The latest kerfuffle over pretty much anything the president does, any time, is regarding his sack. More specifically, the sacks and scarves and tees he sold at a New York fund raiser:
Republicans contend the sale might violate campaign-finance rules. The gear will sell for a fraction of the price the designers’ merchandise typically fetches at department stores. Republicans say that suggests they relied on corporate resources to keep costs low, which could amount to illegal campaign contributions. On Mr. Lam’s website, handbags range in price from $340 to $1,890. The three scarves offered on Mr. Thakoon’s website go for $325 apiece.
“This raises serious questions about whether corporate money, property and employees were improperly used in the design and production of these items without reimbursement,” said Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee.
Apparently the problem arises with the employees of the designer: employees are not allowed to be be paid for political work; instead, they must volunteer. If the employees of the designer got paid, it would be considered a contribution from a corporation.
The Obama campaign denies this and claims that the designers spent very little time on the items, and that everyone involved was a volunteer; really, it’s not a stretch to imagine that members of the design community are Obama supporters. According to Narciso Rodriguez, the design for Obama’s $45 tee did not take long, and that “sketch-time is not really work.” Rodriguez also said that he “designed a T-shirt for Mr. Obama’s 2008 presidential bid and volunteered this year because ‘the president is cool … someone I believe in.'”
There is no word yet on whether the Republicans will object to Obama’s forthcoming custom product endorsements, such as Cue Sports “Obama-Style Shaft Cleaner and Conditioner,” or Aramith’s “Obama 2012 Ball Restoring Formula.”