Obama out of public funding for GE

(Jerome beat me to posting by 6 seconds, but I don't want his thoughts to get missed. You can read more and see the Obama video announcement here just below this post.)

Terrific move. Obama is out of the public funding practice for the GE, hopefully its marks the last time a Democratic presidential candidate ever takes the matching funds-- if Kerry had not done it in '04, he'd be President today. This was a problem for Obama that didn't need to fester till the Fall to solve.

"We've made the decision not to participate in the public financing system for the general election,"Obama said. And it looks like there's no namby-pamby about it, here's the full text. Yea, McCain will make some noise about it, but this process story isn't one that many people care about in making up their mind, but it does make a big difference in the kind of campaign that gets run. Goodbye to the battleground mentality.

Tags: 2008 election (all tags)



Re: Obama out of public funding for GE

Love that you beat Jonathan by six seconds.

This was obvious in coming, given his fundraising prowess and supporters' energy. It's for the better. We need public financing in this country, but as long as the system is broken, there's no point playing into its hands. Shame the attack dogs and spin machines won't see it that way, but perhaps one last sordid election is just what we need to kennel those dogs and move on.

by Nathan Empsall 2008-06-19 05:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama out of public funding for GE

Jonathan is slowing down now that he's gotten to DC.

There's no such thing as public financing system that works. It's a loser of an idea on a presidential level.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-06-19 05:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama out of public funding for GE

It could work... unfortunately, you'd have to probably pass a constitutional amendment banning ALL soft money, political ads from the DNC, RNC and outside groups, etc, since the SCOTUS has declared it protected speech.  I do think its possible to come up with a system that works, but it would probably be easier to get single payer health care frankly.  

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-19 08:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama out of public funding for GE

So when did Obama decide that Public Financing was broken? This system has been unchanged for quite awhile now, funny that he didn't know it was broken back when he said he would use it. Just more lies from the change guy, who only decided it was broken, when he saw how much he could raise without going public. Hypocrite, much?

by muggle 2008-06-19 02:08PM | 0 recs
good. This helps against 527s.

by slinkerwink 2008-06-19 05:21AM | 0 recs
Re: good. This helps against 527s.

I never thought I would be happy to hear those 3 numbers :D

I don't know if they are officially a 527 or not, but please participate and support http://bravenewfilms.org/

They are making moves and are all over the 'electoral map'.

by DemsLandslide2008 2008-06-19 06:09AM | 0 recs
Re: good. This helps against 527s.

Hey slinky, did you ever come up with that link you quoted from, about how Hillary was hoping that Obama would get RFK'd? I think it was during one of your Obama love fests, over at dailyobama. I've asked you many times for the link, but you keep running from me. Still waiting...........

by muggle 2008-06-19 10:58AM | 0 recs
"Terrific move?"

 Rare words of praise, heh.

by slinkerwink 2008-06-19 05:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama out of public funding for GE

yup a real progressive that Obama and now he will suck all the money out of the down ticket races too. Yup such a great move.

by Bornagaindem 2008-06-19 05:29AM | 0 recs
You. Don't. Get. It.

This is how all tickets should be funded.  And will be.  By the people who support a candidate.

There will be much more funding available to down-ticket canidates. Maybe not for your party, but certainly for the Democrats.

by chrisblask 2008-06-19 05:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama out of public funding for GE

Anything to bash the parties candidate.

Unprecedented GOTV, voter registration and on the ground organization by the Obama campaign even in the reddest of red states will be critical even to candidates who won't be all that publicly supportive of Obama. In Mississppi the increased participation of African-American and younger voters put a white very conservative Democrat over the top.

by hankg 2008-06-19 06:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama out of public funding for GE

Got your "Oh noes, my boat is burning" lapel pin yet, bornagain"dem"?

by JoeW 2008-06-19 06:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama out of public funding for GE

Actually, I was thinking this will probably end up increasing donations/funds for down-ticket races.  Obama has already on various other occassions made explicit pleas on behalf of other Dems running for office.  Now that he has such a huge network of small supporters, I can see in the very near future him actually directing potential donors to "in lieu of donating to him" vote for a candidate in their local region.

All this does is free up Obama to fully mature the donation network he fostered already.  If anything, there's huge potential for other Dems to benefit immeasurable from riding his $$$ laden coattails.

by tlhwraith 2008-06-19 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama out of public funding for GE

"Mature" is a verb now?

by anoregonreader 2008-06-19 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama out of public funding for GE

Um, it has always been both a verb and an adjective.

by Aris Katsaris 2008-06-19 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama out of public funding for GE

So lets take a poll of  you who commented here how much have you given to your local democrats running for the house, your state rep or sheriff? Especially non incumbents running against a repug?

450+ "dems" voted in my precinct for the primary, 83 came out to caucus (we usually get 10) but when there was an important run-off the next month 18 bothered to vote and 4 of those were me and my daughter and 2 friends. In the county as a whole there was less than 1% turnout for that run-off.Yup I can  feel the change rolling across the land already.

Just like in Obama's senate district in Chicago where the residents have been transformed. Or the housing project he "organized" that is a model for entire the Chicago area. NOT!

So opting out of his promise to stick to the public financing system no problem. How could I be so naive as to think it was anything other than just another ploy?

by Bornagaindem 2008-06-19 01:55PM | 0 recs
Why does he have to lie?

Obama says a bunch of nonsense about John McCain when he can just say "No one is raising more money than me. I am raising money so fast that 84 million dollars is nothing to me."

by whothere 2008-06-19 06:01AM | 0 recs
Why do you have to dogwhistle?

Oh.  Right.  Obama in the whitehouse is worse in your view than my kids growing up under McBush...

by chrisblask 2008-06-19 06:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Why does he have to lie?

Q: "whothere?"

A: A McTroll.

by JoeW 2008-06-19 06:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Why does he have to lie?

You have been honest and for that you have been attacked for not towing the line of the heard.  Worry not; you shall have no problem looking in the mirror.

by bslev22 2008-06-19 08:19AM | 0 recs
Yep, he changed his mind.

under changing circumstances. Rather that than an ideologue afraid to adapt.

Kudos on killing the troll diary this morning, as well.


by chrisblask 2008-06-19 06:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama out of public funding for GE

Good news. I have mixed feelings about state subsidy of elections, partially because people who pay for their parties seem to have much more involvement.

My only regret is that, as a non US citizen, I can't make a personal donation and add to the million plus of small donors who have made Obama's financing such a radical success

by duende 2008-06-19 06:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama out of public funding for GE

Duende, one good thing I have gotten from this site is near expertise on campaign fundraising laws.

Are you allowed to donate to a 527 group?

I guess you are not allowed to buy anything from Obama's web store as all purchases are considered 100% donations and logged with the FEC.

by DemsLandslide2008 2008-06-19 06:34AM | 0 recs

McCain and the GOP have already made it very clear that they intend to pour money into his campaign through every crack in the campaign finance laws. Obama taking public financing would be unilateral disarmament on his part. And it would seriously dishearten supporters like me who would have been shut out of the process to a great extent going forward.

by Purplepeople 2008-06-19 06:31AM | 0 recs
No more minority rule financing

Until we get a public financing system that works, and dismantle the 527 system, the person with the most donors should be the one with the advantage.

We can't let a few millionares and billionares contribute to stealing our elections anymore.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-19 06:39AM | 0 recs
Re: No more minority rule financing

I still can't get on board the whole "anti-527" movement.

I feel they are a check n balance to the DNC, especially what happened with Kerry in 2004.

I just don't get it, arent 527's grassroots organizations?

Should we really be putting them down this much?

Help me out, maybe I am missing something?

by DemsLandslide2008 2008-06-19 06:44AM | 0 recs
Re: No more minority rule financing

527's are funded by big money interests with an agenda. Oil speculator Boone Pickens funded the swiftboaters out of his pocket.

by hankg 2008-06-19 07:02AM | 0 recs
Re: No more minority rule financing

Yes and the DNC was too chickenshit to take them on.

Again, I have only seen Liberal 527's do good things so far, and the people all seem to have good intentions.
(please save your anti-moveon crap, I am trying to get at the heart of this issue).

Also, like Duende, how can he support Liberal politicians in America if he can't donate to campaigns.

by DemsLandslide2008 2008-06-19 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: No more minority rule financing

The environmental movement has lobbyists in Washington just like Big Oil. That does not make the system OK because some lobbyists are 'good'. The advantage will always be to the special interests the way the system works.

by hankg 2008-06-19 07:27AM | 0 recs
Re: No more minority rule financing

MoveOn is still Movin On. I don't think Obama is out to eliminate and controll all outside groups.  

by eddieb 2008-06-19 07:10AM | 0 recs
Re: No more minority rule financing

Does anyone know if Bravenewfilms has 527 status?

by DemsLandslide2008 2008-06-19 07:11AM | 0 recs
What's good for the goose is good for the gander

Just because a system is favoring us this cycle doesn't mean that the pendulum won't swing; fixing it now prevents misuse in the future.

Imagine what would have happened if, when Bush was making his judicial appointments, the Republican congress had actually implemented the "nuclear option" of removing the filibuster.  They believed that they had a Permanent Republican Majority and were cocky; if they'd done it, we would be running roughshod over them now because the Democrats took back Congress.

527s need to be fixed.  I'm serious.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-19 07:39AM | 0 recs
Re: What's good for the goose is good for the gand

I know you are serious, and thats why I asked.

It is something I am trying to wrap my head around and I commend you at a balanced approach.

I would love to see an unbiased analysis of what does and doesn't work with 527's.
What can and can't be done.

If anyone has a link to an older blog or article I would appreciate it.

by DemsLandslide2008 2008-06-19 07:56AM | 0 recs
Re: No more minority rule financing

The swifties were a 527... just pointing out.  

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-19 08:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama out of public funding for GE

The time for "Funding of the people, by the people and for the people" has finally come. Let's face it we will never get money out of politics in America. Now Obama has set the stage for all political funding in this Country. Just think, for the first time in modern history "The people" can and will out donate the "Special interests"! All polititians will soon find themselves beholding, not to Private wealthy donors but to their constituents! Imagine that!!! Times, they are a changin..

by eddieb 2008-06-19 07:07AM | 0 recs

The headlines on the NY Times website is "Obama forgoes funds in first for major candidate".  The article goes on to say that no other major candidate has opted out since the funds were created in 1976.  But, if I'm not mistaken, George Bush opted out in both 2000 and 2004.

Does anyone else have this memory?  Not a big deal I guess, but it does show that the public financing mechanism that exists today is outdated.

by the mollusk 2008-06-19 07:53AM | 0 recs

You are mistaken.  He opted out of the primaries... not the GE

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-19 08:18AM | 0 recs

He (BUSH) stayed in Public Funding for the GE for fear of political backlash, just FYI.  

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-19 08:19AM | 0 recs

thanks.  this really is a first then.

by the mollusk 2008-06-19 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama out of public funding for GE

The problem is that Obama pledged to take public funds.

http://www.commoncause.org/atf/cf/%7Bfb3 c17e2-cdd1-4df6-92be-bd4429893665%7D/MDN NATIONALRELEASE.PDF

As for 527's, There is a 527 that annoys everybody whether it is Swiftboaters or MoveOn.   I prefer freedom of speech. Money doesn't win elections. Ask Ron Paul.

by dMarx 2008-06-19 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama out of public funding for GE

Bush pledged to uphold the ideals of the Constitution.  I believe McCain did too in his Senate Oath...

Besides, 95% small donations is pretty much public financing.

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-19 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama out of public funding for GE
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.
by dMarx 2008-06-19 09:29AM | 0 recs
I thought Kerry opted out in 2004?
I remember that Dean and Kerry were the only opt outs in the primary, and I swore Kerry opted out for the general.
by neutron 2008-06-19 09:41AM | 0 recs
Re: wait...

You are mistaken.

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-19 12:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama out of public funding for GE

This is why I liked when Hillary Clinton, in essance, said she would do anything to beat the Republican including opting out of Public Financing, which she would have certainly done as well if she were the nominee.

It was a mistake for Obama to take that sort of pledge, and he'll get some short term flack for taking it back, but this is absolutely the right decision. The RNC and Republican 527's will be out in full force. Expect some kind of swiftboat campaign to come along, if not more than one. Obama has to fight back against rediculous rumors of the likes no Presidential candidate has faced in modern history.

Want campaign finance reform, that lets get real campaign finance reform. Don't expect our candidate to be nice and bow while he or she is taking it in both ends, one from the RNC, the other from Interest groups.

by Christopher Lib 2008-06-19 10:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama out of public funding for GE

He made the 'pledge' so far back that he wasn't even in the contention for the nomination at that point. Things have changed since then, and I agree with Halperin that it would have been idiotic to stick with it.

by trampled 2008-06-19 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama out of public funding for GE

You mean the public financing system that would have made Obama pay for his own flights but allows McCain to use his wife's private jet for free?

by Dog Chains 2008-06-19 10:44AM | 0 recs
In the tank

So now obama is against Public Financing after promising to use it if McCain agreed. And you guys see this as a virtue?

by usedmeat 2008-06-19 11:08AM | 0 recs
Re: In the tank

Wow... that was a spin worthy of the McCain campaign.  DId you get that off their website?

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-19 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama out of public funding for GE

He said he would do it, this is an about face and seems hypocritical.

I hope I can still say when a Democrat goes against their own word, that it's hypocritical and opportunistic in my eyes.

To me, the problem is his is the campaign of Words needing to Matter, because he doesn't have much of a record.

So pardon me for being one of the few to say so, but I do see it as an opportunistic About Face and if Obama does too many of these he can't win.

by chieflytrue 2008-06-19 09:35PM | 0 recs


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