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Press Release: Presidential Inaugural Committee Unveils Unprecedented Limits on Fundraising; Broadens Public Access

November 25, 2008

WASHINGTON -- President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden's Inaugural Committee outlined plans today for an inauguration that will underscore their commitment to change business as usual in Washington and ensure that as many Americans as possible, both inside and outside Washington, will be able to come together to unite the country and celebrate our common values and shared aspirations.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) announced today that it will abide by an unprecedented set of limitations on fundraising as part of President-elect Obama's pledge to put the country on a new path. Unlike previous inaugural committees, the PIC will not accept contributions from corporations, political action committees, current federally-registered lobbyists, non-U.S. citizens and registered foreign agents. The PIC will not accept individual contributions in excess of $50,000. Current law does not restrict the size of donations. In past inaugurations, contribution limits have run as high as $250,000.

In accordance with the Committee's commitment to provide the most open and accessible inauguration in history, the PIC is working with relevant authorities to open up as much of the National Mall as possible to accommodate more Americans than ever before.

The Committee is headed by a bipartisan group of co-chairs: William Daley, Penny Pritzker, John Rogers, Patrick Ryan and Julianna Smoot, who said today they intend to deliver on President-elect Obama's commitment to organize an inauguration that will rally all Americans to meet the great challenges of our time:

"It is a distinct honor to chair the committee that will organize the celebration of next year's historic inauguration of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. We are committed to ensuring that these activities are organized in a way that reflects the American people's common values, shared aspirations and commitment to addressing our challenges as one, united nation," they said in a joint statement.

Listed below are some details about the co-chairs. Regularly updated information will be provided to the public and the media on our website,

PIC Co-Chairs

William Daley is head of JPMorgan Chase's Office of Corporate Social Responsibility as well as the firm's Vice Chairman, Chairman of the Midwest and Chairman of the JP Morgan Chase foundation. He is the Chair of the Economic Club of Chicago and is on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He served as U.S. Secretary of Commerce under President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2000. He also serves as member of the advisory board to President-elect Barack Obama's transition committee.

Penny Pritzker, a business executive and entrepreneur for more than twenty years, is chairman of the board of four companies: TransUnion, Classic Residence by Hyatt, The Parking Spot and Pritzker Realty. Ms. Pritzker also served as Finance Chair of the President-elect's campaign committee. As a civic leader, she's focused on improving the health and education of young people through enterprising initiatives, such as Chicago Run and the Chicago Public Education Fund.

John W. Rogers, Jr. is founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Ariel Investments and serves on the boards of three public companies: Aon Corporation, Exelon Corporation and McDonald's Corporation. He also is a director of the Chicago Urban League, a trustee of the University of Chicago as well as a member of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Patrick Ryan, a Republican, is Chairman and Chief Executive of Chicago 2016 and oversees all aspects of Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics. He is the Founding Chairman of Aon Corporation. Ryan is Chairman of the board of trustees of Northwestern University and serves as a life trustee of Rush University Medical Center. He is also an owner/director of the Chicago Bears Football Club.

Julianna Smoot served as President-elect Obama's national finance director during his presidential campaign. She previously worked for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Senator Thomas Daschle, and Senator John Edwards.

Barack Obama, Press Release: Presidential Inaugural Committee Unveils Unprecedented Limits on Fundraising; Broadens Public Access Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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