A fundraising email sent by Mitt Romney's campaign offers donors the chance to attend "the first Presidential Inaugural retreat" even though the actual presidential election is still seven months away.
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The email — obtained and published last night by Ben Smith at BuzzFeed — lays out specific details about what campaign donors can expect by signing up for the "Romney Victory" committee. A donation of $50,000 will give you "founding member" status and an invite "to a special retreat with Governor Romney" this summer; "yet to be determined access" at the Republican National Convention; and "preferred status at the first Presidential Inaugural retreat." Whatever and whenever that is.
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It also goes on to detail how donors can still give to the primary campaign before they begin to contribute to the general election (which are treated separately for the purposes of contribution limits) even though we've all agreed that the primary is over. Also, if you and your spouse want a picture with Romney, that will be $10,000.
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Obviously, no one should be shocked by the idea that donations equal access in the political arena, but it's something to keep in the mind the next time President Obama is attacked for giving special treatment to his donating "friends." Every president does it — and Romney's already doing it, even though he's not the president yet. (Also, a good reminder to not write things down.)
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Some might consider it presumptuous to start planning your "Inaugural Retreat" before you even win the election — or at the very least, it's a dangerous potential jinx — but we suppose it's never too early to start making promises to your friends. Like the kind you tell your them at backyard barbecues, but won't tell the crowd during actual campaign speeches.