President Obama introduced his high-powered Economic Recovery Advisory Board this morning. The advisory board will offer “independent, nonpartisan information, analysis, and advice” to the President and his team, according to an earlier news release. The release said the members of the board “will be drawn from among distinguished citizens outside the government who are qualified on the basis of achievement, experience, independence, and integrity.”
Today, in a news conference introducing the team the President said he wanted to ensure that his administration was “tapping a broad and diverse range of opinion across the country.”
“I created this board to enlist voices to come from beyond the Washington echo chamber,” he said before signing the executive order creating the board.
Turns out that a number of board members have also been financially helpful to the president, according to Center for Responsive Politics. Among them is Penny Pritzker, who gave generously to the Obama campaign. Pritzker also bundled money for the Obama campaign and served as its National Finance Chair. But she wasn’t the only new advisory board member who contributed to Obama. Robert Wolf, chairman and CEO of UBS Group Americas, a leading international financial firm, was also named to the advisory board. In the past campaign cycle, he gave to to the president himself ($4,300), to former House member — now-Chief of Staff — Rahm Emanuel ($2,300), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ($5,000), and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ($15,000), as well as to former Obama-rival turned Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ($3,800), according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Wolf also bundled more than $500,000 for the Obama campaign, according to Public Citizen.
Other board members who donated to the president’s campaign: Paul Volcker†, the board’s chair ($2,300); Austan Goolsbee, its chief economist ($3,400); Mark T. Gallogly ($2,300); Charles E. Phillips ($2,300); and Laura D’Andrea Tyson ($2,300).
The board is nonpartisan, however, and includes McCain donors Jeffrey R. Immelt ($2,300), Martin Feldstein ($2,000), and Jim Owens ($2,300).