WASHINGTON — The announcement on Friday that two former top White House aides were forming a non-government group underwritten in part by secret donors has sparked pointed disagreement over the strategic direction and moral compass of the Democratic Party.
Former deputy White House Press Secretary Bill Burton and former senior adviser Sean Sweeney have launched two political fundraising groups. The first, Priorities USA Action, is a political committee organized primarily for influencing elections — 527 groups, according to the tax code. The second, and more controversial group, is Priorities USA. It is a new type of organization with a 501(c)4 tax status that does not require donor disclosure.
For weeks if not months, the Burton and Sweeny had hinted that they would be spearheading such an effort to aid the president’s re-election campaign. But the formal debut still managed to stir emotional responses from within the party, with one faction hailing them as scale-eveners and another bemoaning their ethical surrender.