Obama Breaks Campaign Funding Pledge?

[Republished from 2008Central.net]

Update [2008-6-19 13:20:54 by 2008 Central]:[NOTE: Since this diary was initially published, additional information regarding some of my questions have been answered. Although the accounts are disputed, there was at least one meeting between the Obama and McCain campaigns regarding this issue. Thus, until further research and verification can be done, please take considerations indicated below with this information in mind]

This morning, in an email to supporters, Barack Obama announced that he will be opting out of the public financing system for the general election (video).  The announcement has been widely expected for a few months now, so it wasn't very much of a surprise.

Obama explained his decision, saying:

It's not an easy decision, and especially because I support a robust system of public financing of elections. But the public financing of presidential elections as it exists today is broken, and we face opponents who've become masters at gaming this broken system. John McCain's campaign and the Republican National Committee are fueled by contributions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs. And we've already seen that he's not going to stop the smears and attacks from his allies running so-called 527 groups, who will spend millions and millions of dollars in unlimited donations.

It's completely fair for a candidate to contend that the problems with campaign finance system are so significant that it would be better not to participate in it.  However, there's a bit more to this situation that raises some questions.

First, here's a review of the time line (emphasis added):

In February 2007, Obama asked the FEC if it would be possible for him to accept money for the general election without disqualifying him for opting into the public financing system later in the process if he were to return the money.  The FEC ruled that this would be acceptable.  Thereby allowing Obama to preserve the option of opting into the public financing system for the general election.

When Obama made the request to the FEC, Obama Campaign spokesman, Bill Burton, said:

"Senator Obama has long been a proponent of public financing of campaigns and we are asking the FEC to take a step that could preserve the public financing option for the party's nominees"

And, a lawyer for the Obama Campaign, added:
"Should both major party nominees elect to receive public funding, this would preserve the public financing system, now in danger of collapse."

The primary purpose for Obama's request to the FEC was to allow for both parties candidates to come to a truce for the general election, the NY Times summarizes:
But Mr. Obama, campaigning on pledges to clean up politics, argued in his filing with the commission that the public financing system had insulated candidates from a corrupting dependence on big donors. He asserted that the system could be preserved for the general election through bipartisan agreement if party nominees returned early contributions.

The plausibility of such an agreement is not clear. One nominee is likely to have a financial edge on the other at the outset of the campaign, and accepting public financing would mean relinquishing that edge.


Following the FEC's ruling on the matter on March 1, 2007, McCain accepted the Obama campaign's proposal to work out a bipartisan arrangement regarding public financing.  McCain's campaign manager at the time, Terry Nelson, said:
"Should John McCain win the Republican nomination, we will agree to accept public financing in the general election, if the Democratic nominee agrees to do the same."

At the time, this was welcomed news for the Obama campaign and the public financing system.  Obama spokesman, Bill Burton, responded to McCain's acceptance by saying:
"We hope that each of the Republican candidates pledges to do the same."

Mr. Burton added that if nominated Mr. Obama would "aggressively pursue an agreement" with whoever was his opponent.


In September 2007, Obama responded "yes" to a survey question from Midwest Democracy Network that asked: "If you are nominated for President in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in the presidential public financing system?."In addition to his "yes" response, Obama stated:
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.

[THESE ARE THE CONSIDERATIONS INDICATED IN THE NOTE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE DIARY] Yet, in today's announcement, Obama supported his decision on the basis that the public system was broken and thus not worth saving.  This certainly doesn't seem to comport with his previous statements on the subject.  And, it raises some questions:

       
  • Nothing about the system has changed since February 2007, so why was the system worth saving then and not worth saving now?

  •    
  • Did the Obama campaign at least try to pursue some type of fundraising agreement with the McCain campaign? If so, what was the nature of these discussions? (Both the McCain and Obama campaigns have been contacted regarding this question. I will follow up if/when they get back to me).


That said, the reality is simple: it is politically smart for Obama to remain outside of public financing.  First, he has an enormous fundraising potential and to self handicap would be silly.  Second, as noted, the attacks from independent groups are likely to get especially nasty, so it would be a huge political risk to limit his campaign's ability to directly respond.  As already noted, these are completely fair reasons for not opting into the system.

My issue isn't with Obama refusing to take public funds.  Rather, my issue is with Obama spending most of 2007 arguing in favor of the public financing system and promising to support it should he become the party's nominee, only to disregard those previous statements when he actually became the party's nominee.

Further, I think it is a political miscalculation for the campaign to assume that people will not care about Obama's changed position on the issue.  Here's why: The Obama campaign is based largely on the promise of change, on doing things differently, on real and tangible results.  Yet, when given the opportunity to change things now (like the public financing system or engaging the GOP nominee in several joint campaign events), the Obama campaign consistently comes up with excuses on why that change isn't proper at the moment.  Obviously, these kinds of moves are not going to hurt Obama with current supporters; however, it may hurt him with independents and Republicans that want to believe in him, but see these kinds of isuses (albeit small in the grand scheme of things) as signals that Obama may not deliver on the promises of his campaign.  This could very well be a problem for the Obama campaign and they should be ever mindful of it.

Now, if they tried to work out an agreement with the McCain campaign, but couldn't, then the circumstances are different.  If this is the case, they should make this point clear.  Although, my bet is on the fact that they didn't really "aggressively pursue an agreement."

With campaign slogans like "Change you can believe in" and statements about "the fierce urgency of now," it might behoove the campaign to do things differently every once in a while, so that skeptics (and supporters) have an opportunity to see change they can believe in.

Tags: Barack Obama, campaign finance, John McCain, Public Funding (all tags)

Comments

46 Comments

Re: Obama Breaks Campaign Funding Pledge?

TROLLING

and

SPAMMING at the same time?

Someone get this guy a nice gold star.

Disclaimer: This was already front paged TWICE, everyone is excited, this spammer is just concerned.

by DemsLandslide2008 2008-06-19 07:58AM | 0 recs
good post diarist

Although I'm on the fence about this w/ obama because repubs would have surely not adhered to this if they had the mullah Obama did. But Obama has promised no politics as usual...so yeah good diary to call him on this. No harm no foul..

I welcome accountability on our side.

Accountability is not a one way street that allows a margin of error when it comes to our candidate(s)

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-19 08:08AM | 0 recs
Re: good post diarist

err moolah not mullah , heh

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-19 08:10AM | 0 recs
Here you go

Diarist is a special, special snowflake.

Have a gold sticker.

by BishopRook 2008-06-19 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Here you go

Awesome! Thanks

by 2008 Central 2008-06-19 09:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Breaks Campaign Funding Pledge?

It's clearly not trolling on spam.

Posting a comprehensive background on the subject is sorely absent from other posts, and so I posted it along with my opinion on the subject.

If you disagree, then disagree and point out problems with the argumentation.  It's pointless and silly to just call it spam.

by 2008 Central 2008-06-19 08:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Breaks Campaign Funding Pledge?

Obama has not changed his position. His position on the GE was dependent on the actions of the Republicans. They have made it clear they intend to use every means at their disposal to take Obama down. He as promised will not unilaterally disarm in the face of the slime machine.

by hankg 2008-06-19 08:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Breaks Campaign Funding Pledge?

Hmmm...

My original issue with Obama's action was not the fact that he opted out of public financing.  It was the smart and necessary decision to make and if he had chosen to do otherwise he would have been hurting himself for no good reason.

Rather, (and again, based on how everything went with the meeting with the campaigns, this may all be moot), my issue is with Obama's promise to aggressively work out some type of agreement with the GOP nominee on public financing.

To me, it just doesn't seem that he really went through the effort that he said he would.  Further, I pointed out the inconsistency between saying that the public finance system is worth preserving and saying that the public finance system is broken.

This diary was not intended to suggest that anyone should decide against supporting Obama on this issue.  I would strongly caution against not supporting him on this alone.  Rather, the post was intended to do a few things:

1) point out an inconsistency (it's important to do that, regardless of where loyalty lies)

2) To assess its significance

3) To point out that there may be political consequences - not for opting out of public finance, but rather, for not doing (or seeming to do) something he said he would do, which is work with the GOP nominee.

And if he did work with the McCain campaign on this matter, he should have indicated that in his statement today. It would have put him in a significantly better light and stronger position on this issue alone.

by 2008 Central 2008-06-19 10:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Breaks Campaign Funding Pledge?

His position is consistent with his principles. He is receiving public financing as all his contributions are from small donors and he never pledged to allow the Republicans to use private funding to smear him while he unilaterally disarmed.

You can look for procedural nonsense to find something to take exception with, like did he spend enough time in fake negotiations with Republicans who where planning on screwing him anyway to satisfy your need for 'consistency'.

Here on MyDD I see a lot of apologists for anything and everything McCain does and the need to find fault with everything and anything our candidate does. Lot's of 'we must criticize Obama and not agree with everything he does' (or expend any energy on getting him elected or giving voters reasons to vote for him). No, I expect not many of his supporters agree with 100% of everything Obama has ever said or done but right now we are all focusing on getting him elected and booting the Republicans. You remember the Republicans?.

Is Obama dishonest? does he accept money from special interests? Is he financing his campaign from PACS, lobbyists or fat cats with agendas? Are the Republicans going to play fair? Will the Republicans restrict themselves to public financing and shut down the 527 slime machines?

The answer to all the above is NO. So what is the point of this bullshit diary.

by hankg 2008-06-19 11:49AM | 0 recs
I'm sorry, but

I would like our nominee to have all the money he needs. Obama needs to crush McCain by every measure -- that includes fundraising. He would be foolish to accept public financing, now that he knows how much money he can pull in. As dirty as the GOP fights, I really don't care if they're offended by his decision to reject public financing, which I feel confident will survive through the the GE.

by sricki 2008-06-19 08:06AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm sorry, but

Again, see my reply above.

I was not arguing that Obama should have opted into the public finance system.  I agree with you; it would have been a terrible idea and is unnecessary.

by 2008 Central 2008-06-19 10:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Breaks Campaign Funding Pledge?

I'm fine with this. As far as I'm concerned, raising money from lots of small donors is public financing.  I have a big problem with only getting money from big donors, but that's not what Obama is doing.

And my husband and I just sent him another $35 today to show our support. That's about as much as we can spare each month.  If we all do that, though, it will be plenty of money for him to compete.

by politicsmatters 2008-06-19 08:09AM | 0 recs
common, its a good thing

for once, our party will have an insane money advantage. It could be enough to overcome the bradley effect as well, which will be troublesome in many states that we need to win.

by Lakrosse 2008-06-19 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Breaks Campaign Funding Pledge?

You have to ask yourself what the purpose is behind public financing.  If it's to cut out the influence of certain special interests, then Obama has largely done that through his fundraising model.  If you're just concerned about the total amount spent on the election, then I don't think public financing is a worthy goal, because there is no "proper" amount to spend.

by rfahey22 2008-06-19 08:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Breaks Campaign Funding Pledge?

I disagree, I think this is the kind of story that has zero resonance with your average low-information swing voter. Obama's brand is already so well-established, it's going to be pretty tough to paint him as politics as usual, especially considering that his campaign is funded by small donors.

by animated 2008-06-19 08:21AM | 0 recs
Good Move by Obama n/t

by parahammer 2008-06-19 08:23AM | 0 recs
the agreement was based upon conditions

like the 527s. Since John McCain said he couldn't control 527s, that agreement was void.

by slinkerwink 2008-06-19 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Breaks Campaign Funding Pledge?

Don't bring a knife to a gun fight.

by NewOaklandDem 2008-06-19 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Breaks Campaign Funding Pledge?

Now, if they tried to work out an agreement with the McCain campaign, but couldn't, then the circumstances are different.  If this is the case, they should make this point clear.  Although, my bet is on the fact that they didn't really "aggressively pursue an agreement."

Not sure, but this might help your concern.
From Politico

Obama counsel Bob Bauer e-mails that, contrary to McCain counsel Trevor Potter's account, he and Potter had an extended discussion of public financing options, which he left convinced that they left "no basis for further exchange."

Trevor and I met at my office on June 6, and we discussed the June 18 panel and then, for 45 minutes, the public funding issue.

I asked him to address a serious of issues of concern to the Obama campaign -- such as the McCain campaign's active raising and spending of private money since February for a general election campaign, including for media, while we were still in the middle of a primary contest. He gave me his perspectives -- the best arguments he could offer for an agreement on both sides to accept public financing -- and it was clear to me that these offered no basis for any further exchange.

Not too long thereafter, John McCain announced he could not and would not "referee" 527 activity.

I am sure Trevor will clarify that I did not at any time counsel him on what choice the McCain campaign would make about accepting or not accepting the public grant.

by jsfox 2008-06-19 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Breaks Campaign Funding Pledge?

Yes, just saw this.  Thank you.

Looks like it may be time to update this post.

by 2008 Central 2008-06-19 08:34AM | 0 recs
And yet, half an hour later...

No update.

by BishopRook 2008-06-19 09:04AM | 0 recs
Re: And yet, half an hour later...

Relax, relax. There's a lot of information emerging on the meeting between the campaigns. I was hoping to sift through it and revise post accordingly, but there's too much. So for now, just a note informing readers as such.

by 2008 Central 2008-06-19 09:24AM | 0 recs
Re: And yet, half an hour later...

The fact that you haven't updated your diary brings your objectivity into question.

by NewOaklandDem 2008-06-19 11:17AM | 0 recs
Re: And yet, half an hour later...

No, it doesn't.

I put the note up.  Any updates that I would make at this point would be pointless as I am still sorting through everything.

After I am done sorting through the available information, I'll put together another substantive post.

Until then, the note that is bolded at the very top of the diary and again for the portion that is in question is more than sufficient.

by 2008 Central 2008-06-19 11:35AM | 0 recs
Re: And yet, half an hour later...

That's a start.  I look forward to a more substantive diary that includes all available information.

by NewOaklandDem 2008-06-19 11:39AM | 0 recs
Re: And yet, half an hour later...

Of course.

All I really care about is getting the information right, regardless of who it benefits.  If it turns out that my original concerns/questions were completely off base, I will gladly indicate that.

As an aside and in case you missed it, my response to an earlier commenter better summarizes the purpose and intention of my post...

My original issue with Obama's action was not the fact that he opted out of public financing.  It was the smart and necessary decision to make and if he had chosen to do otherwise he would have been hurting himself for no good reason.

Rather, (and again, based on how everything went with the meeting with the campaigns, this may all be moot), my issue is with Obama's promise to aggressively work out some type of agreement with the GOP nominee on public financing.

To me, it just doesn't seem that he really went through the effort that he said he would.  Further, I pointed out the inconsistency between saying that the public finance system is worth preserving and saying that the public finance system is broken.

This diary was not intended to suggest that anyone should decide against supporting Obama on this issue.  I would strongly caution against not supporting him on this alone.  Rather, the post was intended to do a few things:

1) point out an inconsistency (it's important to do that, regardless of where loyalty lies)

2) To assess its significance

3) To point out that there may be political consequences - not for opting out of public finance, but rather, for not doing (or seeming to do) something he said he would do, which is work with the GOP nominee.

And if he did work with the McCain campaign on this matter, he should have indicated that in his statement today. It would have put him in a significantly better light and stronger position on this issue alone.

by 2008 Central 2008-06-19 11:46AM | 0 recs
Re: And yet, half an hour later...

After all the McCain Machinations on fundraising during the primaries, I'd trust him to bargain in good faith on this isue as far as I could throw him.  Which isn't very far.

by NewOaklandDem 2008-06-19 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: And yet, half an hour later...

In my opinion, he really can't bargain on this issue.  Even if he wanted to stop all (or significantly reduce the 527s), he simply doesn't have the political clout at this point to really influence those groups.  Thus, his weakness as a party leader would be even further exposed.

by 2008 Central 2008-06-19 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: And yet, half an hour later...

I'd happily invite more exposure of McCain's weaknesses.

by NewOaklandDem 2008-06-19 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: And yet, half an hour later...

Certainly.

I was having this conversation earlier with fellow blogger.  From a strategic perspective, even if the Obama campaign met with the McCain campaign in the manner in which it is being reported, I still think they made a strategic blunder (albeit not a particularly big one)...

Obama said he'd work with the GOP nominee to hammer out some kind of agreement on public financing.  From the outset, it was obvious that the GOP had no intention of reducing 527 attacks this year and that McCain had no intention of pressuring them to do so (I should note that I am not saying this to imply that they are evil or something, but rather to highlight a basic strategic point -- they need the 527s for financial and political purposes much more than the Democrats do this election).

So, the Obama campaign should have made a slightly stronger and more public showing regarding efforts to hammer out some kind of deal on public financing.  There really is only two ways that such an activity could have played out:

1) Either McCain looks unwilling to work on public financing in a serious way; OR, 2) He looks too weak to do anything about the 527s; OR, Both.

As a result, Obama still could have made the same announcement that he did today.  Except, he would have the added benefits of:

1) including a sentence or two about his efforts and the McCain campaign's stonewalling; AND 2) he would not seem as though he was acting contradictory to positions regarding this issue that he espoused during 2007.

I suppose in all, my critique is not intended to be some insanely slimey and off base attack (as many seem to think), but rather, something I have done consistently: Look at a situation, point out issues and think about ways it could have been done better.

I certainly think this was one situation that could have been handled better AND possibly could have been to Obama's benefit.

by 2008 Central 2008-06-19 12:07PM | 0 recs
Just another McTroll diary.

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-19 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Just another McTroll diary.

Not a McCain troll.  Although, I do appreciate how quick you are to lob insults.  It's always nice to participate in serious, substantive discussions online.

Thanks for your insight!

by 2008 Central 2008-06-19 09:25AM | 0 recs
Thanks for your insight!

Insight is wasted on the politically blind. You just keep on dreaming up excuses to gratuitously attack the Democratic nominee.

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-19 09:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for your insight!

This was not a gratuitous attack.

See responses to comments above.

by 2008 Central 2008-06-19 12:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for your insight!

If your attack was not meant to serve McBush, it was meant to serve you, and was therefor gratuitous.

by Beren 2008-06-20 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for your insight!

If your attack was not meant to serve McBush, it was meant to serve you, and was therefor gratuitous.

by Beren 2008-06-20 09:03AM | 0 recs
I have to point out

that you have gotten several 'serious' responses, none of which you have responded to. Conversely, you have responded to every post that implied you were a troll.

Feed your daisies, ignore your weeds - not the reverse.

by Neef 2008-06-19 10:00AM | 0 recs
Re: I have to point out

You're absolutely right. I'm going to go back over the comments again.

It's always tempting to respond to the most inflammatory comments immediately, especially because it's fast and easy to respond to them.

by 2008 Central 2008-06-19 10:17AM | 0 recs
So true n/t

by Neef 2008-06-19 10:27AM | 0 recs
Nine hours later...

...and you're still not finished "sorting" and haven't bothered to post an update beyond your tiny non-retraction retraction blurb at the top.

Yet you have time to post another article in the meantime which repeats the incorrect assertions you made in this one.

It's time for a mea culpa.

BTW:  AP's "excerpting policy" is a heaping pile of horseshit.  The AP does not get to decide what is and is not fair use.  Excerpt away, they won't dare to litigate because they know they'd be laughed out of court.

by BishopRook 2008-06-19 05:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Nine hours later...

Woops, meant to reply directly to your comment.  See my reply below.

by 2008 Central 2008-06-19 07:10PM | 0 recs
I doubt the HR was necessary

TR if you wish, but there's nothing there that touches the HR guidelines.

by BishopRook 2008-06-19 07:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Breaks Campaign Funding Pledge?

The reaction to this post, which was well reasoned and explained has been somewhat unbelievable.

First, just for the record, the new post that you refer to was written by the other co-managing editor of 2008Central.net, not myself.  I realize this wasn't readily apparent, but just wanted to set the record straight.

That said, I did write another diary on this subject, which provides links to audio of both campaigns' conference calls from this evening that discuss this issue.  This was not intended to replace a followup to this diary, but rather to supplement for those that are interested.

Now, will I post a follow up? Absolutely.

I wasn't aware that I was operating a deadline.  I said I'd follow up, give me chance to do so.

Clearly, you are very concerned about this post and that makes me happy.  I assume you've read my more substantive replies to some of the comments on this thread?  I could understand your frustration if I just up and disappeared after making this post, but I haven't as evidenced by participation in comment discussions, by updating the diary and by posting additional resources on the subject.

Further, I'm not really sure my post requires significant editing, especially in light of some of my replies in the comment thread.  Yes, I want to put together a new post on this topic, but no, it won't be much different than the original.  It will simply be more informed, since new information has emerged, but my original critique still stands -- I think the situation was mishandled.

I'm copying two replies to previous commenters for your reference.

My original issue with Obama's action was not the fact that he opted out of public financing.  It was the smart and necessary decision to make and if he had chosen to do otherwise he would have been hurting himself for no good reason.

Rather, (and again, based on how everything went with the meeting with the campaigns, this may all be moot), my issue is with Obama's promise to aggressively work out some type of agreement with the GOP nominee on public financing.

To me, it just doesn't seem that he really went through the effort that he said he would.  Further, I pointed out the inconsistency between saying that the public finance system is worth preserving and saying that the public finance system is broken.

This diary was not intended to suggest that anyone should decide against supporting Obama on this issue.  I would strongly caution against not supporting him on this alone.  Rather, the post was intended to do a few things:

1) point out an inconsistency (it's important to do that, regardless of where loyalty lies)

2) To assess its significance

3) To point out that there may be political consequences - not for opting out of public finance, but rather, for not doing (or seeming to do) something he said he would do, which is work with the GOP nominee.

And if he did work with the McCain campaign on this matter, he should have indicated that in his statement today. It would have put him in a significantly better light and stronger position on this issue alone.

AND

I was having this conversation earlier with fellow blogger.  From a strategic perspective, even if the Obama campaign met with the McCain campaign in the manner in which it is being reported, I still think they made a strategic blunder (albeit not a particularly big one)...

Obama said he'd work with the GOP nominee to hammer out some kind of agreement on public financing.  From the outset, it was obvious that the GOP had no intention of reducing 527 attacks this year and that McCain had no intention of pressuring them to do so (I should note that I am not saying this to imply that they are evil or something, but rather to highlight a basic strategic point -- they need the 527s for financial and political purposes much more than the Democrats do this election).

So, the Obama campaign should have made a slightly stronger and more public showing regarding efforts to hammer out some kind of deal on public financing.  There really is only two ways that such an activity could have played out:

1) Either McCain looks unwilling to work on public financing in a serious way; OR, 2) He looks too weak to do anything about the 527s; OR, Both.

As a result, Obama still could have made the same announcement that he did today.  Except, he would have the added benefits of:

1) including a sentence or two about his efforts and the McCain campaign's stonewalling; AND 2) he would not seem as though he was acting contradictory to positions regarding this issue that he espoused during 2007.

I suppose in all, my critique is not intended to be some insanely slimy and off base attack (as many seem to think), but rather, something I have done consistently: Look at a situation, point out issues and think about ways it could have been done better.

I certainly think this was one situation that could have been handled better AND possibly could have been to Obama's benefit.

by 2008 Central 2008-06-19 07:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Breaks Campaign Funding Pledge?

I don't take issue with those comments.

What I take issue with is the fact that you've posted an incorrect assertion (that Barack Obama has broken his pledge about public financing, when in fact he's been totally consistent on this issue); somebody in these comments showed you that the assertion was incorrect; and yet the incorrect assertion is still there.

When you should have posted a retraction, you merely added a message saying "there was a meeting, accounts are conflicting [PS: whose, exactly?], I'll post another update later."  And then to make matters worse, you never did post that new update.

If you were going to take a significant amount of time to "look into it," you should not be continuing the damage in the meantime by leaving the meat of the diary completely unchanged.  The proper response would have been to remove the unsupported assertions until you found support for them; if you did, then you could repost them.

As it is, we have had a diary spreading an unsupported accusation against our nominee, which the author himself has admitted needs looking into, sitting on the diary list all day, not to mention its presence on your own blog.

Maybe I'm overreacting.  But narrative is important in this election, and any unsupported charge can, with enough retelling, become accepted wisdom.  I don't want to see a repeat of "flip-flopper" from 2004.

Obama's not above legitimate criticism--I'm very disappointed in his endorsement of John Barrow today, for instance, as it goes seriously counter to his message of changing the way politics is played in Washington--but this is a very different story.

by BishopRook 2008-06-19 07:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Breaks Campaign Funding Pledge?

I did not offer an incorrect assertion.

My title was question marked, because at the time, I believed it was open for debate.  At present, I still think that's the case, although, I am inclined to believe that he did in fact fail to satisfy the standard he set for himself and promises he offered to voters on this issue.

He promised to aggressively pursue an agreement with the GOP nominee.  At present, it is pretty clear that this was not the case.

Further, he spent a year talking about the need to preserve the system.  Yet, despite no substantive difference in the public financing system between now and February 2007, Obama has declared that it is broken.  Why is the system broken today, but was not broken during 2007?

I know this may be difficult for a complete partisan to understand, but I am not one of the "bad guys."  I'm one of the good guys.  

Aside from the information regarding a single meeting that took place between lawyers for the campaigns, no additional information has been presented that significantly undermines the considerations that I put forth in my initial post.  I still intend on putting together a second post on this, but the focus on that post will not be to support Obama's handling of this issue.  Rather, I'll be consolidating information from my original post, comments and additional information for the time line.

Specifically, what in my original post do you believe needs to retracted?  Perhaps that's a better starting place.

by 2008 Central 2008-06-19 07:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Breaks Campaign Funding Pledge?

McCain was already breaking campaign finance laws and the 527's and local GOP chapters were already spewing the slime.  Is it any wonder discussions went no where? The Republicans have already broken any truce or agreement and started shooting.

When did Obama pledge to bend over and allow himself to get shredded? You are unhappy he didn't make enough of a show of his contacts with the McCain campaign?

I take exception to your title which supports McCain's talking points while ignoring the fact that McCain has already broken the campaign finance law and the Republicans have already started using private funding to slime Obama. They have already given their answer, the GE slime war has begun, Obama just acknowledged it. Of course McCain would like to have his cake and eat it to. Not going to happen with this Democrat.

From Talking Points Memo:

McCain opting into public financing, accepted the spending limits and then profited from that opt-in by securing a campaign saving loan. And then he used some clever, but not clever enough lawyering, to opt back out. And the person charged with saying what flies and what doesn't -- the Republican head of the FEC -- said he's not allowed to do that. He can't opt out unilaterally unless the FEC says he can.

The most generous interpretation of what happened is that McCain's lawyer came up with an ingenious legal two step that allowed him to double dip in the campaign finance system, eat his cake and spend it too. But even if you buy that line, successful gaming of the system doesn't really count as strict adherence. And the point is irrelevant since the head of the FEC -- a Republican -- says McCain cannot do this on his own.

We are on the front lines now taking incoming but some want to continue to snipe at our own rather then direct their fire at the enemy. With friends like these...

by hankg 2008-06-20 05:43AM | 0 recs

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