President’s Re-Election Transition Begins With OFA Layoffs

January 6, 2011

By Christina Bellantoni, Roll Call

The Democratic National Committee’s Organizing for America has started laying off staff in multiple states as the first phase of a restructuring before the official kickoff of President Barack Obama’s re-election bid.

A Democratic source told Roll Call that party officials started notifying employees Sunday night and that the layoffs are mostly a handful of field staffers in some states as Democrats assess where they want to fight 2012 battlegrounds.

“This is likely the first wave in a series of staff reductions as we transition for the re-elect,” the Democrat said.

It was unclear how many staffers would be laid off or where they are from, but OFA had staff in all 50 states. The cuts were expected, but officials had told aides before Thanksgiving that they would all be kept on the payroll through the holiday season.

OFA, which began in 2009 as a way of boosting Obama’s policy initiatives at a grass-roots level across the country, will be an organization in transition this year. It is anticipated that the leaner OFA will morph into the president’s re-election campaign, which is highly likely to be based out of Chicago.

DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse stressed in a statement to Roll Call that it is a “small number” of staffers who are being laid off.

“The DNC had its largest midterm election effort ever in 2010 and transitioning into 2011 a small number of people whose services are no longer required have been let go, as would be expected,” Woodhouse said. “The DNC and OFA continue to comprise among the largest Democratic Party organizations in history and will continue to do so in support of the political and policy goals of President Obama and Congressional Democrats.”

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