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Ben Smith points out that, according to a copy of an email he received from a former executive of the Marriott hotel chain on whose board Romney sat, the GOP candidate is offering access to a special "Presidential Inaugural retreat." But only to those who contribute $50,000 or more to a joint fundraising committee known as "Romney Victory":
Those donors will be named "Founding Members" of Romney Victory and invited to a California retreat with Romney and offered "yet to be determined access at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August."

They will also "have preferred status at the first Presidential Inaugural retreat," the email says.

Yep. That's just the first Inaugural being talked about there. He's planning on being in charge for eight years.

Well before the ancient Lydians started turning coins into money, the wealthy got better access to leaders than the less affluent. Modern politicians are no different. It doesn't take a genius to know that a candidate is more likely to answer a call from a contributor who is pouring a lot of coin into an election campaign than some poor citizen who is stretching her budget to feed the kids. Before the election, and most importantly, afterward, the rich aren't like you and me when it comes to catching the ear of the person whose decisions could have an impact on us.

But in recent years, there's been at least an attempt to be a bit circumspect about this process, about not making the access too obvious. Mitt Romney seems determined to change that. Which is no surprise given his notorious hoi oligoi take on the prerogatives of the wealthy.

Unlike Newt Gingrich, who was charging $50 to have a photo taken with him, at a campaign event on June 11, couples can get a photo of themselves with Romney if they contribute $10,000 to the campaign.

The "Founding Members" of Romney Victory will certainly be getting a lot more than that. Unless, of course, their candidate doesn't make it to the White House. Then they may have to settle for a photo of themselves next to the Romney car elevator.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 09:37 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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