Edwards Evening News: America Belongs to Us

Welcome to tonight's Edwards Evening News. Today, the Edwards campaign unveiled the America Belongs to Us campaign with a goal of getting one million voters to sign a pledge not to vote or caucus for any candidate who takes money from lobbyists and PACs. America belongs to all of us, and we're taking our country back! Click the image to sign the pledge.

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JRE's Prescription for America: Empowering Citizens through a One Democracy Initiative

We the People are affirmed and empowered by John Edwards' initiative for One Democracy, a truly democratic way of life for America. From that vantage point, our moral leadership in the world will be reinstated. We will lead by example.

John Edwards announced the most marvelous medicine for America.  It is just what is needed for an ailing country: "election reform, reforming campaign finance to strengthen small donors, and ending the unique power of lobbyists."

By announcing his "One Democracy Initiative: Returning Washington To Regular People", John Edwards is affirming his faith in the American Social Contract, as derived from the Preamble to the Constitution:

"    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.[1]     " Preamble to the Constitution

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Ky Senate 08: As A.G. Greg Stumbo Fought for Fair Elections

We all know how terrible Mitch McConnell has been for Kentucky and America. Besides rubber-stamping every failed policy of the Bush Administration he has constantly been an opponent of fair elections. From opposing McCain-Feingold, to assuring that money will continue to drive the process, to opposing paper trails, Mitch McConnell does his best to make sure the the big monied special interests that drive his campaign has more clout than the voters of Kentucky and America.

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Some Selling to Do on Public Financing

Before I get started I just want to thank Todd for pulling the slack yesterday when I was dealing with an interesting issue. While I was walking to class yesterday the zipper on my backpack jostled open and my laptop fell out, crashing to the pavement. As luck would have it, only the screen was damaged, as I found out once I was able to high tail it to the Apple store. Within a few short hours they were able to replace the screen. Also as luck would have it, it seems that my insurer will pay for the repair. As you might imagine, yesterday was a long, but interesting day for me...

A couple days ago Gallup released polling showing that, by a fairly wide margin, Americans disapprove of presidential candidates accepting campaign contributions from federal lobbyists. Thus the take away line for many was that John Edwards' call for other presidential candidates (read: Hillary Clinton) not to accept donations from federal lobbyists has the potential to resonate with the American people.

But another data point from the poll seemed more interesting to me, in a sense, and that was on the public financing of presidential elections. As a quick backstory, those who were in attendence at the Yearly Kos presidential forum or had the opportunity to watch it in full might remember the overwhelmingly strong response the crowd gave to Chris Dodd when he spoke in favor of public financing. Indeed, such a position is assumed to be widely popular with the Democratic base, and possibly even the American people. But that same Gallup poll showed something else. Take a look:

Thinking now about the different ways in which presidential candidates can finance their campaigns, do you think each of the following is an acceptable or unacceptable way for a presidential candidate to raise money for a campaign. How about money from public financing from the federal government?

Acceptable41
Unacceptable57
No opinion2

This poll brings up a couple of interesting points, as well as at least one question that may bear polling -- perhaps even official polling sponsored by the federal government or Congress. As many on this site likely know, there already is a federal financing scheme in place for presidential elections, and has been since the 1976 election. Every single major party presidential nominee has taken public financing in the general election (though that could change this time around), and most candidates have accepted public financing for their primary campaigns (though that began to change in 2000). So do Americans realize that there already is a public financing system in place for presidential elections?

But even if we leave that question unanswered for now, these numbers seem to suggest that there is still a lot of work to be done before there is the political will necessary to implement a system of public financing for all federal elections. Perhaps if you turned the question on its head -- i.e. would you support public financing for federal elections -- you might find more support, even possibly majority support, for such a system. Yet these new numbers from Gallup suggest that there is more than a little reluctance among the American people today for public financing. So those who believe in such a system likely have a lot more work to do in selling such a system if they hope to see one implemented any time soon.

Update [2007-8-31 13:20:49 by Jonathan Singer]: David Donnelly, who works on this issue and who has done a lot of writing here at MyDD, will sound off on this topic early next week, so make sure to stay tuned.

Edwards-Cheney Debate Performances- And Other Debunkings

I have seen a lot made by other candidates supporters about John Edwards performance in the debate of 04 against Dick Cheney. I decided to look back, and try to address this and some other critisisms leveled against John Edwards. First, lets look at some of the debate with Cheney:

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