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Jan Baran Comments on Obama Campaign Raising Money with Designer Gear

The Wall Street Journal
February 7, 2012

Election Law & Government Ethics Practice co-chair Jan Baran was interviewed by The Wall Street Journal on President Barack Obama's re-election campaign planning to sell campaign-themed tote bags, T-shirts and accessories designed by more than two dozen famous designers.

The Journal reports that attendees at an upcoming campaign event "can purchase a tote bag designed by Derek Lam for $75. A collectible makeup bag created by Richard Blanch with nail polish in Red-y To Win Red, Victory White and Bo Blue is going for $40."

Mr. Baran noted that the designers can't ask employees to work on political projects unless they willingly volunteered their time. "Someone who is paid to do campaign work is not a volunteer," Mr. Baran said and added that paying the designer or staff would be considered a campaign contribution from a company to a candidate.