Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

Is anyone shocked that the Obama campaign re-opened their PAC and started using it to dole out contributions in the early states?  If this is not PAC-cynicism of the FEC regulations, nothing is:

in recent months, Obama has handed out more than $180,000 from the nearly dormant PAC to local Democratic groups and candidates in the key early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, campaign reports show.
This is a pretty serious issue that Obama is going to have to confront. Maybe it's not a violation of the letter of the law (because since when is the letter enforced?), but it sure is a violation of the spirt of the law-- especially for a candidate that vows to not accept PAC money.

I know we had discussions with Warner's Forward Together PAC about spending it down before the campaign started. Obama is stretching the rule to claim that his presidential campaign and his PAC activities have "no affiliation", especially given that 68% of the PAC's contributions are going toward officials in the states where his is campaigning 80% of the time.

Already on the attack, here's the Clinton PR:

Clinton Campaign Responds To New Revelations About Obama Campaign Finance Practices

In response to a report this morning in the Washington Post revealing that Senator Obama's leadership PAC has given the majority of its campaign contributions to officials and committees in the early nominating states, the Clinton campaign released the following statement:

This morning, we learned that Senator Obama has been using his leadership PAC to give political contributions to officials in the early primary states.  In fact, 68 percent of contributions from his PAC have gone to those in states that are scheduled to hold nominating contests on February 5th or earlier.

It is our understanding that a candidate's campaign is barred from using the candidate's leadership PAC to benefit his or her campaign which is why we shut down HillPAC when Senator Clinton announced her run for the White House.

On the campaign trail, Senator Obama is outspoken about his desire to reform the campaign finance system so it was surprising to learn that he has been using his PAC in a manner that appears to be inconsistent with the prevailing election laws.  Considering how often Senator Obama talks about his efforts to be transparent, we presume he will answer the following questions regarding the behavior of his PAC:

1. Who decided what contributions would be made by Hopefund?

2. Did any presidential campaign staff, consultants or advisors participate in any discussions about Hopefund contributions?  Who?

3. Did the decision-makers know who was endorsing the presidential campaign?  If so, how did they find this out?

4. Who told Hopefund which Iowa and New Hampshire candidates and committees should get contributions?

5. Are there any overlapping employees, consultants and advisors between Hopefund and the presidential campaign?

6. The Washington Post article suggests that Hopefund was dormant earlier in the year. Who made the decision to start making contributions again and on what basis was that decision made?

The FEC will not likely bear teeth on anything that a candidate does with their PAC, but at least one of it's former members speaks the truth, and even Romney's campaign understands the law:"At this stage of the race, for a presidential candidate, it is a brazen effort to use every avenue to influence an election,"Cooper said. "I can't believe the Obama people can keep a straight face and claim these aren't part of the presidential race." .."The federal election laws don't allow you to have a PAC subsidize a campaign. We wanted to make sure we followed the law," Romney spokesman Matt Rhoades said in explaining why the Commonwealth PAC stopped making donations after Romney joined the presidential race.Obama's hopemongering mocks the FEC regulations of campaigns to a new low.

Tags: Barack Obama (all tags)

Comments

149 Comments

Re: Obama mocks the FEC

I hope the media picks up on this.  Over the past few weeks, I have lost all trust in Barack Obama. I'm a Hillary supporter but I always liked and trusted Obama; I just didn't feel he was ready for the Presidency in 2008.  Today, my feelings about Obama range from disgust to fear.  

by samueldem 2007-11-26 07:50AM | 0 recs
bullshit

you never liked him. He has broken no laws. Just support your candidate positively and don't resort to any negativity.

by rapcetera 2007-11-26 09:20AM | 0 recs
Re: bullshit

Hey Jerome, think it's time you apologized for this POS post?  Too bad you bought Hillary and the Post's BS reporting.

Check this out: http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1 107/Obamas_defense.html

by Dem in Dallas 2007-11-26 01:17PM | 0 recs
Re: bullshit

I read the article. This is what it says

Obama's response to Clinton's attack today quoted his lawyer, Bob Bauer, saying, "Senator Clinton's attack is completely meritless. These donations did not in any way violate the law."

It was unclear to me whether Bauer was denying that Obama or his campaign staff had directed the PAC to give to early state politicians to bolster his campaign; or whether he was denying that doing that would be illegal.

I talked to Bauer this afternoon, and his answer is the latter: It would have been legal for the the campaign to coordinate with the PAC, he argued.

The campaign hasn't responded to my question of whether campaign officials steered the contributions to the early states, and Bauer said he didn't know the details of the situation, but offered a hypothetical:

"Let's assume that Barack Obama made a request to have Hopefund make a contribution to Jones in Iowa, and let's assume the question of the contribution was raised with [campaign manager] David Plouffe," he said. "It isn't illegal. It's not a coordinated public communication, it's not a coordinated expenditure of any kind, it's a contribution to a candidates."

The heart of this issue isn't whether the action is legal or illegal the issue is whether or not the PAC actions are ethical.

The hypothetical the Obama campaign sets up is essentially :

PAC: Is it okay with the campaign if we do this to help Obama win the primary?

Obama Campaign Manager: Well...it's not illegal wink wink

Seems shady to me. No offense. I think the Edwards campaign should pounce here considering that Obama basically stole the whole "clean up Washington" meme and slightly spun it.

by world dictator 2007-11-26 01:40PM | 0 recs
I support John Edwards, but

I'm not going to criticize someone for giving money to other Democrats.

John Edwards goes out and raises money for Democrats across the country--in places like North Dakota.

Part of being a party leader is helping other party members.

by CarolinaNumber23 2007-11-26 01:43PM | 0 recs
I have a question

Did his PAC take money from lobbyists? That is, is he wooing
pols with money from K-Street?

I agree with what someone said, though. John Solomon is a cancer. I'd like to see a follow up from someone else.

by david mizner 2007-11-26 09:35AM | 0 recs
Didn't Solomon do the

"John Edwards makes money and has a nice house, so he must hate poor people" articles?

The guy is in the tank for Clinton--he just reprints her opposition research.

by CarolinaNumber23 2007-11-26 01:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

hehe!

Wow!

The young prince of campaign finance stoops to a new low!

come let us have that obambi smirk!  

Or is it going to be "I do not think this belongs to the 101 of real reform class".

This is a "o'boom" campaign need!

by pate 2007-11-26 07:53AM | 0 recs
Please

If anyone is going to attack Obama on this, it better not be Hillary Clinton. Her campaign has a huge asterisk when it comes to money influence in politics. Hello, didn't she settle Vilsack's debt? Hsu? Dishwashers in NYC? C'mon.

Ah, better attack now, it's tea party time.

by rosebowl 2007-11-26 08:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Please

The dishwasher story was complete BS. Questionable donations were returned 4 months before LA Times even picked up the story.

Hsu donations were given back - over 800K.

by sepulvedaj3 2007-11-26 08:18AM | 0 recs
Didn't hear about the counter to the LA Times stor

do you have any links on reports that the money was returned before the LA Times story came out?  Thanks.

by edgery 2007-11-26 09:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Didn't hear about the counter to the LA Times

As with the warnings it dismissed about the mega-bundles being brought in by fundraiser Norman Hsu, the Clinton campaign saw the red flags here. After the April fundraiser, when some of the donors' stated occupations seemed out of line with the amounts they were giving, the Clinton campaign wrote to contributors asking them to confirm that the money was their own. In the case of seven $1,000 contributions, donors did not respond and their checks were returned, according to the campaign.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2007/10/21/AR2007102101069. html

by sepulvedaj3 2007-11-26 09:10AM | 0 recs
But in June -

didn't Hillary's CA office negate warnings that Hsu was a fraud?
Even after Hsu was identified as a fugitive, Hillary refused to return the donations - UNTIL she knew the FBI was investigating.

by annefrank 2007-11-26 09:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Please

At least Clinton is not a hypocrite. She told it like it is: I'm going to take money from A to Z, take it or leave it.

by RJEvans 2007-11-26 08:19AM | 0 recs
Like Vilsack?
by horizonr 2007-11-26 02:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Please

Hillary directed Hsu to donate to politicians in early and key primary states --

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articl es/2007/09/26/hsu_raised_big_money_for_c linton_supporters/

Hsu also donated thousands to Obama.

by annefrank 2007-11-26 08:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Please

I have to admit that I take perverse pleasure in all of this.  I'm even more pleased to read of Hillary's fundraising misconduct.

Now is the time for these candidates to learn how to circumvent the FEC laws while maintaining a facade of honesty and idealism.

Whether its Hillary or Obama, I want our candidate to be battle ready for the general.

by Dr Octagon 2007-11-26 09:08AM | 0 recs
Hillary & Obama have been deceptive
throughout this campaign season.
John Edwards will be a great President!
by annefrank 2007-11-26 09:42AM | 0 recs
time to hatchet Obama now

huh Jerome, I guess his campaign isn't falling apart the way you predicted!

by nevadadem 2007-11-26 08:03AM | 0 recs
Re: time to hatchet Obama now

Always the messenger... I suppose you see nothing wrong with this?

I do, and if anyone else is doing it with their PAC as a Democratic candidate for president, they'll get the same treatment.

The FEC regulations, as they stand now, level the playing field by limiting donations. If that is disregarded, and the cap is lifted, then there goes people-powered politics to the bin of history again.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-11-26 08:09AM | 0 recs
Perhaps...

we should wait for the details.  This article...by John Solomon (formerly AP writer) is classic oppo drop, undoubtedly by the Clinton camp, given their nicely timed follow up this morning.

I'm sure you're familiar with John Solomon's work by now...time will show if this is a "questions raised" type of article or not.

by rashomon 2007-11-26 08:14AM | 0 recs
Fair enough
What did you think of the WaPo piece on Alonzo Cantu?
by Big Tent Democrat 2007-11-26 08:22AM | 0 recs
Amusing...

but more of a case of big-mouth supporters, than anything else, IHMO.  I'm sure the Clinton camp would have liked to avoid that quote (and the silly $1 a comment story) on their big oppo drop day.  Clearly, they've been reading this story...it's not an accident that it breaks the Monday after Thanksgiving.

But, we'll see.

by rashomon 2007-11-26 08:37AM | 0 recs
Not amusing
It was racist.
by Big Tent Democrat 2007-11-26 08:40AM | 0 recs
What was the racist part?

I only saw the "buying access" quote.

by rashomon 2007-11-26 08:41AM | 0 recs
I read it again...

I guess I'm still missing the racist part, unless you're thinking the article's description of Cantu is peddling in Hispanic stereotypes...

by rashomon 2007-11-26 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Not amusing

AGREED

by holden caulfield 2007-11-26 12:23PM | 0 recs
Whoops.

"readying" this story, not reading.  =)

by rashomon 2007-11-26 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: time to hatchet Obama now

Biden's doing it.

by aiko 2007-11-26 08:41AM | 0 recs
by CarolinaNumber23 2007-11-26 08:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Like you did with Mark Warner?

This is a non-story.....definitely an oppo drop.

folks go read the desmiones register article.

by aiko 2007-11-26 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: time to hatchet Obama now

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1 107/Obamas_defense.html

Or do you know ignore the truth.

MyDD is losing all credibility...

by Dem in Dallas 2007-11-26 01:19PM | 0 recs
Whatever happened to the Politics of . . .
Sheesh. Jerome posted on something substantive. If you care about this shit, and Obama screams aout this crap, then you should be outraged too. Personally, I always thought it was a phony issue. You know what it is really about - candor and trustworthiness. That chartacter thing? This is why I hate this type of phony bs - and Obama played this card. HE takes his lumps now as a hypocrite.
by Big Tent Democrat 2007-11-26 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Whatever happened to the Politics of . . .

Why is money in politics a phony issue? Yes, I know your view that we either get a perfect system as you have defined it as the past or apparently (from what I gather from your posts)  nothing, but it seems odd to call the issues raised around money in politics 'phony." I personally don't understand why Obama did this. It does look bad for him. He remains me number two choice, but this doesn't make much sense.

by bruh21 2007-11-26 08:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Whatever happened to the Politics of . . .
the lobbyidsts/PAC nonsene. I support fully publicsally funded campaigns.
by Big Tent Democrat 2007-11-26 08:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Whatever happened to the Politics of . . .

you keep saying its nonsense without giving any indication of why? thats my question, not whether you support eventualy funding,b ut whether you support leading by example now.

by bruh21 2007-11-26 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Whatever happened to the Politics of . . .

BTD,

You are holding Obama to a higher standard than others.  And why are you so "outraged" when issues like campaign finance reform, open government, corruption do not even show up on your list of key issues:

http://www.talkleft.com/story/2007/11/23 /111617/03

I have learned much from your writing but sometimes you baffle me about why you take such stands.

This diary has comments full of examples where other politicians gave to Iowa politicians from leadership funds.  It also gives examples of recipients who endorsed Clinton.

by Satya 2007-11-26 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Whatever happened to the Politics of . . .

There's a big difference between taking money from lobbyists and giving money to fellow Democrats.

by Dee 2007-11-26 10:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Whatever happened to the Politics of . . .

i think you meant to say there can be a big difference not there absolutely is.

by bruh21 2007-11-26 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Whatever happened to the Politics of . . .
either PAC money corrupts elections or it doesn't. What difference does it make what direction it flows?
Personally I do not have a problem with candidates taking PAC money.  I do have a problem with the fact that this money was so obviously passed out to  early primary states while Obama is pretending to be the No-PAC guy.  Clinton closed her PAC for the duration, what the hell is Obama thinking?
by MollieBradford 2007-11-26 02:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Whatever happened to the Politics of . . .

Right. However, Jerome has been trashing Obama from day one. When Obama released what some called the most progressive, transparent and forward-thinking technology policy proposed to date --no word from Jerome. On the subject of Obama, it is hard to take Jerome seriously--he attacks with such glee..

by aiko 2007-11-26 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Whatever happened to the Politics of . . .

Oh please icebergslim, yet another character in your repertoire.

Jerome, this one needs to be banned.

by lonnette33 2007-11-26 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Whatever happened to the Politics of . . .

Wow.  You are so paranoid.  What a dumb comment.

The user in question has a UID of under 5,000.  Icebergslim never made the seen until at least over 20,000.

Have fun with your crazy delusions, though.

by ReggieH 2007-11-26 09:12AM | 0 recs
LOL!!!! Aiko is not IceBergSlim

Jerome is anti-Obama, and has been from day one. So I take anything he says re: Obama with a grain of salt.

by rapcetera 2007-11-26 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: LOL!!!! Aiko is not IceBergSlim

Jerome isn't anti-Obama, he's anti-Axelrod, professional jealousy.

by Piuma 2007-11-26 09:46AM | 0 recs
Yeah that too....

thanks for reminding me...

by rapcetera 2007-11-26 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC

Get him Hillary.

by Regan 2007-11-26 08:07AM | 0 recs
Typical hypocrit.

by bookgrl 2007-11-26 08:08AM | 0 recs
Vilsack
by horizonr 2007-11-26 02:49PM | 0 recs
Huh?

What regulations? What law?  

by Adam B 2007-11-26 08:10AM | 0 recs
What statements?
What candor? What character? Hey, look over there, Hillary is paying for comments! You are fucking joke Adam.
by Big Tent Democrat 2007-11-26 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: What statements?

I'm serious: I can't conceive of a regulation this comes close to violating.

by Adam B 2007-11-26 08:28AM | 0 recs
It violates a campaign
that purported to be about "cleaning up politics." About how we need to worry about "lobbyists" and PACS and whatnot. It is the evidence of hypocrisy.
by Big Tent Democrat 2007-11-26 08:35AM | 0 recs
Re: It violates a campaign

How?  He had a leadership PAC.  This is what leadership PACs do. It's all disclosed, all above board.

by Adam B 2007-11-26 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: It violates a campaign

I agree. I don't see what the problem with this is. So what if Obama's leadership PAC is promoting leaders in New Hampshire or Iowa? It's not like that money's going to buy campaign commercials or to hire staffers. It's just smart politicking.

How is this any different from Obama or Clinton giving money to the DSCC? Are they bribing Chuck Schumer and the DC establishment by paying their dues?

I'm no Obama fanboy, but this is another empty smear, like the attack on Obama for wanting to go after Al-Qaeda earlier this year.

by Kal 2007-11-26 08:58AM | 0 recs
Also...

some minor elements left out of the WaPo story...like HopeFund's large contributions to CLINTON endorsees.

From a previous AP piece:

The PAC also contributed $1,000 each to Sens. Iris Estabrook, Kathleen Sgambati and Lou D'Allesandro, all of whom later endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton. The PAC gave $6,000 to Gov. John Lynch's campaign war chest; Lynch has not endorsed in the presidential contest.

Ten county Democratic committees in New Hampshire received $1,000 each from Obama's PAC and the state Democratic Party received $5,000. The Iowa Senate Majority fund and the Iowa House Truman Fund, political groups that assist local legislative candidates, received $30,000 each from the PAC. Their New Hampshire counterparts received $15,000 each.

The Hopefund also contributed to 62 Democratic senators, congressmen and federal candidates across the country in contributions ranging from $2,500 to $5,000. Among the recipients were Democratic Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Paul Hodes of New Hampshire, who received $4,000 each, and U.S. Senate candidate Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, $5,000.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/st ory/0,,-7081378,00.html

by rashomon 2007-11-26 09:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Also...

This does not disprove the idea that Obama gave money to these people in hopes of gaining their influence and just failed

by world dictator 2007-11-26 06:56PM | 0 recs
Get off your fucking high-horse Big-Tent

No laws were broken. Don't fall for the spin. Hopefund is  a leadership PAC. All leadership PAC's do this. Look into the other candidates Leadership PAC's and see for your self...

by rapcetera 2007-11-26 09:29AM | 0 recs
Re: It is AUDACITY of HYPOCRICY

by pate 2007-11-26 12:25PM | 0 recs
Re: What statements?

Wow.  You really are kind of an ass, aren't you.

by ReggieH 2007-11-26 08:43AM | 0 recs
True
You are the idiotic kind of an ass.
by Big Tent Democrat 2007-11-26 03:39PM | 0 recs
I will say again - Obama is a giant F.A.K.E.

He is smart guy who thinks he can get by on pretty talk while wearing an expensive suit.

He is a a scripted, packaged fake.

He isn't new.  He isn't fresh.  He isn't different.

He is just a another smooth talking, fast walking pol who is trying to do anything to win an election.

Why people insist on getting bamboozled by the guy I don't know. He doesn't even remotely have the experience to be POTUS.

by dpANDREWS 2007-11-26 08:10AM | 0 recs
Keep grasping at those straws

by rapcetera 2007-11-26 09:29AM | 0 recs
Vilsack
by horizonr 2007-11-26 02:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

I want to see more details on Hopefund's expenditures, but there is no two ways about it: this looks bad. Someone screwed up.

by thenew 2007-11-26 08:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

This is not the kind of decision that gets made without the candidate.  Obama had to sign off on this - or he's totally out of touch with who is running his campaign (which is worse).

by Peter from WI 2007-11-26 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

Well, if he signed off on it, then he better have a good anticipatory answer for these questions.

by thenew 2007-11-26 08:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

wish this story had legs.

it doesn't.

by General Sherman 2007-11-26 08:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

What a joke. To quote Hillary's own PR: "68 percent of contributions from his PAC have gone to those in states that are scheduled to hold nominating contests on February 5th or earlier."

Umm...that would be how many states? More than half of the states in the country, including California, New York and the Senator's home state of Illinois. Just because he's not taking any money from PAC's as a Presidential nominee doesn't mean that he shouldn't spread a little bit of the love that he's getting to lower profile allies around the country. Good on him!

by dmc2 2007-11-26 08:13AM | 0 recs
On February 5th?
Give us that calendar again.
by Big Tent Democrat 2007-11-26 08:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC
By my calculations, 61.3% of all non-super delegates will be decided by Feb 5:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_ Party_(United_States)_presidential_primaries, _2008
by Fran for Dean 2007-11-26 08:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

Well, this is what I meant about waiting to see the details.  If (1) the stat you cite is correct, AND (2) there is not a significant % going to NH, Iowa, and SC, then I will agree it is a joke. The Post article implied the big deal was a large % or more going to NH, Iowa, and SC.

by thenew 2007-11-26 08:53AM | 0 recs
Barry needs to 'plain this one

If he simply trys to blame this on a staffer and wave it away as a mistake made in the lower ranks than we will know once and for all what Obama is made up.

by dpANDREWS 2007-11-26 08:16AM | 0 recs
'Course...

we're pretty sure what your opinion is.

by rashomon 2007-11-26 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC

The bulk of donations from Obama's PAC to state and local candidates this year went to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. In addition, there were more than $60,000 in donations to national candidates in those same states, including $9,000 for Rep. Paul W. Hodes, the first member of Congress from New Hampshire to endorse Obama earlier this year.

In addition to donating to individuals, Hopefund donated to several key Democratic groups in the battleground states, including $30,000 each to the Iowa House Truman Fund and the Iowa Senate Majority Fund and $15,000 to New Hampshire's Friends of a Democratic Senate.

by Regan 2007-11-26 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC

WOW! damning...

but Obama has ALWAYS accepted donations from corporate lobbyists and PACs - until he began running for president based on "changing Washington."

by annefrank 2007-11-26 08:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC
Guess aexia didn't know corporate lobbyists and PACs have been driving Obama's political career until this year when he "changed."
Reminds me of Obama supporters who assumed that for 2 years he'd been voting against funding a war he "opposed."
by annefrank 2007-11-26 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

I guess it would be fair to say that, Jerome, you are not on the 'anybody but hillary' bandwagon yet?

Com'on aboard we are picking up steam!

by aiko 2007-11-26 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

I'm beginning to think Jerome is in fact on the Hillary bandwagon.

by ReggieH 2007-11-26 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

Well I think it is fair to say that this is a non-story that has been reported on several times over the past two months and there is concrete evidence demonstrating that Hillary donated loads of her leadership pac money as well. As did Biden, Romney, Warner ($400,000), etc.. They all gave money to local pols in the early states.

Like I said this is a non-story.  

by aiko 2007-11-26 09:37AM | 0 recs
Edwards didn't give any money

to local pols, but he did campaign with them and helped them raise campaign funds. Like Edwards did with Lamont - while Obama and the Clintons were cozying up with Lieberman.

by annefrank 2007-11-26 10:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards didn't give any money

I love Edwards...but I love Obama more.

by aiko 2007-11-26 10:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

Thank you for alerting everyone to the Obama campaign's ethical lapses.  Utilizing a dormant PAC in order to purchase support in SC, NH and IA is the height of political cynicism.  I hope his supporters will demand accountability from Obama's campaign.

by truthteller2007 2007-11-26 08:27AM | 0 recs
Vilsack
by horizonr 2007-11-26 02:51PM | 0 recs
wait a second

DMR, 10-17-06:

Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, a Democrat who was exploring a bid for his party's presidential nomination in 2008, leads the way among so-called leadership PACs. Some $401,500 in Iowa campaign contributions was handed out by Warner's Forward Together PAC between mid-July and mid-October. He unexpectedly announced Thursday that he would not enter the race.

Most of the $401,500 was distributed among Democratic candidates for the Iowa House and Senate or paid to the Iowa Democratic Party for use in the fall campaign.

by Adam B 2007-11-26 08:50AM | 0 recs
Wasn't This

Right before a big election?

by Edgar08 2007-11-26 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Wasn't This

And there's nothing untoward about it.

by Adam B 2007-11-26 10:45AM | 0 recs
Well Then

As long as I'm free to see Warner giving money to candidates fighting for election, on the one hand, and Obama giving money to office holders in return for Endorsements.

But no.  There's no letter of the law broken here.  

by Edgar08 2007-11-26 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Well Then

There was no quid pro quo.  Plenty of Obama recipients endorsed other candidates.  He didn't ask for his money back.

No letter, no spirit violated here.

by Adam B 2007-11-26 10:52AM | 0 recs
Just Saying

Warner sharing the wealth with candidates right before their elections is a little different than Obama sharing the wealth during his election.

Anyway, I bet I can find a down ticket candidate in California or Florida right now who could use some extra campaign cash.

Probably should call the Obama campaign.

by Edgar08 2007-11-26 10:58AM | 0 recs
Of course Warner never announced

his candidacy and never filed to run so not sure what your point is.

by okamichan13 2007-11-26 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Of course Warner never announced

This is what leadership PACs do.  All of them.  There's no quid pro quo.

by Adam B 2007-11-26 10:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Of course Warner never announced

Quid pro quo is the entire point of "Leadership PACs". I'll scratch your back so you scratch mine, or did you think the correlation between size of Leadership PAC and the elected leaders in the house and senate was just an interesting coincidence?

This "Who, me?" naiveté is not very becoming, Adam.
 

by souvarine 2007-11-26 11:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Of course Warner never announced

Then how come Obama recipients didn't all endorse him?  Why didn't he wait for endorsements to make the contributions?

by Adam B 2007-11-26 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Of course Warner never announced

It's a bidding war, he didn't meet their price. And Obama is just starting out in national politics, it makes sense for him to make some investments.

The problem is using PAC money to influence a campaign in which he has a presidential committee. Looks an awful lot like a dodge around the max contributions.

by souvarine 2007-11-26 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Of course Warner never announced

You do realize there are generally contribution limits, though I'm unfamiliar with the details of IA/NH state law.

No one's dodging anything.

by Adam B 2007-11-26 01:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Of course Warner never announced
because he was throwing shit at the wall and hoping some of it would stick.
All the other candidates have shut down their PACS.  Even the pugs know this is sleazy and probably against the regulations.  But Mr Campaign finance reform is just proving again that he is a hypocrite.
by MollieBradford 2007-11-26 02:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Of course Warner never announced

Your argument is hollow. If you try to win friends and influence people you have to make an effort. And it won't always work. Pointing to the cases that could be simple failures isn't going to exonerate him. Pointing to donations the Pac made to politicians after they endorsed somebody else would.

by Ernst 2007-11-27 04:10AM | 0 recs
This reminds me of

Mark Warner's Forward Together PAC.

Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, a Democrat who was exploring a bid for his party's presidential nomination in 2008, leads the way among so-called leadership PACs. Some $401,500 in Iowa campaign contributions was handed out by Warner's Forward Together PAC between mid-July and mid-October. He unexpectedly announced Thursday that he would not enter the race.

Most of the $401,500 was distributed among Democratic candidates for the Iowa House and Senate or paid to the Iowa Democratic Party for use in the fall campaign.

http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.d ll/article?AID=/20061017/NEWS09/61017038 4

by CarolinaNumber23 2007-11-26 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: This reminds me of

Warner was never a candidate.

by MollieBradford 2007-11-26 02:43PM | 0 recs
By the way...

When did Hillary change over from an "Exploratory Committee" to "Hillary Clinton for President"?  It must have happened in the last month or so.  That's the quietest announcement I've ever heard...

by rashomon 2007-11-26 08:54AM | 0 recs
A month or two ago

And yes, it was completely under the radar.

by horizonr 2007-11-26 02:54PM | 0 recs
Obama

This shows he is a phony--talks a good game but
his actions show otherwise.

If he gets the nomination, the Republican attack machine will be in high gear.  And it will be a 40-state loss for the Democrats.

If you look at the recent round of SUSA polls, he lags in all but Iowa against the GOP candidates.

by mikelow1885 2007-11-26 08:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama
his actions have shown otherwise all along.  He makes a huge deal about lobbyists but takes state lobbyist money.  He takes money from the employers of lobbyists and their wives.  He has always been a hypocrite.
The minute someone starts telling you how ethical they are you can be sure they are just the opposite.
by MollieBradford 2007-11-26 02:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC

This story needs to be kept alive so every voter in Iowa knows about it.  It should also be brought up in the next debate.  Obama has so many strikes against him at this point and he gets a pass.  Now that Hillary was forced to take off the gloves, I think Obama's luck is about to change.

by AUD 2007-11-26 08:55AM | 0 recs
Uprated due to abusive trollratings.

by bowiegeek 2007-11-27 07:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, a Democrat who was exploring a bid for his party's presidential nomination in 2008, leads the way among so-called leadership PACs. Some $401,500 in Iowa campaign contributions was handed out by Warner's Forward Together PAC between mid-July and mid-October. He unexpectedly announced Thursday that he would not enter the race.

Most of the $401,500 was distributed among Democratic candidates for the Iowa House and Senate or paid to the Iowa Democratic Party for use in the fall campaign.


http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.d ll/article?AID=/20061017/NEWS09/61017038 4

Did you not work for this PAC?  Meaning involved, in doing this kind of thing, on a daily basis?

by iamready 2007-11-26 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

Why don't you just post under the name Icebergslim?

ps...warner was never a candidate.

by MollieBradford 2007-11-26 02:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

I see the Obama astroturf trolls have invaded the thread with misinformation and ad hominem statements.

by truthteller2007 2007-11-26 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

Thanks for dropping by Michelle Obama.

by lonnette33 2007-11-26 09:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

Disregard truthteller2007. This comment was supposed to go in another diary!

by lonnette33 2007-11-26 09:09AM | 0 recs
I'm no expert in Campaign finance law

But this doesn't sound good. It sounds like something anyone running for President would want to seriously avoid doing. If it's not illegal than it's against the law's intentions. Now is this a Rookie mistake or is it Obama trying anything to get ahead. I would say it's more likely the former, but it's not good, expecially for the guy who says we need a new kind of politics.

by Christopher Lib 2007-11-26 09:06AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm no expert in Campaign finance law

No one blinked when Clinton paid off Vilsak's campaign debt. And that certainly wasn't a "rookie" mistake.

I don't like that this is happening, I don't know if it's in violation of the spirit or the letter of any law or regulation. For those who say this isn't paying for staff or other field operations in the early states, if these contributions are influencing endorsements, they are also gaining Obama convention delegates (since many convention delegates are local/state politicians).

What this does is continue to highlight the insidious nature of the out-of-control money in politics -- while here we may have some sunlight on the effort to influence an election, that doesn't make it any more palatable.

by edgery 2007-11-26 09:14AM | 0 recs
Obama AND Clinton...

seem to care more about money than anything else.

by citizen53 2007-11-26 09:06AM | 0 recs
Bones in closet might fall out-keep mouth shut!

Obama is a hypocrite! However, the MSM will let this one slide too.

by lonnette33 2007-11-26 09:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Bones in closet might fall out-keep mouth shut

Uhh...the Washington Post broke the story. They're not exactly the Grinnell Pennysaver.

by joejoejoe 2007-11-26 09:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Bones in closet might fall out-keep mouth shut

Lets see how the other campaigns handle this

by sepulvedaj3 2007-11-26 09:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

I guess I'd rather have a candidate that was giving away money instead of receiving it.  If I'm thinking correctly it's usually the one receiving the money that owes the favors.

Here is more from the AP:

Among the local officials who received $1,000 from Obama's Hopefund PAC were New Hampshire state senators Harold Janeway, Jackie Cilley and Martha Fuller Clark. All have endorsed Obama.

The PAC also contributed $1,000 each to Sens. Iris Estabrook, Kathleen Sgambati and Lou D'Allesandro, all of whom later endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton. The PAC gave $6,000 to Gov. John Lynch's campaign war chest; Lynch has not endorsed in the presidential contest.

Ten county Democratic committees in New Hampshire received $1,000 each from Obama's PAC and the state Democratic Party received $5,000. The Iowa Senate Majority fund and the Iowa House Truman Fund, political groups that assist local legislative candidates, received $30,000 each from the PAC. Their New Hampshire counterparts received $15,000 each.

The Hopefund also contributed to 62 Democratic senators, congressmen and federal candidates across the country in contributions ranging from $2,500 to $5,000. Among the recipients were Democratic Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Paul Hodes of New Hampshire, who received $4,000 each, and U.S. Senate candidate Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, $5,000.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/st ory/0,,-7081378,00.html

As you can see Obama has giving money to those who have not supported him.  Seems like he is trying to help out his fellow Democrats.

by wisconsinJessica 2007-11-26 09:21AM | 0 recs
Seems like Obama lost money on those deals

He contributed HOPING they'd endorse him.

by annefrank 2007-11-26 10:09AM | 0 recs
In other words ...

.... there was no quid pro quo.

by Adam B 2007-11-26 10:18AM | 0 recs
More like

failed quid pro quo.

by okamichan13 2007-11-26 10:34AM | 0 recs
OMG! Even Jerome is grasping at Straws!!

LOL!!

by rapcetera 2007-11-26 09:22AM | 0 recs
Plus this is money that was raised by

the HopeFund prior to the commencement of the Presidential campaign.

Obama has not received any money from any PAC's since he started running for POTUS

by rapcetera 2007-11-26 09:32AM | 0 recs
Off their game

So this PAC has given money to people that endorsed Hillary, and her campaign has to gaul to make hay about this?!?!?

Great, Team Hillary, yet again, has teed itself up to get whacked by Obama.

They're off their game.

by General Sherman 2007-11-26 09:41AM | 0 recs
I need to see someone other than John Solomon

covering this story. I give that guy no credence.

It does look like a serious issue, though. If there's something to it, we will see it reported by someone more credible.

by desmoinesdem 2007-11-26 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: I need to see someone other than John Solomon

Now John Solomon can be quite a sleeze - but him you give no credence   and Novak everybody did and egged Obama on to attack Hillary on Novak's word. Funny world

by NYMARJ 2007-11-26 11:01AM | 0 recs
Where's the hypocrisy?

If the Leadership PAC has been giving money to Clinton endorsees exactly where is the ethical lapse - except on Armstong's part for leaving out this crucial bit of information?

by Piuma 2007-11-26 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Where's the hypocrisy?

because they didn't gave money to Clinton endorsees, they gave money to undeclared politicians who only later gave their support to Clinton.

Just because he failed in swaying them doesn't mean he wasn't trying. Now if people could point to several donations made to politicians after they declared themselves for another candidate I would agree with you.

by Ernst 2007-11-27 04:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

Ahhh, how cute. Jerome is still mad that Obama chose Axelrod.

by Zephyrus 2007-11-26 09:57AM | 0 recs
WHA!?

Obama IS Axelrod.

get a clue...

by holden caulfield 2007-11-26 12:30PM | 0 recs
But wow on another note......

This is going to be a very interesting "last 38 days" in Iowa. Hillary is pulling out all the stops! The Politico in me is enjoying all of this.

Furthermore, I'd rather Obama go through all this grilling/hazing etc now, than face it in the general. He needs to be prepared. And Hillary needs to be prepared too, because her closet is full of huge frigging bones. If I were Obama though, I'd take the high road on this one. Don't play dirty with the Clinton's unless you absolutely have to.

I supremely believe in Obama's overall integrity. I understand that politics is politics, but I know no LAWS were broken AND that Obama has not been bought by any special interests.

Now where's that pop-corn and soda....

by rapcetera 2007-11-26 10:01AM | 0 recs
Re: But wow on another note......

i dont think thats an option anymore since his Novak retort plus his healthcare back and forth, oh and his foreign policy experience issue.

He has to respond now, he's gotten himself knee deep, and anything the Clinton campaign lobs, he must respond to.

its a blessing and a curse, he looks "tougher" responding, but its also opened him up to have to defend a lot of stuff now.

I think if he dropped the Novak stuff, he would have been in a better position, but now the ball is in Clinton's court.

HRC campaign: Jump Obama -
Obama Campaign: How high?

by sepulvedaj3 2007-11-26 12:35PM | 0 recs
Re: But wow on another note......

you wish. Not happening. The Clinton's are off their game right now. She needs to focus on the issues.

by rapcetera 2007-11-26 03:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

I also love the Hillary trolls crying foul. Of course, every leadership PAC does this. Hillary paid off Vilsack's campaign debt, for instance. You can look to any candidate who actually has money to spare and they'll be giving money to other candidates.

In some worlds, supporting your fellow Democrats is considered being a good Democrat. I don't yell at Clinton for being generous to the DSCC (or, for that matter, the gobs of money she's donated to local pols in Iowa and SC). In fact, on party loyalty I think she's quite solid, which is one reason why I won't be too upset if she wins.

What's sad is that you hacks are not only grasping at straws but inventing them out of thin air. At least the Obama-hates-gays storyline did originate with some genuine failing in the Obama campaign. This is just utter nonsense.

by Zephyrus 2007-11-26 10:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

The difference between Clinton and Vilsack's campaign debt and Obama leadership PAC is that Clinton is running as a regular politician regarding money. She's not claiming to be extra moral. She's been quite open about that. Obama is claiming to be different and a transformational figure. So when he uses PAC money filled with lobbyist money he's actively going against his own rethoric. Rethoric he used to attack other candidates with.

My problem is not with the fact that he's just a regular politician but lies about it. I couldn't care less about Obama being just a normal politician. I'm o.k. with the fact that politicians aren't pure. If only he would just be honest about it.

by Ernst 2007-11-27 04:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Armstrong mocks MyDD with his bias

If you want to talk about mocking FEC regulations how about Vin Gupta contributing $100,000 to Clinton's Senate campaign and then Clinton transferring 10 million from the Senate campaign into her Presidential campaign fund?  The Hopefund gave more money to Democratic candidates in 2006 than any other Leadership PAC in the country.  Should they stop doing that in 2008?  Unlike Edwards PAC which used it for him to make personal appearances, Obama gave it directly to the candidates.  And now the Hopefund is giving out money again without regard for who they endorse.  And this is a scandal?  Only in the eyes of people who value partisanship over the party.

by Piuma 2007-11-26 10:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

Isn't it interesting that Jerome's previous criticism against Senator Obama was that he wasn't a loyal Democrat and now he's attacking him for giving to fellow Democrats.  Not only is Jerome willing to malign Senator Obama with unsubstantiated allegations, but he's willing to tear down other Democrats in the process.

by Dee 2007-11-26 10:41AM | 0 recs
those straws you're grasping at must be slick..

by rapcetera 2007-11-26 11:21AM | 0 recs
Obama Campaign responds

from Bill Burton

Whatever happened to the confident frontrunner who said she wouldn't attack other Democrats just two weeks ago? The latest personal attack from Hillary Clinton is a completely false attempt to misrepresent Barack Obama's full disclosure of his campaign finances. Senator Obama's commitment to disclosure is one that Hillary Clinton does not share, and until Senator Clinton is willing to make this commitment -- by disclosing her White House records, the list of donors to her husband's presidential library, how much her bundlers raise, and releasing her personal tax returns to the public -- she's not really in a position to point fingers at others.

by rapcetera 2007-11-26 11:51AM | 0 recs
The Presidential Library

I wish the Party would do something to pressure Bill to release the Library donor list.  These Presidential Libraries are corruption swamps that could bring down her campaign if she gets the nomination.  It's really important we, as voters, know what is there before it is too late.  

by Piuma 2007-11-26 12:02PM | 0 recs
Yes, especially given that...

1
The Clinton Foundation actually sold a chunk of that list of Clinton Library donor names to a company, InfoUSA,
owned by the same Vin Gupta who has bankrolled the Clintons to the tune of $9M; who is being sued by his
shareholders for misusing the company's money to endear himself to the Clinton's; and whose company,
InfoUSA, is now, as a result, being investigated by the SEC.

2
Gupta now is re-selling those Clinton Library donor names to make money for InfoUSA.

3
This Clinton Library donor name money is, in effect, partly being used to support another company Gupta
owns -- one of InfoUSA's subsidiaries -- Opinion Research, which is CNN's presidential polling firm.

Round and round and round she goes....

by horizonr 2007-11-26 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

There's nothing here , probably a one day story.

Hillarypaid off Vilsack debt and everything , so he could endorse him

Hillary's hillpac also donated to a bunch of NH politician and in politician in other states...Most of them have endorsed her.

The AP ran a story about this a month ago if my memmories are correct....This is known issue...Nothing new.

Also , Jermore acts like Obama has just commited the cardinal sin , but if you scroll above , a poster linked to a des moine register article which states that mark warner had in fact used his pac to lavish donation to early states politicians.

Hillary has used her pac to do the same , so im a bit surprised hat she'll be pointing the fingers here.

by Prodigy 2007-11-26 12:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

On 3/26/07 Gov Vilsack endorses Senator Clinton
http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/relea se/view/?id=1416

On 3/27/2007 Hillary Clinton pays off Vilsack's $400,000 debt.
http://www.kcci.com/politics/11407584/de tail.html?rss=des&psp=news

Sorry but it sounds like a quid pro quo for an endorsement to me.

by TennesseeGurl 2007-11-26 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

gladiator I respectfully disagree. The fact that she paid Vilsack's debts off after he endorsed her looks like she gotten a paid endoresement. To the matter of Obama's Pac contributions. You can easily find out Pac contributions on www.fec.gov

by TennesseeGurl 2007-11-26 01:00PM | 0 recs
Hmm

I have to admit this doesn't look too good.

by Korha 2007-11-26 12:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

Obama's contributions are perfectly legal please see page 152 and 169 of the pdf

http://www.fec.gov/law/cfr/11_cfr.pdf

by TennesseeGurl 2007-11-26 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

I wouldn't take anything that the Clinton campaign says with a grain of salt. They want to to win. I recommend that you go ahead and read for yourself. Like  Clinton paying Vilsack's $400,000 debt this is all much to do about nothing.

by TennesseeGurl 2007-11-26 01:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

Should he also have disclosed his contributions to people who endorsed Hillary at the time of the endorsement?

He has given money to many people, some who have endorsed him and some who have not.

by wisconsinJessica 2007-11-26 02:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama mocks the FEC regulations with his PAC

Maybe this is sleazy, maybe not.  However, it is how the game is played these days.  Of course money buys influence, and it works both ways.  Still, you can't reform the system completely from the outside.  It's amusing to see all the candidates wallowing in the trough while complaining about how dirty the others are.  C'mon, grow up.

I really don't know how this will play out, but I for one am relieved to see a candidate at least attempt to use the undocumented features (bugs) in the campaign finance system to his advantage.  I'm not an Obama supporter, but I don't fault him for this.

by NM Ward Chair 2007-11-26 08:21PM | 0 recs

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