising and attending White House events, and insist Mr. Obama's efforts to reward major donors are on a far smaller scale than other recent presidents.

Here’s my question to you: Should big Democratic contributors be given special access to the White House?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Democrats • White House
October 28th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

How should health care reform handle abortion?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When it comes to health care reform - there are few issues that are more explosive than abortion. Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak of Michigan says he wants to make sure that taxpayer dollars do not pay for abortions. Stupak says some of his fellow Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are not happy with his public campaign to change the bill.

He says he's been working with party leaders on a compromise, but so far nothing... The congressman says if there's no vote on abortion funding - as many as 40 Democrats could vote against the health care bill in its entirety.

Over in the Senate - the Finance Committee bill contains provisions that Democrats say would keep federal money from covering abortions. But Republicans and other critics say these measures don't go far enough.

President Obama has vowed that "no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions." And, that's been the law of the land for decades. The 1976 Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of federal funds for abortions through Medicaid - except in cases of rape, incest, or medical necessity.

Meanwhile - one 2003 study found that 46 percent of insured workers had coverage for abortions. Supporters of abortion rights say that if the government bans plans that offer abortions - it would mean millions of women could lose the benefit they currently get.

One thing is for sure: Until abortion is resolved as an issue in health care reform, there won't be any.

Here’s my question to you: How should health care reform handle the issue of abortion?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Abortion • Health care