Obama supports public financing;which would prevent another Obama

Full disclosure: I am constantly trying to convince my fellow democratic party members to advocate freedom rather than government regulation as much as possible.  Thefore I don't support any restrictions on campaign donations from American citizens.  I urge full disclosure in a timely manner.

Yet, many in our party, especially those on the HARD left want Public financing of political elections.  It is my understanding that BOTH Senators support Public financing over a private system.

Yet, if we had Public financing in this Primary, Barack Obama would not have a chance to win. And that would be bad.

Barack Obama is on the verge of being the democratic frontrunner for 1 reason alone.  No it's not the unprecedented media coverage.

It is his MONEY ADVANTAGE.

Senator Obama and Senator Clinton both have raised enormous sums of money, BUT where Senator Obama outpaces her is in NEW DONORS and the facts will show it will turn out mostly to be thousands of AFRICAN AMERICANS giving in small amounts that is the difference.

This has allowed him to organize in every caucus and Primary state, whereas Clinton has had to husband her resources for the "important" states.  Kansas, Nebraska, Idaho, Alaska, etc. are all places where money trumps all.  The end result is that Senator Obama has put together all of the states that no one focused on and has neutralized big losses in key states like California, New Jersey, and elsewhere.

If everyone had an equal amount of money, he wouldn't have been able to do this and would be well behind at this point.  

THIS WAS THE CLINTON TEAM'S CALCULATION.

If you don't believe me, subtract all of the delegates from uncontested states.  They were uncontested because of the money advantage Obama has.

One more example of why our system doesn't make sense:

Oprah is prohibited from giving Obama $2 million.
Caroline Kennedy and her family can't give Obama $3 million.
Maria Shriver can't give Obama $500,000.

But that is what they actually did, by endorsing him at the right time, in the proper venues.  

If you think those figures are over-blown, ask yourself what would Obama rather have,  a  $2 million donation from Oprah, or a 4 state tour with the Queen of daytime talk, complete with wall to wall media coverage?

So it is wrong to limit an unknown donor from giving $1 million donation, while Oprah did just that by being herself.

Lastly, the media clearly has an agenda in both Primaries.  They wanted McCain and Obama.  The stories they choose to tell, questions they ask/don't ask.  The speeches they run for free.  The pictures they place on the front page.  All of these are influencing the process.  They are all worth millions of dollars.

So the idea that we can have some Public Financing system is a bad one.  We need to go the other way.  Let everyone speak as they want to.  Money, whether from 100,000 small donors or 1 big donor is not corrupting. People are either honest or corrupt.

Senator Obama would be an also ran if he had to work within a public financing system.

Then none of this excitement would have ever happened.

And then who would Hillary pick for her V.P.?

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Send Comments To FEC By Noon EST

If you are concerned about the Federal Election Commission's pending decision on whether small donor contributions should be counted toward public financing (the issue is pertinent to the John Edwards campaign, but you don't have to support Edwards to be concerned about the integrity of the public financing system and ActBlue's rightful role in that,) the public comment period ends today at 12pm EST.

Some background from Ben Smith at The Politico:

In a draft opinion that the Federal Election Commission is set to consider Friday, the FEC staff says that contributions to Edwards through the innovative fundraising site ActBlue aren't matchable under campaign finance law.

$4.3 million in contributions to Edwards were at risk of not being eligible for matching.

Adam B breaks down the FEC's reasoning:

So here's the problem -- as you know by now, not everything is matchable.  The main category is "contributions over $250", but also listed in the regulations regarding the list of sources for funds that can be matched is the explicit statement that for a check to be matchable, it must be "written on a personal, escrow or trust account representing or containing the contributor's personal funds." And, what's worse, listed among those sources of funds which are explicitly not-matchable are

Contributions in the form of a check drawn on the account of a committee, corporation, union or government contractor even though the funds represent personal funds earmarked by a contributing individual to a Presidential candidate;

And ActBlue is, indeed, a committee that's writing checks which represent personal funds earmarked by a contributing individual to a Presidential candidate.

This interpretation of the law is literalistic and not in keeping with the spirit of the law at all, so if you would like to send the FEC a message, do so before 12pm EST today.

You can send your comments to FEC Secretary Mary Dove via e-mail to mdove@fec.gov, via fax to (202) 208-3333 or through the Edwards campaign web tool. Adam B posted his letter to the FEC over at dailyKos and invites us to crib from it.

You can check out other people's comments to the FEC HERE.

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Tommorow Is Last Day To Double $$ On Kucinich

According to public, campaign finacning regulations tommorow, November 29th, is the last day to receive matching funds through public financing.

So if you make a contribution tonight or tommorow to Dennis Kucinich, this means that your $50 contribution becomes a $100 contribution, $200 equals $400 ... up to $250.

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UPDATED: Response to Kos - Dr StrangeKos or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Public Financing

I like Kos, but he isn't always right.  His opinion is respected around the blogsphere, but it is just that... his opinion.  Now, one problem I have with Kos' declaration of a possible catastrophe is that it has no previous instance to back up his assertion.  For this, lets go to the wolf...

Neil the Ethical Werewolf

I doubt that the spending caps that come with public funds will cripple Edwards in the general election, as Ezra and Markos think.  We aren't talking about a congressional campaign here -- we're talking about a race for president, where free media and ads from 527 groups are going to be way more significant than anything the candidates themselves put on air.

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Edwards Challenges Clinton To Take Public Financing

In her several talk show appearances on Sunday, Hillary Clinton was asked over and over about fugitive bundler Norman Hsu and each time she diffused the issue by saying that they've put measures in place to make sure something like that doesn't happen again AND she stressed her belief that the solution is public financing of elections. Well, today John Edwards announced he would seek public financing for his primary and, if he wins, general election campaigns, and challenged Clinton to do the same.

"Senator Clinton said she believes public financing is the answer to ending the influence of lobbyists and special interests in Washington," said Congressman Bonior. "If she really believes that, she should join Senator Edwards and seek public financing, or she should explain to the American people why she does not mean what she says."

Edwards said:

Sen. Clinton said she is for public financing so she can step forward and show she actually means it."

The Edwards campaign is couching this move as "focusing on the issues that matter to the American people;" it's a matter of principle that further serves to distinguish Edwards from Clinton.

"This is not about a money calculation," Mr. Edwards told CNN's Candy Crowley. "This is about taking a stand, a principled stand, and I believe in public financing."

Message: I'm a person of principle, Clinton says one thing and does another. Of course, it doesn't hurt that taking the public financing makes him competitive with Clinton and Obama throughout the primary. From Ambinder:

"Before we did this," one adviser said, "there were only two campaigns [Obama's and Clinton's] who thought they'd be around before the primaries with about $20M or $30M on hand. Now, we're going to be right there with them. We're going to have between $18M and $21M on hand now. That'll give us a huge boost."

"The bigger implication here is that there are now three campaigns with major wherewithall going into the primaries," the aide said.

But could it backfire? Kos notes that the spending cap of around $50 million would have to tide him over through the convention, which isn't until August 25. But after checking in with the Edwards campaign, Kos reports back:

1.) the cap doesn't apply to field, and only 50 percent of advertising counts against the spending cap ($54 million). So they think they'll have plenty of money to get through a primary season that will be over February 5, and have enough to last through the summer;

2.) ...they're taking the Obama approach for the general election. That is, they'll opt into public financing only if the Republican nominee does as well; and

3.) even if they're short on money, the 527s can pick up the slack over the summer.

Kos is still a bit skeptical but this certainly puts to rest any fears that Edwards wouldn't be able to compete with Obama and Clinton in the early states. And it just may explain why he's been keeping his powder dry in Iowa.

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