Obama Opts Out Of Public Financing

Good move. I think he should have announced it during the primaries as he will now get some tough media coverage for this decision when he would have gotten a free ride when he was running against Hillary Clinton.

UPDATE - Please note that I am not a believer in the current public campaign finance system as it exists. Universal public financing with much larger amounts is the only viable solution. I also believe Obama's "no lobbyist money" talk is complete nonsense. So, sorry if my lack of outrage offends.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    well... (5.00 / 10) (#1)
    by p lukasiak on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:54:23 AM EST
    I think he wanted to leave his options open during the Primaries in that regard, because the reason he got SD support was because his fund-raising prowess was supposed to be transferrable to other organizations like the DNC that could spend money on GOTV efforts for "Democrats", and run ads attacking "Republicans", without running afoul of campaign finance laws.

    But unsurprisingly, its turning out that Obama's contributors don't give a damn about the Democratic Party, and aren't giving money to the DNC -- and thus the DNC won't have the resources that would make it possible for Obama to run while staying within the spending limits imposed by public financing of his campaign.

    Personality cults, as it turns out, are non-transferrable.

    No one seriously thought (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:58:58 AM EST
    he was going to stay in the public financing system- certainly not the SD's. Most of them are professional politicians. Whatever you think of them, they were never that dumb.

    Nice to see you (none / 0) (#113)
    by frankly0 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:01:22 AM EST
    express no concern with the sheer dishonesty of Obama's move.

    When it worked in his favor to be for public financing, he was all for it, and made an explicit promise to abide by it. When it works in his favor to be against it, he turns right around and abandons it.

    I guess we can now see the stuff of which the Obama wing of the Democratic Party is made. Hope you don't mind if the rest of us hold our noses while you parade past.


    When and where did Obama (5.00 / 3) (#138)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:14:51 AM EST
    explicitly promise to stay in Public financing.

    I guess we can now see the stuff of which the Obama wing of the Democratic Party is made. Hope you don't mind if the rest of us hold our noses while you parade past.

    Your elitist arrogance is showing.

    BTW I am part of the Democratic wing of the Democratic party. That means after the primary I support the nominee. My consistent stance since February in this primary was I would support either Clinton or Obama. I did not attack either candidate, and I explicitly stated I preferred Hillary Clinton's health care proposal.



    Good points, especially (5.00 / 0) (#146)
    by brodie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:25:48 AM EST
    about McCain's lack of trustworthiness on public financing after his legally dubious behavior on fed funds in the primaries.

    He can't be trusted to stay within the letter and spirit of the finance laws, period.  

    Team McC, aka Charlie Black & Co,  would almost certainly be working overtime to find loopholes and gray areas of the law with which to evade spending limits -- and they'd make a cold political calculation that the authorities would only, at worst, slap them with some non-onerous fine much later down the line, after the damage is done and they're safely in office.  Small price to pay, they'd rightly conclude.


    Did Obama every pursue an agreement w/ McCain, (none / 0) (#159)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:40:59 AM EST
    vigorously or not?

    Not your typical politician (none / 0) (#164)
    by zebedee on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:54:32 AM EST
    You're right, he shouldn't let sticking to a previous commitment get in the way of political advantage and reduce his chance of winning. And as for his statement that he would "vigorously pursue an agreement" he didn't mean to imply that he would agree to public financing if it would disadvantage him and, anyway, we know how vigorously he's been pursuing an agreement on this.

    Look, we all want to win in November and if this helps him he should do it. What irks is that he won the hypocrisy and that he won the nomination on false pretences, by attacking Hillary as the kind of politician who would do "anything to get elected" (like this?) and a mantra of being above all this political maneuvering.  And every time he gets into trouble his supporters parse his words to find subtle wiggle room so that it's difficult to take anything he says at face value now. This is a big danger against Mccain's so-call straight talking image and I would expect this to be a big theme of the GE campaign because they know that once he loses his positioning about being a different kind of politician he has very little to fall back on.


    Is it (none / 0) (#182)
    by tek on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:19:33 AM EST
    just me, or does he have already have that nagging smirk that Dubya always got when he was either lying or knew that he was pulling a big one over on the People?  No, it's not just me.

    Believe it or not, most pro pol's ... (none / 0) (#186)
    by RonK Seattle on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:31:53 AM EST
    ... attach great of importance to the durability of a person's word.

    Obama is relatively new on the scene, but he has already established a pattern that would disadvantage him in leadership situations.


    Last night (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Lil on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:55:01 AM EST
    I got my first call from the Obama campaign asking for money. I told the guy he had my vote but I wasn't ready to send money and I was waiting to see how things played out. The guys response was "You mean whether or not Hillary Clinton is the VP?" I was surprised he said that, that he brought up Clinton, not me. That tells me they must be getting a lot of those types of comments, or tepid responses.

    Another thing about fundraising, the primaries left me feeling that Obama didn't really need my spare change, since he shattered fundraising records. It's hard for me to send money, when he rakes in 80 million in a month (or some ridiculous number like that).

    I hope the next President and Congress can do something about Public Financing that is fair to all parties and Americans. Although I doubt it.

    Good. (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by pie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:13:28 AM EST
    I got a call this morning, and I was noncommittal about supporting Obama.  When I told him I was a Clinton supporter, he almost sounded sympathetic -sort of  "There, there, sweetie.  I understand."  I wanted to smack him.  Then he started in with the McCain lecture.  I told him I've heard it all before.  And there will be no support, no money until Obama says something I want to hear.

    Good thing he called before I turned on the computer.  :)


    I'm not surprised at either (none / 0) (#85)
    by Valhalla on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:44:46 AM EST
    having the response ready or the 'there, there' part.

    They must have gotten a lot of 'feedback' in the past few weeks from Clinton supporters.  This the 'reaching out' to his opponent's supporters that Al Gore lauded him for, I'm sure, adjusting the money script.

    But I don't think they really get the source of the rejection/tepid support, so it's not surprising the script adjustments don't address it.  


    IMO As Long As The Dems Can Get Gobs Of (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:39:50 AM EST
    money from corporations and high rollers they will do nothing about public financing.

    Each new election cycle will mean more and more obscene amounts will be spent and more bills due in return for the contributions.  


    Yet another example (5.00 / 5) (#4)
    by Elporton on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:59:38 AM EST
    that all this talk of "changing the politics of Waashington" is just that...talk.

    That must leave us with just Hope.

    Yup--Hope...and hypocrisy. Great combo! (5.00 / 6) (#10)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:06:23 AM EST
    BTW, all those good gov types are praising Obama for avoiding public financing.

    It's way OK bcz Obama is The One.

    I do think this is a big break with his stated principles which will resonate.

    What other stated promises, principles will be back away from? Remind you of anyone? Like someone still in the WH?

    I don't have a good feeling about our Dem nom, and so far think I can hold my nose or wear a gas mask and be able to vote for him, but, darn, he does do a number on things, doesn't he? Breaking from his support of public financing is OK bcz, get this, it's "broken."

    Know what else the thinks is broken?? SocSec.

    Wanna take any bets on what he will do as prez?


    Yeah, Thousands of Contributors (5.00 / 0) (#127)
    by daring grace on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:07:30 AM EST
    sending tiny monthly contributions...that's certainly politics as usual in Washington.

    Much better as a Dem to cave in to an underfunded opponent's phony challenge, and at least lose with some purity than to do the smart thing and maybe win the White House and the Congress, for a change.


    The more things change (none / 0) (#136)
    by Redshoes on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:13:43 AM EST
    ... the more they say the same.  

    Why would he be "our best hope?" (none / 0) (#185)
    by Mari on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:25:39 AM EST
    He has broken promises/pledges one after another. Why bother voting for a Republican-lite type candidate that Obama clearly is despite all the hype of hope and change. I really am starting to believe he will be worse than McCain because he is so untested. What are Obama's core principles?

    getting tough media? (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by ghost2 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:02:02 AM EST
    You are joking.

    This media cycle is enamored with Obama.  They sell much more with him and Michelle on their covers.  They are drooling already at the thought of another JFK and Jackie.  

    Yes, media is called McCain's base, but watch for it to back Obama.  They viciously attacked Hillary and chose Obama, and now they have to complete it by crowning him.

    Of course, you may be happy to think that democratic policies will be enacted.  I am not so sure.  We know far less about Obama's governing philosophy than W's.  With Obama, matters of War, economy, world stability, global warming, media (de)regulation, and everything else is a BIG question mark.  My own guess is bills that corporations want with a couple of fig leaves to fool democrats.

    Media bosses are NOT stupid.  Corporations are NOT stupid.  Bundlers are NOT stupid.  What do they expect by backing this candidate?

    Corporate media is the SAME crowd that brought you the Iraq war.  You don't make a deal with the devil.  When the time comes, please remember, I told you so.  

    Oh, BTW, the disaster for the past 7 years happened, because for nearly six of those, George Bush (an inexperienced, arrogant, bullying chief exceutive) had house and senate in this pocket, and Rove on his side.  

    Of course, you think the new package has a D on it, and results will be different.  Honestly, I don't think the solution is a democratic president, but it is a democratic congress with a spine.

    Good luck! You will need it.

    Big Surprise!!! (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by talex on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:04:20 AM EST
    Who would have thought he would opt out?

    Let's see - yesterday he did a 180 on NAFTA and dhowed he was not only NOT the workers champion but just like Bush is not bashful at all in reversing his promises to the people in favor of big business.

    Then again yesterday he decided to cut an ad for a Blue Dog in Georgia who has a Liberal challenger, but Obama is supporting the Blue Dog instead of supporting a Liberal agenda. Good move. :(

    And now today he does a 180 again and instead of supporting public financing which takes Big Money out of our elections, which takes the influence of the very corporations that beat the middle class down, he throws in his hat with that Big Money. So he passes up a chance to actually do something to about campaign finance reform and instead makes sure it will be a decade or more before the words campaign finance reform are even uttered again. But you know - keep them small checks coming for which you will get nothing but 180's. Yeah - good move.

    The take away here is that Obama says one thing and then does another and his word cannot be trusted. He will make a great president.

    Pretty Generic Answer (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by talex on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:55:35 AM EST
    The first step would be a primary. And in a district with a 70% African American population there is a good chance that a true-blue-liberal who beat the incumbent would have a chance to win.

    Of course there are other factors to consider which I won't get into but I wanted to post the above because at least it is saying something tangible.


    The fundraising element (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by JavaCityPal on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:05:08 AM EST
    seems to be the one that gets the most attention for Obama.

    Does this mean the DNC will drop the law suit against McCain for the same thing?

    It's not the same thing. (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Pegasus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:24:18 AM EST
    McCain actually took public funding, and then tried to go back on it (which isn't allowed).  Obama pledged to take it, and is now going back on it.  You can sue somebody for breaking the law, but not for breaking a campaign promise.

    Clearly... (5.00 / 5) (#11)
    by mike in dc on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:08:25 AM EST
    ...this is something Obama should be bashed for, because if there's anything good Democrats can't stand, it's finally having a Democratic candidate with way more money to spend than the Republican does.  It doesn't even matter that most of it is from small donors!  It's the principle of the thing.  

    Yes, that's snark, for the sarcasm-impaired.

    uh.... (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by p lukasiak on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:16:27 AM EST
    I hate to break it to you, but public financing is not about how much money you can raise, its about how much money you are allowed to spend.

    Now, personally, I think this is a long-term smart decision for Obama (short term, its going to be bad politically for him) because there are a whole bunch of well funded far-right 527s that will be able to spend freely attacking him -- and the best way to deal with those attacks is to counterattack with your own ads about the lies and distortions in the 527 ads -- and that is going to cost more than the spending limits allow.

    But lets not pretend that this is about the ability to raise money -- its not.


    Yeah and that is exactly (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by talex on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:16:40 AM EST
    why Obama has been meeting with more big money contributors.

    The fact is that in this election we really had a REAL chance to set an example for pubic financing. But instead Obama blew that chance up in favor of the fact that he had a money advantage. So for years going forward public financing is dead thanks to Obama.

    It seems more important to you to have a money advantage in one election than to move forward at taking money out of elections forever.

    How short sighted! It's short sighted on your part and short sighted on the diarist part.


    Time for honesty here (5.00 / 3) (#151)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:29:14 AM EST
    Talex I voted for Hillary but lets be realistic here. The big money donors Obama is meeting with are the Hillary Bundlers. The Dems were never going with public financing this year regardless of who the candidate was. Hillary took in a far larger percentage of her campaign funds from large donors. Now Obama is tapping into those Hillary donors for the GE.

    This isn't about Hillary (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by talex on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:00:54 AM EST
    Hillary never promised to peruse public financing, I wish she would have, but Obama did. This is about Obama's word which in the last few days he has shown is worthless.

    Don't try to take the mud off of Obama by bringing up Hillary. Obama has to stand on his own and can't blame Hillary for everything forever.


    if that's true, (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by cpinva on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:07:31 AM EST
    Stakes are too high. If we were at the tale-end of a Gore Administration, and we'd made true progress in the last 8 years, after all we accomplished in the 90s, maybe then we'd be in a position to take the noble route.

    why nominate the second-best candidate? his whole "hope and change" mantra could easily be interpreted as "god, we hope he changes!"

    he's already admitted he lied about NAFTA, rezko, wright, etc. frankly, the public financing sort of pales by comparison, so it's no big deal to me.


    "And we can't trust John McCain." (none / 0) (#167)
    by talex on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:02:14 AM EST
    And we can't trust Obama either.

    Backing away from his (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by mikeyleigh on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:09:15 AM EST
    own words seems to be what Obama's really good at. Don't we all remember him stating that "If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election"?  Well, McCain seems inclined to stay in public financing.  Obama, on the other hand, will be the first major party candidate since 1976 to opt out of the system.  I'm not really understanding how this is a good move on Obama's part.  He walks away from a pledge; he opts out of a system that's been in place for decades; and gives McCain a golden opportunity to attack him on the whole change in Washington mantra.

    Somehow, (5.00 / 3) (#104)
    by frankly0 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:54:01 AM EST
    I just find it a little unsettling to my stomach to describe something as a "good move" when it is

    1. a major broken promise
    2. a major act of hypocrisy on top of the major broken promise, because it goes exactly against Obama's pretense to be a new kind of politician

    In all my life, I can't remember a Democratic politician receiving so much praise from fellow Democrats for being so completely dishonest.

    In the end, someone must ask: what does the Democratic Party stand for anymore?

    Not for honesty, apparently. Not for democracy, apparently. Not against sexism, apparently. Not against race-baiting, apparently. Not for the working class, apparently.

    So I give up. What's left?


    No hypocrisy by O -- (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by brodie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:04:32 AM EST
    he is practicing a smart New Politics by rejecting fed funds.

    The last two Dem nominees (and Bush) accepted them, but O wisely decided it wouldn't be a good idea to unilaterally disarm in a cycle where Dems would appear to have a financial advantage.  Why stupidly give up a strong Dem asset when we know the Rs will be cranking out thousands of hours of toxic and slanderous ads throughout the summer and fall.

    I like the way he's handled this one.  So unlike Gore, who wanted the approval of Common Cause and who acted (typical for the Al of 2000) so defensive about the earlier charges against him of shady fundraising in 96.

    And especially so unlike the very stupid Kerry.  His blunder about taking fed funds for the general, after seeing his  campaign coffers swell with anti-Bush Dem contributions after his victorious primary campaign, cost him dearly post-convention as he had to decide not to fight back with ads on the Swift Boat lies in the month of August lest they squander too much money and have little left in the fall.

    Looks like we'll have a fully armed Dem nominee for the rest of the campaign, for a Change.  


    Do you completely not get (none / 0) (#134)
    by frankly0 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:12:45 AM EST
    the little problem that Obama made a clear promise to abide by public financing?

    The Obama wing of the party is in full display today. The most blatant deception means nothing to them, if it serves the larger purpose of getting their idol elected.


    Show me where O agreed (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by brodie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:27:33 AM EST
    explicitly to unilaterally disarm for the general.  Cites and exact quotes, please.

    IOKIYABO--It's OK if You Are Barack Obama (none / 0) (#155)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:32:50 AM EST
    See? Whatever he says or does in way OK.

    A little discrepancy between what he said he would do and what he does? Eh, that's way OK.


    Take a look at Obama's original (none / 0) (#157)
    by frankly0 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:38:15 AM EST
    statement, way back when, regarding his promise to opt into public financing.

    As I said elsewhere, only the most dishonest, lawyerly, after the fact reinterpretation of that statement would allow him to opt out under the current circumstances.


    Google is your friend (none / 0) (#198)
    by Cream City on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 12:11:25 PM EST
    and this is the top story on Google news, after all:

    Obama breaks pledge, backs out of public financing

    By John Whitesides and Caren Bohan

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrat Barack Obama said on Thursday he would forego public financing of his general election campaign against Republican John McCain, reversing an earlier stance and positioning himself to outspend McCain in the White House race.

    Obama said in a video message to supporters he would refuse $84 million in public funds available for the November general election. He is the first U.S. presidential candidate to bypass the system since it was created after the Watergate scandal in the mid-1970s.

    His decision drew immediate condemnation from the McCain campaign, which has signaled so far he would participate in the system.

    The move had been widely expected given Obama's record-smashing fundraising during the Democratic nominating battle. If Obama had taken the public funds, he would have been limited to spending just the $84 million in the two months between the Democratic convention and the November 4 election.
    Obama's decision sets up what will be the most expensive presidential election in U.S. history. . . .

    What is on display here (5.00 / 4) (#152)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:29:37 AM EST
    is the " If my preferred candidate isn't the nominee I will attack the one who defeated my preferred candidate anyway I can regardless of the truth or falsity of what I say. "

    Yeah, sure, I'm (none / 0) (#160)
    by frankly0 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:45:27 AM EST
    the dishonest one here, making things up about what Obama said.

    What you can't stand is that there are Democrat who refuse to lie for your guy the way the Obama wing will gladly do.

    Look at what he said back when it was convenient for him to pretend to be opting into public financing. Only the most dishonest, lawyerly, Bush-like reinterpretation of his statement would allow him to opt out of public financing at this stage.

    He wanted to pretend back then that he was making a promise to opt into public financing. There was no highly conditional acceptance of the possibility. The entire point of his statement at that time was to make it seem as if he would almost certainly not opt out of public financing. Everything he knows now about the current situation in terms of 527s, etc., he knew back then. Everything; nothing not completely predictable has changed. Yet back then, he wanted to pretend that he was going to opt into public financing, now he knows that it's not politically convenient for him.

    Sorry if there are Democrats who won't lie for your guy and pretend that he was saying something else.


    So Hillary Is A Liar Now? (5.00 / 2) (#173)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:08:16 AM EST
    Because she is 100% behind Obama. Or are you just getting your material from the McCain campaign?

    She is NOT 100% behind Obama (none / 0) (#190)
    by Mari on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:40:24 AM EST
    She is just being good, loyal Democrat because she believes in the Party. After all the juvenile, passive-aggresive stunts that the Obama campaign has performed, she now going to support the O's factitious hope and change smokescreen. I suspect, Hillary will do the bare minimum.

    Huh? (5.00 / 2) (#195)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:58:26 AM EST
    Are you getting secret messages from Hillary through your teeth, ones that no one but you can hear?

    Perhaps you missed her speech? Hillary is 100% behind Obama. She would certainly be a good example for you to follow, particularly in her ability to adjust her energy to the battle at hand, rather than wallowing in pointless fingerwaving at a insignificant number of hopeless lowlife idiots.


    This really scares you, doesn't it? (none / 0) (#202)
    by Mari on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 12:26:05 PM EST
    She's a frickin politician. Just because she gave that speech doesn't necessarily mean she will do it. Why should she after all the abuse Obama has sent her way, even after that speech? Could Obama be any more petty and vindictive?

    Don't worry about me. I'm no longer a Democrat. And you aren't persuading me to not vote for McCain by calling me names.


    I agree with you about Hillary's role (none / 0) (#192)
    by stefystef on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:50:23 AM EST
    in Obama's campaign.  Except for a couple of appearances at rallies, I don't see Hillary doing a lot of campaign for Obama either.  Perhaps talking to people behind the scenes, but I don't see her going above and beyond the usual support.

    And just FORGET about anything from Bill Clinton.  Bill's just gonna step back and watch on the sideline.  


    Bare Minimum (none / 0) (#203)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 12:38:44 PM EST
    Sounds like wanting McCain to win....

    Frankly when you distort (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:14:20 AM EST
    you are being dishonest. You can rationalize it anyway you choose, but expect to be respected for it.

    don't expect (none / 0) (#178)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:14:40 AM EST
    As if I'm going to have (none / 0) (#196)
    by frankly0 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:59:21 AM EST
    any respect for someone who goes out of his/her way to pretend that Obama doesn't have a major problem with dishonesty when he so obviously is pretending not to have said what he clearly intended to say back when he promised to opt into public financing.

    Look, you can shill for your guy all you want, and pretend to yourself and others that you aren't doing so, and pretend likewise that you wouldn't be excoriating McCain or Hillary if she hadn't done the like, but just don't expect the rest of us to feel any real respect for your doing so, OK?


    Given you've not responded (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 12:22:13 PM EST
    to when and where  Obama explicitly promised to stay in public financing, I don't see where you have any crediblity here.

    Obama's ability to raise shockingly large amounts from his huge small donor base was always one of the selling points Obama had; one he was never going to forego without some agreement from McCain about reigning in all spending. Obama never unconditionally promised to accept public financing.

    Campaign spending in and of itself is not the problem. The problem is the aggregation of special interest money given with the expectation of special interest favors.

    Your willful misrepresentations and distortions are outrageous.

    BTW, if Hillary were the nominee, and she had made similar statements I would defend her as well. So no, I would not be excoriating Hillary as well. Again, I have never attacked Hillary.

    I do excoriate McCain- because he (not unlike you here) made willful violations to the FEC in order to obtain a campaign loan.

    There is a difference.


    You Are Making This Up (none / 0) (#197)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 12:06:53 PM EST
    And are obviously talking to imaginary people in your head,  because Molly Bloom has never shilled for anyone here and has not bashed any of the Democrats who were in the race. You on the other hand seem to have lost the plot.

    Look, you can shill for your guy all you want, and pretend to yourself and others that you aren't doing so, and pretend likewise that you wouldn't be excoriating McCain or Hillary if she hadn't done the like, but just don't expect the rest of us to feel any real respect for your doing so, OK?

    Molly Bloom is (none / 0) (#199)
    by frankly0 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 12:16:09 PM EST
    obviously shilling for Obama at this stage.

    No honest person can look at what Obama promised way back when about opting into public financing, and look at what he has said today, and not conclude that Obama is engaging in a major dishonest act.

    Yet Molly Bloom wants to pretend that hasn't happened. Worse yet, he/she wants to pretend that those who point out that discrepancy are the one's who are "distorting", and being dishonest.

    Shilling is, if anything, too kind a word for this kind of behavior.


    Then that's the case (none / 0) (#140)
    by Valhalla on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:15:26 AM EST
    he should have made to the public during the primaries.

    By rejectiong public financing (none / 0) (#187)
    by Mari on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:34:37 AM EST
    Obama will be even more beholden to the corporate interests that are providing his extravagant campaign funds. Do you still really think he will pursue liberal, anti-corporate policies? It's incredibly naive to think that the corporations don't expect big, big favors in return.

    Obama has said before (5.00 / 0) (#116)
    by independent voter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:02:41 AM EST
    part of the deal is no 527s and McCain will not agree to that.
    It gives Obama his out

    That is just Obama's (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by frankly0 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:09:57 AM EST
    lawyerly, after the fact, parsing of his own promise, which was clearly understood to be opting into the public financing system.

    Face facts: Obama wanted people to understand his original promise to be a sincere one in which he abided by the public financing system. It was, clearly, not couched in a way to suggest that he was merely entertaining the possibility in a highly conditional way. At the time, it was important for him to lead people to believe that his promise was sincere, because that's what worked for him politically at that moment -- being a "change" candidate and all.

    Now that none of that is any longer operative, he's retroactively finding a way out of the natural, original interpretation of his own words.

    It's as blatant an act of dishonesty on a major issue as any in politics. It's on the order of the sort of rationalizations and re-interpretations that the Bush WH came up with for their own words in the run-up to the Iraq war.


    That wasn't the original promise. (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by RonK Seattle on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:39:33 AM EST
    That was his renege on the original promise.

    And it's a condition he always knew neither party could meet.


    yeah (none / 0) (#126)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:07:03 AM EST
    old Johnnie is counting on those reliable 527s to take O down but I wonder if he has any idea what might be coming his way in the way of 527 ads.
    I think if he did he might reconsider.

    Change... (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by OxyCon on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:10:01 AM EST
    ...you can believe in!

    Newkindapolitics! Say you'll do one thing, then do the opposite.

    Change! You can see it change even as you hear (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:26:04 AM EST
    about it!

    Changing Change! Changey Change! MultiChange! Spinning Change!

    Hey, whatever works. Right?


    Or (none / 0) (#168)
    by zyx on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:04:43 AM EST
    "I was for public financing before I was against it".

    Another Democrat for Rubber Footwear.


    Meanwhile the DNC wants to sue McCain (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by angie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:11:23 AM EST
    for not keeping his promise to take public financing. Here is the copy of the email I got from Dean:


    I wrote to you in late February asking that you sign on in support of a complaint we made to the Federal Election Commission regarding John McCain.

    The complaint was fairly simple. John McCain decided to break a promise he made to the American people -- he said that he would accept federal matching funds for his primary campaign, but then backed out of the pledge after he started receiving staggering amounts of lobbyist and special interest money. We asked the FEC to enforce the agreement he had made.

    When they didn't act on our complaint -- one that thousands of Americans signed on to support -- we sued them. Recently, a federal judge said that we had to give the FEC at least 120 days to act.

    Their time runs out in one week, on June 24.

    You can put pressure on John McCain to honor his agreement with the FEC by signing your support -- we need 100,000 Americans to stand up and demand that he keep the promise that he made the American people. If we're ever going to have truly clean campaigns, it's going to take all of us fighting for them. . . .

    Howard Dean

    (I redacted the end to save space). IMO, it is difficult to reconcile Obama's "good move" with McCain's "bad" one, but I'm sure the DNC & the msm will find a way.

    Nothing in commong (5.00 / 5) (#26)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:17:36 AM EST
    They are suing McCain because they alleged he VIOLATED FEDERAL ELECTION LAW.  

    Obama has done no such thing.


    Nice to see you will find an excuse (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by angie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:21:51 AM EST
    for anything coming out of the Obama camp -- you're going to need to keep that up if he gets elected.

    And not the same thing you say? Read the danggone email -- that isn't how Dean presents it -- or are you going to excuse that as needed "dumbing down" for us "low information voters"?


    Spend a little time (5.00 / 1) (#200)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 12:18:59 PM EST
    researching the matter


    Democrats say McCain has violated campaign finance law and that he's getting away with it because the enforcement agency, the FEC, has not been able to function. The panel needs four commissioners to make decisions, but it only has two, thanks to a standoff between Senate Democrats and the White House over confirmation of three nominees.

    You want to come up with an example (5.00 / 4) (#40)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:25:10 AM EST
    of Obama lying to the FEC by accepting the benefits of public financing and then illegally backing out?

    then Dean should have said that (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by angie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:02:53 AM EST
    in the email he sent me the day before Obama's big announcement. Furthermore, the distinction being drawn here is unadulterated bs -- a person's word is supposed to mean something and Obama is just as guilty as McCain for not honoring is word. Trying to argue technicalities again McCain when you yourself are not keeping your word is hypocritical, even if legal. In fact, the words "no moral compass" come to mind. I feel very sorry for anyone for whom that isn't a basic gut reaction.

    angie (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by tek on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:17:46 AM EST
    you make my main point about Obama.  I delete every e-mail I get about how bad McCain is because Obama is such a devious hypocrite, he has lost all moral ground in this election.  No way McCain can be lower than Obama on social issues.

    I know what you mean (none / 0) (#58)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:31:10 AM EST
    but you would never understand that by reading Dean's letter. The benefit McCain received was the loan, and that is never mentioned.

    Based soley on the facts presented in Dean's letter, Obama is just as guilty as McCain.


    Who cares what Dean's letter says? (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:32:24 AM EST
    Well, the person who wrote the comment (none / 0) (#74)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:38:41 AM EST
    we are responding to, presumably.

    I sure don't read what Dean says unless it is posted here.


    Dean's letter has no relationship (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:40:06 AM EST
    to what McCain actually did. It is a press release. Let's put it this way: I am not interested in Dean's letter.

    You are right about that (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:45:35 AM EST
    I just get irritated when the facts are misstated by Dean, especially in a way that makes what McCain did look no worse that what Obama did.  If he is going to misstate and gin up some outrage, at least he could make McCain look worse instead of better.

    Wasn't moving the DNC to Chicago (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:32:25 AM EST
    supposed to insure the campaign and DNC were on the same page?

    The letter's just grandstanding anyway (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Valhalla on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:53:05 AM EST
    I'm not even sure they have a real cause of action, and it'd never get decided by the election anyway.  It's just a fundraiser.

    The FEC doesn't have enough (none / 0) (#114)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:02:03 AM EST
    current members to reach a quorum.  

    No. He took a loan under false pretenses (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by MissBrainerd on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:25:23 AM EST
    McCain took a loan he needed to get on the ballot in many states by promising to opt IN to public financing. The He alone decided he could not opt in AND not suffer consequences for getting a loan under false pretenses.

    If you understood the issue....


    Wow, that is a really misleading letter (5.00 / 4) (#47)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:28:09 AM EST
    the legal issue is not that McCain backed off on his pledge to the public.  The legal issue is that he got a loan to his campaign based on using the public financing as collateral.

    I trust Dean even less than I did 5 minutes ago, and I did not think that was possible.


    Dean (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:29:48 AM EST
    I am so ashamed I ever supported the guy, and I did bigtime, for president.

    BTW - that email came yesterday (none / 0) (#19)
    by angie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:16:03 AM EST
    so much for wondering if the DNC is going to drop the lawsuit against McCain.

    (wish I could edit)


    He actually violated the law (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by MissBrainerd on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:23:31 AM EST
    these two issues are NOT connected.

    Public won't undersand the difference (none / 0) (#75)
    by Manuel on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:39:10 AM EST
    Renouncing public financing for the GE is violating the spirit of the law (even if it is a broken law). The Democrats will come across as hypocritical.

    What Law? (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by MissBrainerd on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:47:05 AM EST
    There is no law that says you HAVE to participate in  public financing.

    Yep. And not many people (5.00 / 0) (#133)
    by brodie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:12:00 AM EST
    realize that the public financing system doesn't necessarily mean an equal playing field.

    That's largely because of the often considerable time difference between the parties' conventions.  Once the nominee is official, fed funds kick in, exclusively, and must be made to last for the entire time until election day.  

    So, if as in 2004 where the Dems had a July convention and the Repubs had theirs a month later, our nominee had to make his fed funds last 5 weeks longer than the R candidate -- a huge advantage for the other side, which in that cycle they took full advantage of with the SwBoaters' ads which TeamKerry couldn't answer for fear of significantly reducing their available funds.

    It's a huge flaw in the public system which needs reforming.  Of course, almost our entire election system badly needs an overhaul.


    See, this is where Dean's miscommunicaiton (none / 0) (#125)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:07:02 AM EST
    is really harmful.  You would never know from his letter that any law was involved. The legal issue is that McCain applied for and got a loan based on the money he was going to get from public financing.  Then after he got the loan, and more money from donations, he rejected the public financing.

    Rejecting the public financing in and of itself is acceptable, even if he did tell the public he would take it.   For Dean to pretend he is making a legal and ethical issue about that is just stupid, especially since Obama is doing the exact same thing.

    The legal issue is the loan McCain got, possibly under false pretenses.  But even I could believe he did not expect to get all those contributions - his campaign seemed dead in the water at the time. I expect a big yawn from the FEC.


    Yes, I got one just like that this past week (none / 0) (#44)
    by befuddledvoter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:26:47 AM EST
    Not sure which day.

    Get Tough on Obama????? COME ON... (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by northeast73 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:11:39 AM EST
    ...This subject DID come up during the primaries.

    I SPECIFICALLY remember that McCain called on Obama to stick to his promise re: public financing.  Back in maybe Aprilish....

    This was being discussed on one of MSNBC's horror shows (Race FTWH I believe) and good old frat boy Chuck Todd said...and this is a parphrase "will backing out of public financing hurt Obama?  NO...because the public doesnt care about that issue" ...and then they moved on.

    Yeah, BTD the media is going to get REAL tough on him on this issue.

    MCMer on WNYC also said public doesn't care about (none / 0) (#30)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:18:43 AM EST
    public financing.

    I do (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by northeast73 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:29:08 AM EST
    and I care about integrity.

    I dont think the Presidency should go to the "best fundraiser".


    the "best fundraiser". (none / 0) (#56)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:30:36 AM EST
    it wont.  

    I think McCain will go to town on this issue (none / 0) (#105)
    by befuddledvoter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:55:57 AM EST
    Can Obama be trusted?  He promised XYZ, then he reneged.  Can he be trusted?  Can't you see the Repub response?  Not good at all. If Obama wanted out, he should have done it months ago. The threat of 527's was always there.  That is not anything new.  

    For the sake of argument if he kept to his pledge and Repubs have the 527's, could not Obama do the same?  I know these entities are supposed to be absolutely independent of the candidates, but who is kidding whom?  

    So Obama now thinks the system is broken so he reneges.  What other systems will he renege upon?  

    In sum, I think this is bad.    


    I think you are right but (none / 0) (#119)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:03:27 AM EST
    I have a funny feeling that the democratic 527s may be even more rancid than the republican 527s this year.
    I would like to think not but I am getting that feeling.  its going to be bad on both sides.

    I agree (none / 0) (#158)
    by americanincanada on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:39:23 AM EST
    this is going to be a very nasty fall campaign. Not pretty in the least. I am not looking forward to it.

    I Hope McCain Goes to Town On This One (none / 0) (#163)
    by daring grace on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:50:34 AM EST
    This is a rarified little enclave we 'inside politics' wonks conversing on the internet inhabit.

    Meanwhile, out in the larger world, voters are more focused and really, really worrying about gas prices, food prices, flooding, Iraq, health care, jobs...

    It will be a special gift to the Democrats if McCain makes this kerfuffle about public financing the centerpiece of some attack.


    The most important (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by samanthasmom on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:11:57 AM EST
    "Change we can believe in" would be public financing of campaigns.  But I'm not surprised that he opted out.  Just another politician after all. Well, it's really not my money he's spending now at least.

    MCMer on WNYC right now saying Obama left himself (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:15:11 AM EST
    "just enough wiggle room" to get away with not taking public financing. Which means the MCM is not going to hold his feet to his stated principle fire.

    Last year he was trying to establish himself as a different type of politician, but, the nom was not a lock then and he didn't know how much money he could bring in. So, see, things HAVE changed already for the Change Candidate!

    Maybe he can run of that: I don't know what the Change will be, but I'm will to Change on anything!

    So, now he's calling his backing away from his stated principle a "declaration of independence" from a "broken system."

    WORMs and worms and more worms. Except for voters who thought they were voting for one thing and then the WORM comes out. But, it's all waaaaay OK from The One.

    Caller to WNYC now repeating the Obama line that (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:28:10 AM EST
    he has created his own public financing, that all his money has come from little donors. Which is not true, but is rapidly becoming the CW--and no one challenged his contention.

    So, the MCM has bought it to the legend.


    Bought into the legend--must proofread (none / 0) (#53)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:29:04 AM EST
    Obama is the first major party nom to NOT USE (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:16:52 AM EST
    public financing.

    Even Bush used it, twice.

    Wow--setting precedent already.

    Oh, I forgot: He's set precedent by moving the DNC to Chicago.

    And, no, I have not "seen the light."

    Glad to see (5.00 / 0) (#25)
    by riddlerandy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:17:19 AM EST
    he is serious about winning

    Has there ever been any doubt? (5.00 / 4) (#37)
    by Fabian on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:24:16 AM EST
    "No one has done more to win this election than I have!"

    no doubt (none / 0) (#48)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:28:09 AM EST
    also no doubt he is going to need every penny.

    What was his final (none / 0) (#83)
    by Fabian on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:42:01 AM EST
    $ per vote for the primary?

    Compared to Clinton?
    Compared to McCain?

    We should do Teh Math to find out how much Obama needs to raise to win the GE.  No wonder he likes low election day turnouts - saves money.


    For me, this is a non-issue ... (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:18:15 AM EST
    everyone knew that he was going to (and should) do this.

    And the media should be ecstatic.  They get to spend more of Obama's contributor's money.

    And there will be less money for downticket Dems-- (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:21:55 AM EST
    I mean, if The One is sucking all the oxygen out of the room, what's going to left for the Party and its downticket candidates? Handouts from Obama?

    This ought to be interesting to watch. What will happen?

    Not all Change is good change. To wit, out current Maladministration.


    Like I said before. (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by Fabian on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:33:26 AM EST
    Tom DeLay controlled the campaign cash for the GOP.  Carrot and stick.  Be loyal to The Man and you'll get a bundle o' cash for your re-election.  Feeling independent?  Don't want to toe the party line?  Don't be surprised if The Man funds your primary opponent instead of you.

    Read the News (none / 0) (#193)
    by Niffari on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:51:22 AM EST
    Obama has a fundraiser at Bobby Kennedy's old home. Ethel's a fan. He takes a pittance share and the rest is for the DNC. Yeah, he's spreading it around.

    Knowing someone will do something does not make it (none / 0) (#69)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:36:48 AM EST
    a non-issue. Example: Most knew BushBoy was going to go to war against Iraq.

    To me, huge issue. Of course, the MCM did say long after the Downing Street Memos would have made a difference if they'd been reported on by the MCM that it was old news and not an issue.

    Gee, lots can play that game.


    Of course, he really should have done this (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:19:50 AM EST
    months ago when McCain's financing scandal first broke. But better late than never, and the fallout will be minimal.

    He said 1.5 million donors (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:22:47 AM EST
    make up his grassroots financial support.  Is that really a lot?  I thought that number was higher given the way the DNC has fawned all over Obama. Kerry got 59 million popular votes in '04.  1.5 million is roughly 2.5% of that.  However I look at it, it seems like a much smaller movement than I had assumed. More of the money must have come from large donors than Obama likes to advertise.

    That is beside the point however. Obama's new position is that the public financing system is too broken to participate in.  What are his propasals to fix it?  I am in favor of complete public financing, including free air time to get the media money out of politics.

    I guess I'll have to read his web site to see where he stands.

    and I have yet to see him rebuke MoveOn for runnign an ad outside his control.  Are they not a 527?

    Don't see the problem (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Kevin on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:27:07 AM EST
    with Obama not taking public financing.  Most of his money has come from small donations.  The problem I and I assume many others have with campaign finance is most of it usually comes from one of the "Big" industries (tobacco, insurance, oil, etc).  Obama is getting his from supporters, regular people, which eliminates the big complaint there.

    Nothing BIG about those Wall St. donors--nope! (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:33:39 AM EST
    Just little guys getting all the clerks to gether to bundle into Obama's seed money.

    Oh, well, it's official: Folks, we have a new Conventional Wisdom legend, an MCM Approved Narrative!

    Resistance is futile.

    (Just remember that while your favored person may be getting fluffed by the MCM right now does not mean that will continue. And approval of such treatment from the MCM for your favored person does not make it right. What I want is facts, with analysis based only on knowable facts--not good stories or stenography.)


    Isn't there also some evidence ... (none / 0) (#77)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:39:57 AM EST
    that he pads his donor list?

    I remember stories about people who'd never contributed being include on online donor lists.


    Here is Tom Wolfe on the media: (none / 0) (#96)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:50:08 AM EST
    Most of his money doesn't come from (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by stefystef on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:37:12 AM EST
    small donors.  He, like Hillary, already had a General Election fund and it was financed by big money early on.  The "small" donors didn't come in full effect until February.

    Don't be fooled.  Obama is taking big money too.  He is NOT a "man of the people" as Axelrod is trying to present him.


    45% of his money, as of the last disclosure, (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Pegasus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:53:49 AM EST
    came from donations of under $200.  33% came from donations of over $2300.  Yes, he's gotten a lot from very big donors, but not as much as he's gotten from very small donors.  Those are the facts.

    Voters... (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:28:42 AM EST
    ... for the most part, don't care about this stuff, which is why both Obama and McCain would be dumb to get so principled that they hurt their chances of winning. Obama's got a money advantage - he should use it.

    Today's talking point: most of Obama's (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:30:51 AM EST
    campaign contributions have come from those donating $25 or less, i.e., people just like me.  

    No, most of his money (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by Pegasus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:37:51 AM EST
    has come from people like me -- I've given him (IIRC) $750 over the last year, $50-150 at a time as I've been able to afford it.  I'm not some kid selling my bike, but I'm not a fatcat either.

    Anyway, that's the profile of his donor base.


    Wow! You got away with $25? He wanted $150 from me (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by goldberry on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:18:19 AM EST
    I told them "No".  So have many other Clintonistas.  It's not like I can't afford it.  i could easily reach the maximum without hurting.  But I'd have to be waterboarded before I hive him a lira.  

    Most of the contributions (none / 0) (#68)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:36:23 AM EST
    may have been for $25 or less - but does that account for most of the money?  

    For example, if 10 people gave $20 each and 2 people gave $1500 each, I can say most of my contributions were for less than $25, but most of my money still came from the 2 people giving $1500.


    Check the facts. (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Pegasus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:41:48 AM EST
    Via opensecrets:

    45% of Obama's fundraising has been from donation of under $200.  28% has been from $2300+ donors, 5% from max donors.  So the majority isn't small-dollar, but a clear plurality is.


    Doesn't His Small Donor Number Include (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:59:51 AM EST
    people who just bought a $5 button or other campaign stuff? IIRC this was a new way of counting contributions.  

    I don't know, but I'd believe it. (none / 0) (#124)
    by Pegasus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:05:49 AM EST
    Either way, that's a vanishingly small source of campaign funding.  And hey, if I buy something from a campaign I consider myself a donor who got a knicknack out of it.  I'm not buying campaign stuff from pols I don't support, anyway.

    thank you, that is a great chart (none / 0) (#103)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:53:56 AM EST
    answers all my questions.

    True or not (none / 0) (#120)
    by Valhalla on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:03:59 AM EST
    all that's heard over the airwaves and the web is that all his money comes from small dollar donors.  So it's still the talking point, and still misleading.

    I've never heard (5.00 / 0) (#141)
    by indy in sc on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:18:01 AM EST
    him or his campaign say that all of his money comes from small donors.  With each month's release of fundraising numbers, they have said the average donation was x (with x normally being $200 or less).  The truth is that they have raised a substantial amount of money from small individual donors--why wouldn't they tout that?

    Not true... (none / 0) (#194)
    by Niffari on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:55:03 AM EST
    ...and his campaign never said it. Why repeat something so obviously silly? The fact is that Obama has a wealth of small donors, hence his ability to pull in tens of millions over and over again. That's how it works. I've donated at least 8 times and I can donate many more times now that it's the GE.

    The most any one person can give (none / 0) (#73)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:37:59 AM EST
    is $4,600. For a non-trivial number of Americans--even Democrats--that just isn't a lot of money.

    no money from lobbyists? (5.00 / 3) (#86)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:45:20 AM EST
    I am so sick of this absurd tired talking point.
    from common dreams:

    WASHINGTON - While pledging to turn down donations from lobbyists themselves, Sen. Barack Obama raised more than $1 million in the first three months of his presidential campaign from law firms and companies that have major lobbying operations in the nation's capital.Portraying himself as a new-style politician determined to reform Washington, Obama makes his policy clear in fundraising invitations, stating that he takes no donations from "federal lobbyists."
    But the Illinois Democrat's policy of shunning money from lobbyists registered to do business on Capitol Hill does not extend to lawyers whose partners lobby there.

    Hmm (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by lilburro on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:52:10 AM EST
    I guess we're entering that "whatever, they're both liars" stage of the campaign.  At least it seems that way to me:  "don't make fun of my wife" "I don't!"  "Yes you do!"  "No you do!" and now this public financing flip flop.  Plus Jim Johnson.  Obama doesn't seem to have a complex about changing his mind, and I guess that's a good thing.  But I suspect an aura of cynicism has already descended.  

    The current public financing system is a joke (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:59:14 AM EST
    I do not want him to take a stand in favor of it.

    To the contrary, I was urging him to opt out long ago.

    Just what makes (none / 0) (#122)
    by mikeyleigh on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:04:59 AM EST
    it a joke?

    Outside expenditures (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:11:03 AM EST
    So instead of some (none / 0) (#154)
    by mikeyleigh on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:32:00 AM EST
    control over fund-raising and expenditures, you prefer next to no restrain.  Sounds kind of draconian to me.

    so then we need a better one (none / 0) (#135)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:12:45 AM EST
    pretty much everything wrong with our current political system can be traced back to the influence of money.

    And (none / 0) (#172)
    by tek on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:08:03 AM EST
    the current public financing system was forged by McCain and Feingold.  If we're going to call a spade a spade, let's get it all out there.

    I've decided to keep my outrage in (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:05:08 AM EST
    reserve for later in the day on some other issue.  Brilliant PR though to renege on the campaign financing promise and talk about war on terror in the same news cycle.

    I could be really morbid and cynical (none / 0) (#139)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:15:05 AM EST
    and say it was even better PR to slip it in during the vacuum period after the death of the master of hitting you with your previous statements.

    I'm glad he didn't take my $3 contribution (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by goldberry on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:11:15 AM EST
    I've been checking that sucker off on my tax return for years now.  Must add up to a whole $50 by now.    But I don't want to give even one penny to that presumptuous nominee.  
    I'd rather help Clinton pay off her campaign debt that to help him in even an infinitesimally small way.  

    I wonder how this will affect people checking off (none / 0) (#145)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:25:13 AM EST
    for public financing on their tax returns. I've also checked it every year since it became law.

    But, I wonder how many Repubs, who generally don't agree with the concept, actually did. Now that the Dem presumptive nom says no way, will Dems stop checking off on it???

    Glenn Reynolds may be correct: This will be the end of public financing and campaign finance reform.

    Change, already!!


    FISA? What is this FISA of which you write? (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:28:52 AM EST
    The Silence of the Presumptive Nominee is deafening...on FISA, at least.

    Otherwise, I had not realized he tended to shout so much when giving speeches. It's not going to be an easy election season...I realize this is a personal reaction, but, crikey, he didn't do that in his big planned rally speeches, did he? Yikes.

    OMG! (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by tek on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:05:31 AM EST
    He's going to get a pass on this, too?  And if his talk about not taking lobbyist money is just crap, then why didn't journalists and bloggers publicize that during the primaries since that was the main complaint against Hillary?

    I guess next we'll finally hear that there's nothing wrong with Hillary or Bill, they're not really racists, she didn't really diminish MLK's or JFK's legacies, she didn't really suggest that Obama would be assassinated, Obama really thinks she was the best candidate, and he'll finally admit he's really a Republican who will usher in the third Bush term.  And his supporters will all be okay with it because, hey, it's just politics, right.

    Obama=Rovian neoCon, with a twist, he's so cocky he comes right out after the fact and admits to his lies.

    I am very interested (1.00 / 0) (#22)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:16:42 AM EST
    in seeing if this endless supply of money from the rubes is in any way effected by his many efforts to reposition him campaign to the right.
    possibly not, I suppose, since the money never had anything to do with his positions in the first place.

    You know (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:18:41 AM EST
    it is pretty insulting to call Obama supporters who give him money "rubes".  

    we are all rubes (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:20:06 AM EST
    my friend.  stop trying so hard.

    Fly, have you been missing your daily outrage? (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:28:22 AM EST

    on the other hand (none / 0) (#28)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:18:19 AM EST
    reading some upthread comments . . .

    He doesn't (none / 0) (#176)
    by tek on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:13:19 AM EST
    have any endless supply of money from rubes.  The rubes are those bitter, white, hillbillies clinging to their guns and they're not sending Obama a cent.  We have a friend who's big for Obama, he's just a regular guy who did quite well with oil stocks, sends Obama $500 a month.  Our college kids who support Obama have never given him a dime.  They can't, they always have their hands out to get money from us.

    Just to (none / 0) (#183)
    by tek on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:20:54 AM EST
    clarify, I'm using the word "rubes" in a totally complimentary sense.  At least they had sense to vote for the best candidate.

    Just to (none / 0) (#184)
    by tek on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:24:38 AM EST
    clarify, I'm using the word "rubes" in a totally complimentary sense.  At least they had sense to vote for the best candidate.

    Disappointed in Obama and BTD (none / 0) (#6)
    by lgm on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:02:57 AM EST
    I am disappointed in Obama.  He had the opportunity to make a bold and possibly daring statement for ethics in politics and he turned the other way.

    I'm also disappointed in BTD for agreeing with Obama.  After all my Clinton bashing on this site, I was hoping to agree with BTD on something at last.  

    It is rather strange stuff (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by talex on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:05:24 AM EST
    to be reading on a Liberal blog.

    He takes no lobbyists money (5.00 / 0) (#45)
    by MissBrainerd on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:26:54 AM EST
    THAT is new and gutsy.

    And his donors are little $25 at atime people like me, one and half million of us at last count.


    but his "little donors" (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Josey on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:34:46 AM EST
    aren't producing enough.
    Hopefully, they'll get 2nd and 3rd jobs during summer break to fund
    THE ONE.

    Not to worry (3.66 / 3) (#109)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:58:19 AM EST
    In September they'll go back to school with Mom and Dad's credit card.

    thats funny (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:09:21 AM EST
    O better be hoping there are no big parties on election eve.

    My niece is in college (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:11:43 AM EST
    I've heard the stories.

    1.5 mill? That's all? (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Fabian on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:35:55 AM EST
    Where did all that other money come from?  Santa Claus?

    Obama donor list.. (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by FlaDemFem on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:42:26 AM EST
    Many of the bundlers bring in over $50,000, most over $100,000. Do you think they bundled it from $25 donors? And do note the employers of the bundlers. And the lobbyist bundlers. Little donors, my @ss. Most of his money comes from corporations and lobbyists. Check it out.

    That's incorrect. (5.00 / 0) (#91)
    by Pegasus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:47:20 AM EST
    He's raised a bunch from bundlers and big donors, but he's raised a ton overall.  As a percentage of his total, he's gotten far less from big donors than McCain.  Or any other candidate, Ron Paul excepted.

    Check it out.


    You are so naive (3.00 / 2) (#99)
    by Fritz on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:52:09 AM EST
    25% of his donations to date are of the $2,000 or more variety.  

    The man is a liar without principles.  I give credit to Russ Feingold who did forgo spending limitations for his re-election campaign.

    Obama, the empty suit.  Using cynicism against others to justify his indefensible actions.  This will not go away, nor should it.


    Flat wrong. (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Pegasus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:00:41 AM EST
    THis is public information.  There's no excuse for spreading misinformation like this:

    25% of his donations to date are of the $2,000 or more variety.

    Out of his million-plus total donors, 28,215 have given over $2,300.  So to make your claim true (assuming 1.2 million donors, which is low), he'd need to have had 271,785 people donate between $2,000 and $2,300.  Which is just ludicrous.

    28% of his total raised is from $2300+ donors.  Not a quarter of his total donations.


    No ACTIVE lobbyist money (none / 0) (#106)
    by waldenpond on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:56:14 AM EST
    People need to file paperwork so they are no longer active lobbyists to make their donation.  The word is ACTIVE.  Obama has ex-lobbyists.

    Article: how to get more money while pretending to take less

    K Street


    What is (none / 0) (#23)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:16:46 AM EST
    unethical about not taking federal funds for campaigning?  

    what is unethical about deceiving the public? (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Josey on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:28:12 AM EST
    Obama said one thing until he secured the nomination.
    He didn't just figure out that Repub 527s would aggressively attack him.
    Obama is a con and has duped many - with the Washington establishment's blessing.

    disagree (none / 0) (#60)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:32:20 AM EST
    he knew very well the 527s were coming and he never planned to opt out.
    it was bull.

    Josey was saying what you said: He knew all along (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:41:12 AM EST
    there would be 527s spending money, probably on both sides.

    You two agree on that.


    sorry josey (none / 0) (#90)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:47:08 AM EST
    its still early and I have only had on cup.

    Nonsense (5.00 / 0) (#188)
    by Niffari on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:35:15 AM EST
    Obama thought he would need public funds. When he found out he could outraise Clinton easily through online donations from millions of americans, he wisely jettisoned this policy.

    Obama should opt out of this system and just point to the vile rumors and false accusations from the GOP 527's. No one in recent memory, even Kerry, has had to face the racist, outrageous lies this man and his family have endured from the GOP. Only an idiot would shoot himself in the foot like that.

    OTOH, McCain is stuck with whining about Obama, who is cleaning his clock in fundraising. Perhaps McCain should never have accepted that loan that kept him afloat when he was at rock-bottom. Agreeing to public funding in order to accept needed monies is quite a different thing than stating that one might accept public funds if the other guy does too.


    If (none / 0) (#179)
    by tek on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:14:51 AM EST
    you think this is bad, go on over to TM.  It's turned into HuffPo, a Saint Obama site.  The guy can do no wrong in Taylor Marsh's eyes and she brags that her connections with the Hillary campaign are getting her entry to Obama's camp.

    Bad precedent (none / 0) (#39)
    by Pol C on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:25:01 AM EST
    This was originally posted as a comment at the Daily Kos, but it was disappeared. Despite generating a number of disagreeing replies, there weren't any troll ratings, so I think an administrator took it down. If someone can enlighten me as to what's so offensive and inappropriate about this, I'm curious to hear it.

    This is horrible

    The only way to get the dirtiness of the money influence out of politics is universal public financing. The Obama campaign's announcement is an enormous step back from reaching that goal, as it undermines the most prominent reform that had been achieved. The public financing of Presidential election campaigns was set up in response to the Nixon Administration's slimy election behavior, and the most important aspect of that reform has been the tradition of getting the GOP to go along with it. With the exception of 1976 (maybe), 1996, and perhaps this year, there has never been a cycle where the GOP did not have the fundraising capacity to completely blow the Democratic candidate out of the water. Making the public financing of the fall campaigns a tradition for both parties was a major step forward for clean politics and the Democratic Party's ability to get its word out. It gave the middle class and the poor a voice against big money. The GOP will no longer have reason to adhere to this tradition, and they can point to the Obama precedent as justification. The Bush Administration's returned us to the bad old days of Nixon-era law enforcement abuses, and Obama's set a precedent that's going to return us to the bad old days of Nixon-era campaign abuses.

    In short, in the interests of short-term advantage, Obama's screwed the Democratic Party and the political voices of the non-wealthy over the long haul.

    You are wrong (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:26:26 AM EST
    There is nothing honorable about unilateral disarmament in politics.

    Agree to disagree (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Pol C on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:32:07 AM EST
    I think it's for the best to level the playing field as much as possible. Even if you ascribe absolute purity of motive and the best of intentions to Obama, he's smashing a hard-fought-for tradition, and I believe it will bite the Democratic Party in the behind big-time after he's gone.

    I want there to be a viable Democratic party (5.00 / 0) (#65)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:34:27 AM EST
    after this election. Not entering the public financing system makes that more likely.

    Unlike many other liberals, I do not have a hangup about money in politics, and I personally find McCain-Feingold to be a little stupid. Running a national campaign costs big money.


    I agree with this: (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Lil on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:41:36 AM EST
    "Not entering the public financing system makes that more likely." I don't want Dems to give up their financial advantage when we have a chance to win big, for a change.

    But if both sides played by the same rules, couldn't it be done in more frugal manner and less BS spouted about, with less big money donors having an unfair influence.

    Until it is institutionalized however, I don't think Obama should give up one cent of an advantage to McCain. No way the Republicans would do that if the situation were reversed.


    Wrong (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by Pol C on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:56:16 AM EST
    Reagan adhered to the level playing field principle in 1980 and 1984, and he didn't have to.

    George Bush the Elder adhered to the level playing field principle in 1988 and 1992, and he didn't have to.

    George W. Bush adhered to the level playing field principle in 2000 and 2004, and he didn't have to.

    The Republicans have foregone this advantage when they didn't have to. They were shamed into doing it, and thanks to Obama, they can be shamed no more.


    O.K. (none / 0) (#108)
    by Lil on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:57:51 AM EST
    absolutely (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:41:57 AM EST
    to hell with public financing.  what we really need in american politics is more multi-millionaires.



    Your snark is stupid (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:47:45 AM EST
    Some people think, for example, that multi-millionaires like Bill and Hillary Clinton should not even be allowed to fund their own campaigns with their own money.  

    look (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:50:38 AM EST
    you have two choices.  public financing or our government being run by a millionaires club.
    I am not saying unilateral disarmament.
    but McCain would have been the perfect person to make a deal about public financing with.
    it has to start with someone somewhere.

    Two Choices, My Foot (5.00 / 0) (#170)
    by daring grace on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:06:24 AM EST
    Just because that's the way the funding universe has previously been configured doesn't mean that's the ONLY way it can be drawn.

    I'm not starry eyed about Obama and I can see ways his methods can be improved upon. But drawing the number of tiny donations over the long haul that he has so far is another kind of 'public financing'. It's a start.

    Can it be improved on? Sure. So can the institutional public financing system. Maybe the people so intent on beating up Obama on this issue could also put some of that energy into making a better system that works.


    thats right (none / 0) (#93)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:48:40 AM EST
    people like me

    Well, in my opinion you support (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:50:42 AM EST
    an authoritarian restriction on speech.

    The Democratic Party isn't going anywhere... (none / 0) (#95)
    by Pol C on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:49:44 AM EST
    ...regardless of how this election turns out. At the very least, it will continue to have majorities in the House and Senate. Obama did not have to do this to maintain the viability of the Democratic Party, and he had a solid shot of beating McCain without taking this step, which I insist is going to be disastrous in the long term.

    There's not much (none / 0) (#94)
    by mikeyleigh on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:49:01 AM EST
    that's honorable about an "arms race" in poltics either.  Obama is the first major party candidate sincce 1976 to opt out of public financing.  What makes him different than Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton, Gore and Kerry?

    What makes him different (none / 0) (#175)
    by americanincanada on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:12:12 AM EST
    is the 'hope'.

    And the fact that he spends campaign money like a drunken sailor.

    If his small donors had deeper pockets and committment beyond 'the one', the DNC would not be in financial straits right now.


    Heh. (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by Fabian on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:19:27 AM EST
    Read some of the replies.  One was classic Team O rhetoric - a variant of "Obama knows best.  It is not for us to question his decisions.".

    Also this one, a direct quote: "Win first, worry about that later.".


    Heh (none / 0) (#71)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:37:14 AM EST
    I agree with BTD on this.  It will cause some political embarrassment when juxtaposed with the DNC's lawsuit against McCain, though.

    So much for campaign reform (none / 0) (#115)
    by stefystef on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:02:20 AM EST
    I guess the one with the most money will be the winner.  Only the wealthy and those connected to the wealthy will be able to run for any office in this country.

    McCain is stuck with his promise for only use Public Financing, but that doesn't seem to bother the Republicans.  It leaves more money for the RNC and the 527's.  

    They might end pretty evenly matched (none / 0) (#137)
    by goldberry on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:14:41 AM EST
    Obama is not going to rake in as much money as he hoped from the other 18 million of us who he fails to acknowledge but from whom he wants contribuions and checks.  Nah. Gah. Happa until he and Dean start honoring Clinton and holding the convention in a conventional manner with floor fights, speeches for Clinton and roll call votes.  
    So, at the end of the day, Obama and McCain might well have the same amount of money but there will be the juggernaut of the GOP 527's behind McCain.  

    What? (none / 0) (#174)
    by tek on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:10:31 AM EST
    Haven't you noticed that only monied people can get office in this country since the Gilded Age?  U. S. Grant (and Bill Clinton--that pesky guy) were the last presidents elected by the public who weren't millionaires.

    I am shocked. (none / 0) (#118)
    by Faust on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:03:01 AM EST

    Glenn Reynolds, blogger, on WNYC just said good (none / 0) (#144)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:22:08 AM EST
    for Obama to opt out. (Yes, that blogger.)

    Says this will be the death of campaign finance reform, that no one will be able to get more reform through and what exists just may be voted down.

    He sees nothing but good coming from what he calls Obama's hypocritical pragmatism.

    If the party supporting campaign public financing can't get its nominee to take the public financing, what's the good of it?

    Heh. Someone just mentioned "Tony Rezko bundling" as a major source of Obama's campaign finance. Only disclosure can keep this under control--and that's worked so well....

    Reynolds wants unlimited donations, but with disclosure.  Money makes the political world go round. Or, shorten electioneering time, so less money can be spent.

    Just wondering... (none / 0) (#161)
    by lentinel on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:48:48 AM EST
    Is there any kind of finance proposal that would put people like Kucinich on the same playing field as people like Obama and Clinton who can raise gazzilions?

    Until all candidates are required to be given equal treatment by the media - and not afforded priority according to their "vialbility" ($$$$$$$$), we will continue to have corporate representatives as our candidates.

    serious question here (none / 0) (#191)
    by tben on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:49:43 AM EST
    How would that work - giving all candidates equal media time, by law?

    I just decided to run for President. Do I get equal time with someone like Hillary?

    Pretty cool, eh? Another 100000 people also just declared, since they want their moment in the media sunshine too. Do they all get equal time?

    How do you put Kucinich on the same level as Obama and Clinton, but not me too? How about Gravel?


    To those that have offered (none / 0) (#204)
    by Elporton on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:31:06 PM EST
    some derivative of an argument that the end of victory is more important than the means of achieving it, then let's dispense with the pretense that this candidate somehow transcends the ways of the past and magically will bring us all together as a better people through his powers of oration.

    He's proven that he'll do anything to win, even if he doesn't need to do it, as in this case.  Does anyone really believe that Obama can't beat McCain using only public funding?  And if we don't take a principled stand now, then when?

    It's called who cares...... (none / 0) (#205)
    by Kefa on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:06:36 PM EST
    just win.