One way President Obama's second inauguration will differ from his first: This time, he's accepting unlimited corporate funds for parties and receptions, a rep says. He still won't take money from PACs or lobbyists, the New York Times notes, and with the economy in mind, his inaugural committee plans to keep things more low-key this year. In 2009, there were 10 official balls; this year, the number is down to three, with one for Obama's national finance committee, one for the military, and a presidential ball.
In another change from 2009, donations of more than $250,000 from individuals and $1 million from institutions bring access to the most exclusive events. Previously, donations were limited to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per couple. The decision comes amid donor fatigue following history's most expensive campaign, the Times notes. Though the administration says it will not accept money from corporations with conflicts of interests, watchdog groups have attacked the shift. "There’s no corporation which has no conflict of interest," says one. It's a "significant symbolic reversal," notes Politico, from a president whose team initially rejected corporate money as part of a "commitment to change business as usual in Washington." (Read more inauguration stories.)