A search of Obama campaign Federal Election Commission reports turned up less than $5,500 in payments last year to the U.S. Treasury – and those payments did not list the purpose behind them.
“The campaign will follow all rules and pay for the portion of travel that relates to political events, as has been true for previous incumbent presidential candidates,” said Obama campaign spokeswoman Katie Hogan.
Mr. Obama’s reliance on a panoply of military aircraft and Secret Service vehicles, including armored limousines, helicopters and Air Force One, is attracting additional scrutiny this year as he crisscrosses the country at a record-setting fundraising pace.
As of March 6, Mr. Obama has participated in 191 fundraisers, already topping the re-election cycle totals of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, who held 167 and 173 fundraisers, respectively, according to Mr. Doherty, who has been tracking figures for an upcoming book, “Rise of the President’s Permanent Campaign.”
In addition, Mr. Obama has deployed Cabinet members and senior aides across the country in aggressive and unprecedented ways. The officials will appear as surrogates at so-called “super PAC” events, as well as campaign and party events. The campaign’s “Speaker Series” programs sells time with White House advisers and Cabinet officials. For $5,000, supporters can buy a “season pass” to see officials when they come to town.