$5 Raffle Ticket Buys Dinner With Obama

By Matt Cover | June 15, 2011 | 4:49pm EDT

President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(CNSNews.com) – In return for a $5 donation to his reelection campaign, President Barack Obama is offering supporters a chance to participate in a raffle to win a “casual” dinner with him at an unstated location.

In an e-mail to supporters, the president says his campaign will raffle off four tickets for the casual dinner.

“We rely on everyday Americans giving whatever they can afford--and I want to spend time with a few of you,” Obama's e-mail reads.  “So if you make a donation today, you'll be automatically entered for a chance to be one of the four supporters to sit down with me for dinner. Please donate $5 or more today.”

The e-mail, which also says the campaign does not take contributions from lobbyists or special-interests, says that “most campaigns” invite high-powered guests to its fundraising dinners. It fails to note, however, that President Obama himself has conducted several high-dollar fundraisers in the weeks since he announced his reelection effort.

“Most campaigns fill their dinner guest lists primarily with Washington lobbyists and special interests,” says the e-mail. “We didn't get here doing that, and we're not going to start now. We're running a different kind of campaign. We don't take money from Washington lobbyists or special-interest PACs--we never have, and we never will.”

Describing the event as a “casual meal among friends,” the e-mail goes on to imply that the dinner will be a chance for the president and four lucky supporters to share stories and ideas about national policy.

Winners will receive free airfare and hotel accommodations should they win.

“We'll pay for your flight and the dinner--all you need to bring is your story and your ideas about how we can continue to make this a better country for all Americans,” says the raffle e-mail.

“This won't be a formal affair,” reads the solicitation. “It's the kind of casual meal among friends that I don't get to have as often as I'd like anymore, so I hope you'll consider joining me.”

In order to enter, supporters are directed to one of two pages. The first--linked to twice in the e-mail--sends people to a donation page for the president’s campaign. The second, found only in the fine print, allows one to enter the contest without donating.

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