McCain Begins to Dip into $84 Million in General Election Money

Marc Ambinder and his readers make an interesting catch:

Several readers noticed the disclaimer at the end of John McCain's new ad, "Alaska Maverick."

They're paid for from his general election account. That's the law; from September 1 onward, those ads can't come from the primary kitty. McCain '08 becomes McCain-Palin '08 on Friday, but the ad -- which will air on national cable -- CNN and Fox -- tonight -- comes from the $84 million grant McCain will receive from the government.

Jonathan Martin notes that as this ad is running in "key states" it may in fact amount to one of the "video press release[s]" the McCain campaign has so often released in the hopes of conning the Beltway media to disseminate their message largely free of charge. Fair enough. But this does mark a turning point in the campaign in which the McCain campaign -- unlike the Obama campaign, which did not opt into the public financing system -- but go up against a spending ceiling. Yes, John McCain can benefit from advertisements by the Republican National Committee. However, because these independent expenditures by law are not allowed to be coordinated with campaign headquarters, McCain and his closest advisors cannot have a hand in their creation -- a problem, as noted a moment ago, not faced by Barack Obama.

Of course Obama needs to raise serious money in order to make this tradeoff pay off -- much more than the $47 million raised by the McCain campaign in August (we don't yet have Obama's August numbers, but here's to hoping they exceed any and all expectations, which they might as they could for the first time include serious general election dollars, which the Obama campaign has yet to put much effort into raising). But if Obama can continue to break fundraising records, this monetary and control disparity could be one of the most noticeable differences between the campaigns going forward.

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GA-Sen: The coming air war, Part One

Crossposted to the Kos.


I know that defining Sarah Palin before and with the media (I've never seen someone walk into such a field of fire upon announcement, but then my political career is almost short enough to qualify me for a Republican VP nomination), and the RNC is taking up a lot of attention here.  However, down in the smaller plays, such as trying to get to sixty seats in the Senate, there is still a lot of work to do.

I will post my usual upfront fundraising plea here before getting into the meat of the topic.  Right now, Jim Martin has almost reached the $20k mark on ActBlue.  Is a goal of reaching $50k by the next week too high a mark to set?

Alright, now to the heart of the matter.  This will be part one in a two part series.  First, I will introduce the villain, and tomorrow, I will bring out the hero of this little drama brewing in Georgia.

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United Democratic Party Money Bomb

From the about section of the ActBlue page I've created:

Despite the self-important screechings of the traditional media, the hurt feelings and ruffled feathers of the primary season are not insurmoutable. Hillary and Bill Clinton have worked to unite the Democratic Party with their rousing convention speeches and gracious support of Obama during the delegate voting process. Now it's time to reward Hillary for being a team player by helping pay off her campaign debt.

And while we're at it, lets give Barack Obama, who was equally gracious in victory, the funds he needs to expand the map, create coattails for down-ballot races, and end the conservative governing that thinks that all social issues are due to gays, Atheists, Hollywood, and working women, that the way to solve all economic ills are tax cuts for the super rich, and that war will solve all of America's international problems.

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Sorry, He's Still a Liar UPDATED

The backlash against my diary on Will Bower's lies was a little bit stronger than I had anticipated.  I have basically been challenged on three points.  The first is that Will Bower backed off the $6 million figure to a smaller amount.  The second is that some of the money accidentally went into Hillary's senate campaign account.  The third is that PUMAs raised "close" to the $6 million, Will Bower's "conservative" estimate on July 10th.

First, here is Will Bower on July 10, 2008.

We at, we started an initiative before the Fourth of July to raise money to put down her debt. And within that week leading up to the Fourth of July we raised approximately $10 million. Our most conservative estimates have it at six million but we're looking more at $10 million. Our sources tell us that the debt is now less than $5 million from being in the black... we believe that by this weekend that Hillary's debt will be finished.

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Progressive Patriots Fund

Cross-posted at Clintonistas for Obama.

Senator Russ Feingold's Political Action Committe, the Progressive Patriot's Fund is planning a $5000 donation to one of nine house candidates and you have the opportunity to help choose the recipient. Click here to go to the website and cast your vote.

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