Obama kicks off August fundraising with star-studded dinner
August 6th, 2012
05:55 PM ET

Obama kicks off August fundraising with star-studded dinner

(CNN) – On the heels of raising $75 million in July for his reelection bid, President Obama kicks of this month’s cash haul with two lucrative events in Connecticut Monday night.

Obama addressed an early-evening reception in Stamford where 500 supporters were on hand, each of whom paid at least $500 to attend the event, according to a campaign official. Later the president heads to Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s beachfront estate in Westport, Connecticut, for a sit-down dinner where 60 attendees have paid $35,800 to gain admittance. Actress Ann Hathaway and television writer Aaron Sorkin are listed as co-hosts of the event and Joanne Woodward, the widow of actor Paul Newman, is also expected to attend, according to the Los Angeles Times. In all, the president will raise at least $2.4 million from both events before touching back down in Washington late Monday night.

Obama’s swing up north follows the news that his campaign was again outraised by that of his opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. The Romney campaign announced it brought in $101 million last month – the third in a row it outraised the president.

Speaking on Air Force One en route to the events, Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki downplayed the president’s continued fundraising gap with Romney.

“We expect to be out-raised,” she said. “Our focus is on ensuring we have the resources, the tools, to create and build the biggest grassroots campaign in history, and that means putting staff on the ground, opening offices, being able to do what we know this campaign is going to be about, which is reaching voters in the key target states.”
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Topics: 2012 Election
Obama favors cutting Olympians' tax bill
These Olympians owe thousands in taxes.
August 6th, 2012
04:07 PM ET

Obama favors cutting Olympians' tax bill

(CNN) – When the U.S. Olympic team add to its medal count, it’s not just the fans and Olympians who celebrate. So does the IRS.

That’s because the U.S. Olympic Committee awards each medalist with a cash prize - $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze - money that the U.S. government has always considered taxable income.

That could amount to a hefty tax bill for some Olympians, especially America’s most prominent stars who have already collected multiple medals in London. For example, Michael Phelps has earned four gold medals and two silvers, amounting to $130,000 in accompanying cash prizes. That translates to nearly $46,000 in taxes owed by Phelps, assuming his income is taxed at 35 percent – the highest income tax bracket.

Moreover, some individual athletic associations pay their athletes even more per medal, like USA Cycling which shells out $100,000 for a gold medal.

But the White House on Monday said President Obama favors a proposed bill that would keep Uncle Sam’s hands off Olympic earnings.

"The president believes that we should support efforts . . . to ensure that we are doing everything we can to honor and support our Olympic athletes who have volunteered to represent our nation at the Olympic Games," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

Carney was specifically referencing legislation proposed by Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio that would exempt the cash awards associated with Olympic medals.

“We need a fundamental overhaul of our tax code, but we shouldn’t wait any time we have a chance to aggressively fix ridiculous tax laws like this tax on Olympians’ medals and prize money,” Rubio said in a statement announcing the so-called Olympic Tax Elimination Act. “We can all agree that these Olympians who dedicate their lives to athletic excellence should not be punished when they achieve it.”

The 1-page bill only references cash prizes associated with medal wins, not the corporate sponsorships that can be worth millions of dollars for USA’s most prominent Olympians.

It’s currently unclear when and if the proposal will be put to a vote. Congress just adjourned for its five-week August recess and cutting Olympians’ tax bill may not be a high priority come the fall.

Monday at the White House
August 6th, 2012
08:40 AM ET

Monday at the White House

The President is back in the White House this morning after spending his birthday weekend at Camp David. He was notified of the Wisconsin shooting shortly before 1pm on Sunday and was updated by FBI Director Bob Mueller, Chief of Staff Jack Lew, and Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan later in the afternoon.

Today he will spend most of the day on official business in D.C. then head to Connecticut to attend 2 political fundraisers.

full schedule after the jump
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Topics: Daily Schedule • Fundraising