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Obama's tax-cut deal upsets many major donors

LA Times - Some say they will withhold funds for the next election. Even if they come around before the campaign kicks into gear, the initial backlash could hurt early Democratic efforts to counter GOP-allied groups.

"I do not plan to support Obama and his reelection effort," said Utah-based hedge fund manager Art Lipson, who gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Democratic Party and its allies in recent elections. He views the tax-cut compromise as a giveaway to Republicans that will increase the deficit.

"He's got many great qualities, but he is not a fighter," Lipson said of the president. "I've met with many donors and the level of disappointment is extreme."

This month, many Democratic donors joined a campaign dubbed Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength that called on the president to allow the tax cuts for the wealthy to expire. They are now expressing frustration — and some even fury — at the compromise he struck with GOP congressional leaders to extend the cuts for two more years.

"I would not financially support his candidacy again," said Guy Saperstein, an environmental activist and former trial lawyer in Piedmont, Calif.

Saperstein was an early Obama supporter in 2008, but he said he had lost so much confidence in him that he would consider backing a viable primary challenger to run against the president. "I think what he's shown is incredible weakness, which I don't think many people would have predicted," he said.

It's unlikely a serious Democratic challenger will emerge. But the willingness of formerly fervent Obama backers to even raise that prospect speaks to the challenge fundraisers will face in some quarters. Read more.

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