Obama’s Biggest Donors Aren’t Paying Up For Inauguration

Only 14 of the president’s 400-plus campaign bundlers have written a check.

WASHINGTON — The committee responsible for planning President Barack Obama’s inauguration appears to be having a hard time raising money from some of the president’s most important supporters.

On Friday, the Presidential Inaugural Committee released a list of 417 corporate and individual names that have contributed more than $200 to the organization, which plans events like the National Day of Service and the two Inaugural balls. But only 14 of Obama’s 443 campaign bundlers — those who raised more than $50,000 to well upwards of $500,000 — have so far donated to the group.

The list of bundlers who have not given to the Inaugural Committee include all four of the Obama campaign’s finance chairs: Ambassador Matthew Barzun, Eva Longoria, Jane Stetson, and Frank White, each of whom raised hundreds of thousands of dollars during the election. And while bundlers don’t necessarily donate their own money, each of them also gave the maximum legal amount to both the campaign and the Democratic National Committee, according to FEC records.

No one who raised more than $500,000 for the reelection has yet donated to the committee. Inaugurals rarely draw the same donor excitement as the election, and many of Obama’s bundlers were pressed to raise more and more in the final months of the campaign, but in 2009 scores of Obama bundlers proceeded to write checks for the events surrounding their candidate’s swearing-in.

Among the prominent Obama bundlers who haven’t yet donated to the inaugural committee are Salesforce.com founder Marc Benioff, film producer and Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, hedge fund executive Orin Kramer, Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer, Chicago philanthropist Penny Pritzker, film producer Harvey Weinstein, and Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

Obama relaxed self-imposed ethics regulations for the inaugural committee for the second term. In 2009, the committee was barred from accepting corporate donations, and individual contributions were capped at $50,000. Both of those restrictions have been relaxed, and Microsoft and AT&T are listed among the 2013 donors. The committee did not report corporate affiliations of the individual donors, nor how much they donated to the organizations.

In 2009 the inaugural committee raised more than $54 million. The goal for this year’s committee is $50 million.

Addie Whisenant, a spokesperson for the committee, said “The list on our website is an initial list and we will be updating it multiple times in the days leading up to Inauguration Day.”

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