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Biggirl
06-19-2008, 08:05 AM
What there is of the story here. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25259863/)

I don't think a major candidate has ever done this and it speaks volumes about how much money he has raised. My understanding is that the public fund comes with rules about how a campaign can be run-- the biggest, I think, is the equal time rule.

So. . . what exactly are the rules attached to public fund monies? What effects will this have on both McCain and Obama's strategy?

Whack-a-Mole
06-19-2008, 08:12 AM
IIRC Obama had said that he would opt into the public funding if the McCain campaign would do the same (and last I read it looked like they probably would). That article does not mention if McCain chose one way or another but I thought Obama's decision kind of silly since the public funding route limits total money raised or spent (lots of fiddly details on the program (http://www.fec.gov/info/pfund.htm) ). If Obama was out-raising McCain handily then evening things up in the manner would only help McCain. Glad to see Obama opted out.

John Mace
06-19-2008, 09:41 AM
Obama is late to the game. From February:

McCain presses Obama on public financing (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23257223/)

"I propose a meaningful agreement in good faith that results in real spending limits," Obama wrote. He laid out a series of conditions, including, perhaps, limiting how much money McCain can spend for the general election while the race for the Democratic nomination continues.

"That's Washington doublespeak," McCain responded. "I committed to public financing. He committed to public financing. It's not any more complicated than that. I'll keep my word, and I want him to keep his."

Captain Amazing
06-19-2008, 09:46 AM
That article does not mention if McCain chose one way or another. ..

McCain has been trying to get out of public financing, but he's had two problems. The first is that he's already opted into the program, during the primaries, and to get out requires the permission of the FEC. Because of a nomination fight between Bush and the Senate, the FEC doesn't currently have a quorum (It only has two current members out of six), so it can't make any decisions.

His second problem is that, while he hasn't spent any public funds yet, McCain used the promise of public funds for collateral to guarantee a bank loan to his campaign. So, the FEC, if and when it gets a quorum, could rule that he's benefitted from the publ;ic funding system and not let him out of it.

Marley23
06-19-2008, 09:52 AM
I'm not surprised at all. Based on the primaries - assuming his base, generally, is not tapped out - Obama could raise twice that much by November standing on his head. So he's likely to have a very big fundraising advantage, and, as the Times points out, the question is how well will the RNC do at narrowing the gap, since it has been more successful at raising money than the DNC.

Diogenes the Cynic
06-19-2008, 10:09 AM
McCain only wants Obama to agree to public funding because Obama is kicking his ass at fundraising. Is Obama breaking a pledge? Sure, but he'd be an idiot not to. He's out-raising the old fuck by more than 2-1. He'd have to have shit for brains not to press that advantage and McCain's sanctimonious call to stick to public funding is not only transparently self-serving (he'd never say that if he wasn't getting buried on the fundraising), it's also hypocritical since he has every intention of benefiting from sleazy 527 ads.

Shayna
06-19-2008, 10:46 AM
I don't understand this allegation that Obama broke a pledge, or that he even pledged to take public financing in the first place. What he actually said was:

". . .If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election."All I can see him committing to there is pursuing an agreement. Their attorneys met in pursuit of that agreement. Obama campaign lawyer Robert Bauer said he had met with McCain lawyers to discuss terms for both campaigns operating in the public financing system, but he said they could not agree on how to limit spending by the campaigns and outside groups heading into the late summer party conventions. So a pledge was made to pursue an agreement. An agreement was pursued, yet wasn't reached. How is that a broken pledge?

Marley23
06-19-2008, 10:49 AM
Wasn't there the matter of that form he'd signed a year or two earlier where he said he'd take public financing? If memory serves, Shayna, I think it's pretty clear he was shading from that initial position (which was taken before he knew his monthly fundraising totals were going to look like the box office returns for Pirates of the Caribbean 3) to this inevitable opting-out.

ralph124c
06-19-2008, 10:51 AM
The big reason for opting out-public financing will expose Obama's main contributors. people might not be pleased to hear that he's been getting money from the American Sugar Association, the Trial lawyers of America, AIPAC, the Insurance Institute of America, etc.
So much for 'reform"!

Diogenes the Cynic
06-19-2008, 10:56 AM
The big reason for opting out-public financing will expose Obama's main contributors. people might not be pleased to hear that he's been getting money from the American Sugar Association, the Trial lawyers of America, AIPAC, the Insurance Institute of America, etc.
So much for 'reform"!
The reason he wants out is because he's destroying McCain in the fundraising race, mostly from small, private contributers like me.

Squink
06-19-2008, 10:56 AM
Good on Obama!
When asked to play by the Marquess of Queensberry rules, it's important to determine whether your opponent intends to play by them, or not.
This WSJ piece from April makes it look as though McCain does not:
New McCain Fund Gets Around Donation Limits (http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/04/19/new-mccain-fund-gets-around-donation-limits/?mod=WSJBlog)

RTFirefly
06-19-2008, 11:00 AM
As I see it, the problem with money in politics is as follows:

1) You've got to get votes from one group of people in order to get elected.

2) You've got to get money from another group of people in order to reach those voters, in order to get elected.

To the extent that the goals of your financiers undermine your willingness to act on behalf of the goals of your voters, money in politics is a problem.

For the GOP, this has always been less of a problem: they've always been the party on the side of the corporate interests regardless. For the Dems, it's always been a pretty big problem, because when they raise money from big donors, the big donors generally aren't nearly as eager for easier union organizing, universal health care, better health and safety regulation, etc. as their voters are.

Obama's eluded this tension by raising incredible quantities of money from small donors. ISTM that he's accomplished the goal of campaign finance reform by other means. So I have no problem with his opting out of the system.

jayjay
06-19-2008, 11:15 AM
The big reason for opting out-public financing will expose Obama's main contributors. people might not be pleased to hear that he's been getting money from the American Sugar Association, the Trial lawyers of America, AIPAC, the Insurance Institute of America, etc.
So much for 'reform"!

Since this IS Great Debates...cite?

DSeid
06-19-2008, 11:38 AM
Meh. Both are equally insincere here.

McCain had said last year (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17417007/) that he "will opt out of the post-Watergate presidential public financing system unless the Democratic nominee agrees to campaign under the same financial restrictions" and is only not doing so because he has found that he cannot raise so much and needs the public dollars. Those spending restrictions won't effect him as he doesn't have it to spend. The money that will be spent on him is in the RNC coffers, not in his campaign funds, and if I understand correctly that can still be spent.

Meanwhile Obama is not (http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/19/obama.public.financing/index.html) opting out because "the public financing of presidential elections as it exists today is broken, and we face opponents who've become masters at gaming this broken system." He is opting out because right now his machine is a fundraising juggernaut and is likely to become even more leviathan as Clinton's deeper pocket supporters line up behind him as well. It would be foolish for him to not fully exploit that advantage. No, no promise was broken, no commitment was explicitly made, Marley, wiggle room was carefully preserved as indeed he had merely promised to "pursue an agreement", but be real. McCain wants to offset Obama's fundraising advantage in any way he can and Obama wants to exploit it. To expect anything different would be naive. That's all there is to it.

Marley23
06-19-2008, 11:45 AM
At the Democratic debates I am sure Obama was asked about a pledge he'd signed earlier. It's not a big deal to me either way: you knew the "negotiations" weren't going to go anywhere and he was going to opt out. Taking public financing would have been a big mistake for him.

Gangster Octopus
06-19-2008, 11:45 AM
McCain wants to offset Obama's fundraising advantage in any way he can and Obama wants to exploit it. To expect anything different would be naive. That's all there is to it.

Winner. Thread over.

Renob
06-19-2008, 12:09 PM
The big reason for opting out-public financing will expose Obama's main contributors. people might not be pleased to hear that he's been getting money from the American Sugar Association, the Trial lawyers of America, AIPAC, the Insurance Institute of America, etc.
So much for 'reform"!
No. Public funding or no public funding, campaigns must release the names of all donors who give above a certain amount (I think something like $200).

Biggirl
06-19-2008, 01:09 PM
"I propose a meaningful agreement in good faith that results in real spending limits," Obama wrote. He laid out a series of conditions, including, perhaps, limiting how much money McCain can spend for the general election while the race for the Democratic nomination continues.

"That's Washington doublespeak," McCain responded. "I committed to public financing. He committed to public financing. It's not any more complicated than that. I'll keep my word, and I want him to keep his."

So Obama proposed spending limits outside of public funding way back in January and McCain told him to go piss up a rope?

And now that he is stuck with public funding, McCain is saying Obama is reneging on a promise that McCain turned down? Even though he (McCain) tried to get out of public funding a long time ago but couldn't because he borrowed against the money and Bush feels like sticking it to the FEC?

Seriously? I've missed something, haven't I.

Shayna
06-19-2008, 01:26 PM
At the Democratic debates I am sure Obama was asked about a pledge he'd signed earlier. It's not a big deal to me either way: you knew the "negotiations" weren't going to go anywhere and he was going to opt out. Taking public financing would have been a big mistake for him. My recollection, which very well could be faulty, is that it was an aide who filled out a "check the box-style" questionnaire on Obama's behalf. And when he was asked about that questionnaire during the debate, he explained its format and the inability to apply meaningful nuance to any of the answers, then proceeded to explain the terms under which he would be agreeable to discussing public financing should he become the nominee.

I still think he fulfilled that "promise". I'll see if I can find any confirmation of my fuzzy recall.

VarlosZ
06-19-2008, 01:32 PM
I don't yet have an opinion about this matter, though I am an Obama supporter.

One thing I will comment on, however, is that, if the shoe were on the other foot, this is exactly the sort of thing that would send this forum into a tizzy -- and I think you guys know it, too. As it is, so far I've got it about 7:1 for Obama here if you count the posts that come down explicitly on one side or another.

Seriously, imagine a universe in which McCain opts out of public financing. Now imagine a thread in GD overwhelmingly defending the move. It's just not plausible, I don't think.

Captain Amazing
06-19-2008, 01:38 PM
I still think he fulfilled that "promise". I'll see if I can find any confirmation of my fuzzy recall.

Here's the Washington Post's Candidate Fact Checker about the Obama pledge.

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/02/the_obama_pledge.html

In part:

After the FEC issued its ruling, the rhetoric became less equivocal. On March 1, Burton challenged Republican candidates to follow McCain and agree to public financing. He said that Obama, if nominated, would "aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election."

Many newspapers, including the Washington Post and the New York Times, interpreted this Burton statement as a commitment to accept public financing in the event of an Obama-McCain race. As far as I can tell, the Obama campaign made no effort to dispel this impression. His enthusiasm for public financing was a way of distinguishing himself from his rival Hillary Clinton, who was raising much more private money at the time.

The campaign went even further in answers to a questionnaire sent to the various political campaigns in September 2007 by the Midwest Democracy Network. The questionnaire posed a very simple question to the candidates: "If you are nominated for President in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in the presidential public financing system?"

You can read Obama's response here. The candidate highlighted the simple answer "Yes" and elaborated as follows:

In February 2007, I proposed a novel way to preserve the strength of the public financing system in the 2008 election. My plan requires both major party candidates to agree on a fundraising truce, return excess money from donors, and stay within the public financing system for the general election. My proposal followed announcements by some presidential candidates that they would forgo public financing so they could raise unlimited funds in the general election. The Federal Election Commission ruled the proposal legal, and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has already pledged to accept this fundraising pledge. If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.

When I asked Burton about this yesterday, he said that Obama would address the issue of public financing when he becomes the Democratic nominee and that it is premature to decide the matter now.

Diogenes the Cynic
06-19-2008, 01:43 PM
I don't yet have an opinion about this matter, though I am an Obama supporter.

One thing I will comment on, however, is that, if the shoe were on the other foot, this is exactly the sort of thing that would send this forum into a tizzy -- and I think you guys know it, too. As it is, so far I've got it about 7:1 for Obama here if you count the posts that come down explicitly on one side or another.

Seriously, imagine a universe in which McCain opts out of public financing. Now imagine a thread in GD overwhelmingly defending the move. It's just not plausible, I don't think.
I would say exactly the same thing I'm saying now. That he was breaking a pledge (or at least the appearance of a pledge), but that he'd be an idiot not to. I think the "if the shoe was on the other foot" is specious in this case. This board is not that mindlessly disingenuous.

Biggirl
06-19-2008, 01:45 PM
Oh, I see what I was missing! Not getting public funding is a BAD thing. I didn't know that.

I suppose it's because you no longer have to follow government rules for campaign finances-- yes?

And here I was feeling all sorry for McCain because Bush stepped on his dick in this matter. Now I see he's doing McCain a favor.

Beadalin
06-19-2008, 01:47 PM
No. Public funding or no public funding, campaigns must release the names of all donors who give above a certain amount (I think something like $200).Yes. This is what it says on the Donation page of Obama's website:
To comply with Federal law, we must use best efforts to obtain, maintain, and submit the name, mailing address, occupation and name of employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 per calendar year.

Shodan
06-19-2008, 01:50 PM
This board is not that mindlessly disingenuous.
BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!


Regards,
Shodan

elucidator
06-19-2008, 01:50 PM
I don't want a secular saint to offer in sacrifice to the Pubbie machine. I want someone who will fight to win, because we need to win. As has already been noted, McCain has no standing to cry about hypocrisy, he has already played fast and loose with the rules, and I have no doubt that he will, substantially, get away with it.

Marley23
06-19-2008, 01:50 PM
My recollection, which very well could be faulty, is that it was an aide who filled out a "check the box-style" questionnaire on Obama's behalf. And when he was asked about that questionnaire during the debate, he explained its format and the inability to apply meaningful nuance to any of the answers, then proceeded to explain the terms under which he would be agreeable to discussing public financing should he become the nominee.

I still think he fulfilled that "promise". I'll see if I can find any confirmation of my fuzzy recall.
That's what I was remembering. McCain's people are already calling Obama a liar and saying there were no negotiations. I don't particularly believe them, but I'm just saying that this outcome was a certainty.

Diogenes the Cynic
06-19-2008, 01:50 PM
BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!


Regards,
ShodanWell, there are notable exceptions.

Shodan
06-19-2008, 01:52 PM
There certainly are. There certainly are.

Regards,
Shodan

elucidator
06-19-2008, 01:54 PM
We are remiss if we do not congratulate Shodan for his cogent and carefully reasoned post. A beacon to us all.

Squink
06-19-2008, 01:59 PM
Even though he (McCain) tried to get out of public funding a long time ago but couldn't because he borrowed against the money and Bush feels like sticking it to the FEC?That story's not over yet:
Democrats Say They Will Seek to Force Probe of McCain Funding (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601070&sid=ai2lraISErJs&refer=home) (June 17)

Liberal
06-19-2008, 02:03 PM
McCain has been spending private money since February for what is basically a general election campaign. What a disingenuous crybaby twit he is to whine about Obama.

Shayna
06-19-2008, 02:11 PM
Well, this article in the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/15/us/politics/15finance.html), says that John McCain withdrew first, in anticipation that Obama "would find a way to retreat." Published: February 15, 2008

. . . "On Tuesday, one of Mr. McCain’s advisers told The New York Times that the campaign had decided to forgo public financing in the general election, an awkward admission for a senator who has made campaign finance reform a central part of his political persona.

That adviser was speaking on the assumption that Mr. Obama, who has broken all records in political fund-raising and is currently drawing more than $1 million a day, would find a way to retreat from the pledge in order to outspend his opponent in the fall by far. . . What a load of crap.

They go on to repeatedly blame and finger-point at Obama, this being all his fault, you know, in spite of not even being the nominee at that point. But then at the end, we get to the part about the questionnaire. I did recall incorrectly -- he did put that caveat right on the questionnaire, and it clearly didn't make or imply a "commitment". Mr. Wertheimer also pointed to one of Mr. Obama’s responses to a questionnaire released in November by the Midwest Democracy Network, an alliance of 20 civic and public-interest groups in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Asked if he would participate in the public-financing system if he was nominated for president and his major opponents agreed to do the same, Mr. Obama wrote yes. Then he added, also in writing, “If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.” So, I found the actual questionnaire (http://www.midwestdemocracynetwork.org/templates/media/PresidentialQuestionnaire.pdf) (pdf file), complete with answers from Hillary Clinton, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Barack Obama and Ron Paul. Here are some excerpts: Question I-A:
As President, would you support and work to enact legislation to strengthen, keep the same, or
repeal the presidential public financing system?

Strengthen ___ Keep the same ___ Repeal ___

CLINTON: No response.
HUCKABEE: No response.
MCCAIN: No response.
OBAMA: Strengthen
PAUL: No response.

Question I-B:
If you are nominated for President in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in the presidential public financing system?

Yes ___ No ___

CLINTON: No response.
HUCKABEE: No response.
MCCAIN: No response.
OBAMA: Yes. I have been a long-time advocate for public financing of campaigns combined with free television and radio time as a way to reduce the influence of moneyed special interests. I introduced public financing legislation in the Illinois State Senate, and am the only 2008 candidate to have sponsored Senator Russ Feingold’s (D-WI) bill to reform the presidential public financing system. In February 2007, I proposed a novel way to preserve the strength of the public financing system in the 2008 election. My plan requires both major party candidates to agree on a fundraising truce, return excess money from donors, and stay within the public financing system for the general election. My proposal followed announcements by some presidential candidates that they would forgo public financing so they could raise unlimited funds in the general election. The Federal Election Commission ruled the proposal legal, and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has already pledged to accept this fundraising pledge. If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.

PAUL: No response. Well, there you have it. I flat out don't see any reneging on any commitments here. In February 2007 he made a proposal, not a promise. He came up with a plan that required agreement between the parties. That agreement was pursued by his legal team, but McCain did not agree to the terms. This is all just another political smear job by the McCain camp.

Barack Obama is 100% right and John McCain is a lying weasel.

Beadalin
06-19-2008, 02:26 PM
Here's a video (https://donate.barackobama.com/page/contribute/bignews?source=20080619_PF_D1_G) from Obama explaining why his campaign is opting out of public funding.

Sent in an email to, I believe, people who have donated to his campaign.

Liberal
06-19-2008, 02:29 PM
Good work, Shayna! Wow. McCain is the sleaziest pig I've seen in a long time.

BJMoose
06-19-2008, 02:47 PM
What's the point of having a public campaign financing system if folks can ignore it?

I'd rather Sen. Obama go the public route but, alas, he's hardly the first candidate to "opt out". The real fault lies in the campaign finance law itself. Either make it mandatory, or kill it.

VarlosZ
06-19-2008, 02:55 PM
I would say exactly the same thing I'm saying now. That he was breaking a pledge (or at least the appearance of a pledge), but that he'd be an idiot not to. I think the "if the shoe was on the other foot" is specious in this case. This board is not that mindlessly disingenuous.
There may be a handful of exceptions, but I don't think the board is disingenuous (mindlessly or otherwise). I think the board is biased, which is inevitable and not really detractive at all.

Liberal
06-19-2008, 02:55 PM
McCain seems to be all over the place (http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/02/26/dems.mccain.financing/index.html) with this. In and out and in again.

Gangster Octopus
06-19-2008, 04:01 PM
I am outraged that Obama saved the American taxpayer $80 million.

Beadalin
06-19-2008, 04:27 PM
I am outraged that Obama saved the American taxpayer $80 million.So what happens to these funds when they go unused? Do they move into another pot, or sit there until the next election cycle?

What the .... ?!?!
06-19-2008, 06:00 PM
I would say exactly the same thing I'm saying now. That he was breaking a pledge (or at least the appearance of a pledge), but that he'd be an idiot not to. I think the "if the shoe was on the other foot" is specious in this case. This board is not that mindlessly disingenuous.

Gosh I expected so much more from the candidate of change that we can believe in! :rolleyes:

Liberal
06-19-2008, 06:21 PM
Gosh I expected so much more from the candidate of change that we can believe in!It's a pretty big change. He's the first candidate in 30 years not to fleece taxpayers for his own political gain.

DSeid
06-19-2008, 06:32 PM
So what happens to these funds when they go unused? Do they move into another pot, or sit there until the next election cycle?
They sit there until the next election cycle.

Cisco
06-19-2008, 07:51 PM
This board is not that mindlessly disingenuous.
Are you even being serious with that? Look, I'm left-leaning on most issues and I plan to vote for Obama, but this board is so blindly, rabidly left-biased that I read most of the political threads here and can't do anything but sit back and laugh.

elucidator
06-19-2008, 07:59 PM
How very odd! According to my equally unbiased anaylsis, the Board isn't left leaning enough! And I am a moderate centrist as well, having just said so.

Diogenes the Cynic
06-19-2008, 08:22 PM
Are you even being serious with that? Look, I'm left-leaning on most issues and I plan to vote for Obama, but this board is so blindly, rabidly left-biased that I read most of the political threads here and can't do anything but sit back and laugh.
There's a difference between being biased and being disingenuous. One can have an ideological or political preference without having a double standard.

Cisco
06-19-2008, 08:45 PM
There's a difference between being biased and being disingenuous. One can have an ideological or political preference without having a double standard.
Right, but to say this situation would get the same treatment if it were reversed is very disingenuous.

Diogenes the Cynic
06-19-2008, 09:27 PM
Right, but to say this situation would get the same treatment if it were reversed is very disingenuous.
No, I believe it's the truth. This board does not have that kind of history.

What the .... ?!?!
06-20-2008, 10:25 AM
No, I believe it's the truth. This board does not have that kind of history.
Cite!!!

What the .... ?!?!
06-20-2008, 10:30 AM
There's a difference between being biased and being disingenuous. One can have an ideological or political preference without having a double standard.
Maybe one can but not many more than that.

Unless of course you are a journalist, because as we all know, the liberally biased journalists are able to put that aside and report fairly.

Either that or not report at all as the three major networks seem to be doing (not doing) on the Countrywide Friends of Angelo "scandal"

You want a cite ? How can I cite a negative?

Gozu
06-20-2008, 10:34 AM
Diogenes, one must not underestimate the role of Physical attractiveness in the choice of presidents. Clearly, Kennedy was more handsome than Nixon, iteratively:
Reagan>everyone
Bush Sr > that loser
Clinton > Bush Sr
Gore = W
W > Kerry
Obama > Mac.

It's a done deal, BOOYA!

BrainGlutton
06-20-2008, 10:39 AM
Bear in mind that this is predominantly an American board, and what is "left" here is "right" in most of the world.

Cisco
06-20-2008, 11:12 AM
Bear in mind that this is predominantly an American board, and what is "left" here is "right" in most of the world.
Fiscally, probably, but we are the premier capitalist government in the world, so that shouldn't be any surprise. Most of the world is not socially left of our left.

MrDibble
06-20-2008, 11:27 AM
I think it's generally more accurate to say y'all have a center to the right of our centre.