Editor's note: CNN's "AC 360" begins a yearlong series of reports this week about an enormous surge in political donations to candidates of both parties. Longtime corporate executives tell CNN that the incessant push for money amounts to "legalized extortion" but the cash buildup shows no signs of stopping.
(CNN) – The former president of Shell Oil USA didn't candy-coat it: America's political fund-raising system, he said, amounts to legalized extortion.
"I feel extorted," John Hofmeister told CNN's Drew Griffin. "Every time I wrote a check I felt that it was a form of extortion, the price of entry, because of the reception that you got when you contributed versus the reception when you did not contribute."
(CNN) – President Barack Obama's approval rating may be struggling, but he's still bringing in money on the fundraising trail.
For the past month, the President has been crisscrossing the country raising cash for Democratic campaign groups. At 13 separate events in eight cities, he may have helped raise up to $21.6 million.
(CNN) - The host of a fundraiser and major donor to the Democratic Party complimented President Barack Obama for his hospitality back in Washington but joked about the lack of valet parking at the White House, offering to pay for the addition.
Billionaire Haim Saban, and his wife Cheryl, hosted the President and a group of Hollywood and political elites at their estate in Beverly Hills Monday night for a fundraiser for Democratic House and Senate campaign committees.
Updated 10:34 a.m. ET, 11/25/2013
Seattle (CNN) – Congressional Democrats, many downright scared of the political fallout from the botched rollout of Obamacare, are getting a boost this week as the President completes a month-long fundraising sprint a year ahead of 2014's midterm elections.
Obama–who has jetted to New York, Boston, Miami, Dallas and Philadelphia in the past several weeks to help add millions of dollars to Democrats' campaign coffers–is spending three days on the West Coast convincing donors his falling popularity and the faulty implementation of his signature legislation don't mean all is lost for the Democratic Party next year.
Washington (CNN) - Enroll America, the major outside group pushing uninsured Americans towards Obamacare, announced Tuesday it has raised more than $27 million since March to help fund its outreach efforts.
The group also touted outreach numbers showing its field staff in ten states has reached out to more than 300,000 consumers since its "Get Covered" campaign began.
Updated at 11:56 a.m. ET at 7/16
(CNN) – While Sen. Marco Rubio's push for comprehensive immigration reform drew some derision from conservatives – particularly his support for a bill that contained a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants – the Florida Republican's fundraising spiked as the measure was debated in Washington.
In the second quarter of 2013, Rubio brought in $3 million - up 31% from his haul in the first three months of the year, according to a source familiar with his financial reports.
Washington (CNN) – The grassroots group Organizing for Action, the successor to President Barack Obama's campaign organization, reported Friday it almost doubled the amount of money it brought in during the second quarter of this year compared to the preceding three months.
OFA, a non-profit, is a private advocacy group formed following the 2012 election to push the policy priorities of the White House. It has access to the Obama re-election campaign's list of supporters. Several former officials from the campaign now work with OFA.
Updated at 10:07 p.m. ET on Tuesday, July 9
Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama has tapped major fundraisers for two of the most coveted ambassadorships.
The White House announced on Tuesday that Matthew Barzun was nominated to be the next ambassador to the United Kingdom, and John Phillips as the next envoy to Italy.
(CNN) - While Hillary Clinton considers another run for the White House, some of her most ardent supporters are moving to channel the intense political buzz and speculation surrounding a possible 2016 bid by the former secretary of state.
Some two dozen leading Democratic donors meet for breakfast in New York City Thursday morning with some top Clinton allies to discuss funding an independent political action committee that's urging Clinton to run, according to Democratic sources with knowledge of the event. The breakfast follows lunch held Wednesday with the same mission, to support the Ready for Hillary PAC.
(CNN) - Fifty percent of adults say they would support government funding for all federal campaigns while banning private contributions, according to a national survey released Monday.
The Gallup poll showed 44% would oppose such a move, while 6% weren't sure. More Democrats (60%) than Republicans (41%) said they supported public financing.