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Nonprofit to promote Obama's agenda

| Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, 8:50 p.m.
Reuters
Official White House portraits show U.S. President Barack Obama on January 13, 2009 (L) and on December 6, 2012. REUTERS/Pete Souza/The White House/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS PORTRAIT) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

WASHINGTON — In an unprecedented move, President Obama's political organization is being turned into a nonprofit group — funded in part by corporate money — to mobilize support behind the president's second-term agenda.

The transformation marks the first time a president has reconfigured the pieces of a re-election campaign into an outside group formed for the express purpose of pressuring Congress to pass the administration's agenda.

The tax-exempt organization, Organizing for Action, will seek to harness the energy of Obama's re-election campaign for legislative battles. Officials said the group will advocate for policy issues such as gun control and immigration.

The organization “will be an unparalleled force in American politics,” according to an email sent to supporters under Obama's name.

Organizing for Action will become a 501c4, a nonprofit that can advocate for policy but cannot be involved in elections.

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina will be the group's national chairman. David Axelrod, senior adviser to the 2012 campaign, will become a consultant. The group's board will include former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and White House senior adviser David Plouffe, once he leaves the administration later this month.

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