Obama cabinet secretaries open to appearing at super-PAC events

Four Obama administration cabinet members suggested an openness to appearing at pro-Obama super-PAC events.

iWatch News at the Center for Public Integrity reports that spokesmen for Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Energy Secretary Steven Chu suggested that their bosses would be willing to raise money for the super-PACs.

A week earlier, after previously criticizing the legal ability of super-PACs to raise unlimited amounts money for their candidates, President Obama signed off on some of his wealthiest supporters donating to the pro-Obama super-PAC, Priorities USA.

The spokesmen for the cabinet secretaries all said their participation would not violate any campaign finance laws. It is illegal for cabinet members to raise money for candidates. It is not illegal, however, for cabinet members to simply appear at events. 

White House spokesman Jay Carney has said that members of the Obama administration who might appear at super-PAC events would not be soliciting funds.

Obama's new stance on super-PACs is meant to protect his reelection campaign from being outgunned money-wise by super-PACs supporting his GOP rivals, some of which have outraised pro-Democratic super-PACs.