Another Obama Lie: his Campaign Finances

I usually don't think that links make diaries.  Especially when the link is
to a forum that has turned into another Hillary Hate fest.  (They've
thrown out several HRC supporters. And I regret giving them hits.)

However, this post is atypical, and it looks like at least one HRC
supporter has managed to hang in:

Obama Lies about Campaign Finances 90% are $25-50

Last night Obama lied about the percentage of small donations which have been made to his campaign.
The Federal Election Commission figures are nothing like Obama states.
He gets around 70% from big business.
This statement is a lie."We have now raised 90 percent of our donations from small donors, $25, $50."

Presidential Campaign Finance
Through 01/31/2008
Contributions
Individual $137,431,938
PAC $25
Party $0
Candidate $0
Transfers-In $0
Disbursements $113,291,436
Cash On Hand $24,940,159
Size of Donations
$200 and Under $47,323,742
$200.01 - $499 $10,452,546
$500 - $999 $11,440,957
$1000 - $1999 $21,130,641
$2000 and Over $49,472,185

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/02/27/a merica/26textde...
"Now what I want to point out, though, more broadly is how we have approached this campaign. I said very early on I would not take PAC money. I would not take money from federal-registered lobbyists. That -- that was a multimillion-dollar decision but it was the right thing to do and the reason we were able to do that was because I had confidence that the American people, if they were motivated, would in fact finance the campaign.
We have now raised 90 percent of our donations from small donors, $25, $50. We average -- our average donation is $109 so we have built the kind of organization that is funded by the American people that is exactly the goal and the aim of everybody who's interested in good government and politics supports."
http://www.democraticunderground.com/dis cuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum= 132&topic_id=4806478&mesg_id=480 6478

Tags: Big Business, campaign finance, Debate, lie, obama (all tags)

Comments

53 Comments

At the risk of sounding like Bill Clinton:
"We have now raised 90 percent of our donations from small donors"

can have two meanings:

1) 90% of our money has come from small donors

2) 90% of our donors are small donors

It all comes down to what you mean by "donations". Are you counting the number of dollars or the number of donors?

He could have been clearer, but I don't see the big lie here.

by PhilFR 2008-02-28 07:48AM | 0 recs
I made a $25 donation yesterday

I've made several $25 dollar donations starting on the day Obama announced.

90% of donations come from small donors like me.

Here's an example. If 900 people donate $25 and 100 people donate $250, 90% of the donations came from $25 donors.

by Walt Starr 2008-02-28 07:53AM | 0 recs
and

every time you donate you're another donor.  You've been counted more than once, and that's another reason these numbers are defective. Now it' snot 90 percent are small donors but 90 percent divided by how many times each donor has made a small donation.  

by anna shane 2008-02-28 08:29AM | 0 recs
Re: and

Nope.  Multiple contributors from a single donor count as donations from ONE DONOR.

by mainelib 2008-02-28 08:58AM | 0 recs
But you don't even need to collect the name

of donors under $20 in cash, in person.   so you can "give" them all bumper stickers at the rally, and as long as nobody spends more than $20 at the chum table, you can report that each $1 came from a different donor.

by mdFriendofHillary 2008-02-28 09:19AM | 0 recs
Re: and

Wrong.

I'm still a single donor. I've made multiple donations. All of my donations have been $25 or under.

by Walt Starr 2008-02-28 10:05AM | 0 recs
So what does Obama mean?

And what does "90% of our money comes from small donors" mean? For all the condemnations of "parsing" from Obama World, it seems like there's A LOT of parsing going on now over this issue of donations.

by atdleft 2008-02-28 07:58AM | 0 recs
Re: So what does Obama mean?

he didn't say that.

by Adam B 2008-02-28 08:01AM | 0 recs
That's dishonest

You have recreated teh quote. Here, let me help you:

"We have now raised 90 percent of our donations from small donors, $25, $50."

Keyword: DONATIONS

Each time I give $25, it is a separate donation.

Each time you give $2300, it is a separate donation.

Now, get out there and do the math. The diarist's claim is an outright falsehood.

by Walt Starr 2008-02-28 08:08AM | 0 recs
Re: That's dishonest

But Obama also has ONE MILLION DONORS (not one million donations).

by mainelib 2008-02-28 08:59AM | 0 recs
Re: At the risk of sounding like Bill Clinton:

He means 90% of donors and the number of actual donations.  If I give $1, that's a donation.  If I give $2300, that's a donation.  One makes me a small donor.  The other makes me a big donor.  90% of his donors/donations can be small donors/donations, but that doesn't mean that 90% of the money is from small donors.  That doesn't make any sense at all.  For example, one maxed out donor gives the equivalent of 23 $100 donors.  In that example, about 96% are small donors, but they only add up to 50% of the total money.  

He may have been a bit unclear, as you point out, but if you really think about it, it's obvious that more small donors are necessary to give the same amount as one large donor.  This diary is just another attempt to force a false logic onto the Obama campaign.  The idea that small donors would contribute 90% of the money is almost impossible.  

by freedom78 2008-02-28 08:00AM | 0 recs
Re: At the risk of sounding like Bill Clinton:

There's nothing unclear about what he said if you know how to read.

by mainelib 2008-02-28 10:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, I think people HERE understand that
Yep, I guess he's really snookered Ted Kennedy, Russ Feingold, a growing list of other super-delegates, and the voters and caucusers of most stated that have spoken.

Puh-leeze.

by PhilFR 2008-02-28 08:26AM | 0 recs
Your math is messed up

You're basing yoour interpretation of 90% off total dollars.

The 90% figure is based off total donors.

If you do the math, Obama was being  pretty accurate.

by Walt Starr 2008-02-28 07:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Your math is messed up

Why would Obama say something like this, when he knows that anyone with a computer can check him on it?  You're interprutation of his remarks is what is flawed, not his statement.  

More of the same from the pro-clinton camp.

by chill 2008-02-28 07:59AM | 0 recs
Read the quote again

"We have now raised 90 percent of our donations from small donors, $25, $50."

Each time I have donated $25, it is a separate donation, and I can donate $25 92 times.

Each time somebody donates $2300, it is a single donation and they cannot donate again.

If I make none donations of $25 and you make one donation of $2300, 90% of the donations came from $25 donors and 10$ came from $2300 donors. Total raised is $2550.

by Walt Starr 2008-02-28 08:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Obama Lie: his Campaign Finances

run the numbners on that and you'll find, 90% of the 1,000,000 donors are very small contributors.

by Walt Starr 2008-02-28 07:51AM | 0 recs
As has already been pointed out...

Obama is talking about donors. Like...actual donors. And it stands to reason that 90% of them give in $25 chunks.

by pastor john 2008-02-28 07:56AM | 0 recs
How's that?

The diarist already provided the dollar amounts. So what do you have to refute the claim? Do you have a list of donors to prove your claim?

by atdleft 2008-02-28 07:59AM | 0 recs
Teh claim is erroneous on its face

."We have now raised 90 percent of our donations from small donors, $25, $50."

Keyword: DONATIONS

Reading comprehension is important. So is comprehension of basic mathematical principles.

by Walt Starr 2008-02-28 08:05AM | 0 recs
you got it?

he uses donor and donation to mean the same thing, but usually the meaning of donation is the dollar amount. but he's not strictly speaking lying, or is he?  Who knows what was in his mind?  He might have said 90 percent of donor donations are small dollar amounts, and come to about 40 percent of dollar donations? Is what he said inaccurate or a lie?  Or in other works is is is? But, will he clarify this to those who are saying, oh wow, he's 90 percent funded by small donations?  I'd guess he wants it to stay misleading.  He's a misleader already?  

by anna shane 2008-02-28 09:42AM | 0 recs
Re: you got it?

There's nothing misleading about it.  I find it very clear.

They teach this sort of thing in 5th and 6th grade math!!!

If you find it unclear, it's because you either don't want to understand it or you have problems with very basic mathematics.  

by mainelib 2008-02-28 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: How's that?

If the average donation of that group of small $ donors was the median from $0-200 ($100), then that would already account for 473,000 donations.  That's IF the average donation from that group is $100.  I'm sure it's much lower than that, since his average donation OVERALL is only $109, which factors in all those higher categories.  

Since he claims to have 1,000,000 donors, and the average donation from that group is likely much less than $100, it's pretty clear that small donors are an enormous part of his numbers.  If that average donation is $50, that would raise the number of donations in that group to 946,000.  Some donors repeat, but I think the numbers generally speak for themselves.      

by freedom78 2008-02-28 08:13AM | 0 recs
by Adam B 2008-02-28 08:14AM | 0 recs
Re: you want some math?

Wow...and 3x what Clinton raised from small donors.

Cue the conspiracy theory about lobbyists funneling money through college kids to Obama.  

by freedom78 2008-02-28 08:17AM | 0 recs
Re: As has already been pointed out...

nope.  When he "gives" away a bumper sticker, the cash he collects is a "donation."  This also allows him to not pay sales tax.

by mdFriendofHillary 2008-02-28 09:21AM | 0 recs
median 25

and average 7.50? he also charges a five buck donation for his policy statement booklet?  He's a clever one, his number are fine but can be spun into amazing hope?  

by anna shane 2008-02-28 09:50AM | 0 recs
Mathematics is such an important subject

and it's so sad to see so many people unable to comprehend simple mathematics.

If 900 people donate $50 and 100 people donate $2300, you raise a total of $275,000 but 90% of the donations came from people who donated $50. Thos 90% donated $45,000.

Word problems, people. This is why the SAT mathematics scores are so low in this country. People are unable to comnprehend word problems.

by Walt Starr 2008-02-28 07:57AM | 0 recs
except that

90 percent of his donors are small donors, and not 90 percent of his donations?  

by anna shane 2008-02-28 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Mathematics is such an important subject

More to the point, if you "give" 100,000 bumper stickers to people who "donate" $1, and collect $4,600 each from 10,000 people whose lobbiests ask them to contribute, then you have collected $46,100,000 and you can say that 90.9% of your donations came from $1 donors without disclosing who any of them are and you can say that you don't take money from lobbiests.  

by mdFriendofHillary 2008-02-28 09:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Mathematics is such an important subject

You do have to disclose larger donations.

I gave $ to Obama and I didn't get anything in return (except for a great feeling about helping this remarkable man in his presidential quest).

by mainelib 2008-02-28 10:26AM | 0 recs
not quite

Here's all the data.  It's 1/3 sub-$200, 1/3 between $201-$2299, 1/3 of $2300+ plus -- which is way, way more people-powered than Clinton's 14% small dollar, 50% max donor campaign.

by Adam B 2008-02-28 08:00AM | 0 recs
but she's not lying?

what is completely clear is that 90 percent of his donations are not from small donors, more than fifty percent is from large donors, and so he was lying in the debate? Why? I'm sure the same reason PBS likes to claim their viewer sponsored, so the little people will keep giving him whatever they can afford, whether he needs it or not?  

by anna shane 2008-02-28 09:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Obama Lie: his Campaign Finances
I'm not surprised.  I stop taking Obama's words for granted.
He only says just what the audience want to hear.
by JoeySky18 2008-02-28 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Obama Lie: his Campaign Finances

Yep. Like "Let's not invade Iraq."

by pastor john 2008-02-28 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Obama Lie: his Campaign Finances

Iraq had already been invaded before Obama was even on the scene. By listening to him, you'd think that he was up their standing besides Clinton, Edwards, Dodd, and Biden. It almost laughable to consider such statements after-the-fact...

by Check077 2008-02-28 09:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Obama Lie: his Campaign Finances

It's not a lie. But it's intentionally misleading. Nobody cares that 90% of the "donations" are small. The important fact is that over half ($70 million out $137 million)of the MONEY (as of 1/31/08) has been given by large donors ($1000 or more).

If 1,000,000 people gave one cent, and one person gave a million dollars, it would be "accurate" to say that well over 99% of the "donations" were small, even though over 99% of the money came from one, large donor.

Similarly, Obama's statement paints a picture at odds with the facts, even though it is technically correct. By very careful use of language, he is giving the impression that his campaign is being funded primarily by small donors. And that is simply not true.

by freemansfarm 2008-02-28 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Obama Lie: his Campaign Finances

Hear hear.

Folks in the media don't investigate the meaning and/or report that 2/3s of his money comes from large donations because his statement plays into the popular narrative of his campaign.  

by mgee 2008-02-28 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Obama Lie: his Campaign Finances

It's not misleading to people who understand both math and the English language.

by mainelib 2008-02-28 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Obama Lie: his Campaign Finances

Would you like me to explain to you how to compute an average?

by mainelib 2008-02-28 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Obama Lie: his Campaign Finances

Not true.

It's tremendously important that Obama has received so many small donations. Folks who give $25 or $50 have "bought in" to the campaign and are more likely to volunteer or perform some sort of tangible field work at a later date.

If you don't get that, then you haven't been paying attention to politics over the last 3 years.

by pastor john 2008-02-28 09:02AM | 0 recs
Geez...

Didn't the Clinton camp learn its lesson from the "meaning of 'is'" debacle?

I mean.... last night, someone was arguing that Obama isn't a constitutional scholar because he doesn't meet the letter of the rigid academic definition of scholar.  Never mind that he's lectured at U of C for 10 years.  Never mind that's worked as civil rights attorney.  Never mind he headed the Harvard Law review.  

Then - we had the Farrakhan debate silliness... "Fine - I renounce AND Reject.."

Now - we're parsing donors.

Geez...

Dick Cheney ought to really drop by this place.  He might then understand the REAL meaning of "last throes".

by zonk 2008-02-28 08:34AM | 0 recs
Only 5 more days of this garbage....

Edamame Dumplings

INGREDIENTS

   * 1 (1 pound) package frozen edamame (green soybeans), thawed
    * 1/4 cup water
    * 1/4 cup olive oil
    * 1/2 cup sour cream
    * 1 tablespoon salt
    * 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    * 1 green onion, chopped
    * 1 clove garlic, chopped
    * 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    * 1 dash hot sauce
    * 2 (12 ounce) packages small won ton wrappers
    * 6 cups water
    * 4 cubes chicken bouillon

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly-salted water to a boil. Add edamame and boil for 10 minutes; drain. Rinse with cold water.
   2. Place edamame in a food processor; turn processor on to low. Drizzle in 1/4 cup water and olive oil while continuing to process until combined. Turn off the food processor and add the sour cream, salt, pepper, green onion, garlic, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Process until mixture is smooth.
   3. Place 1 teaspoon of the mixture in the center of each won ton wrapper. Bring 2 opposite corners of the wrapper together to form a triangle; pinch the edges closed. Bring farthest corners of the triangle together and overlap one another. Use a little bit of water on the corners and pinch them together to ensure they stay together.
   4. Stir together 6 cups water and the bouillon cubes in a large, deep skillet over medium heat; bring to a gentle boil. Lay the wontons in the water, assuring they don't touch one another; cook until tender, about 5 minutes; plate. Ladle broth from skillet over won tons to serve.

by John in Chicago 2008-02-28 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Only 5 more days of this garbage....

What...you're about to have a cookout? Man, that is some funny stuff, eventhough you're an Obama supporter and I'm a Clinton supporter. Cooking for the celebration--I'll need to try that recipe...

by Check077 2008-02-28 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Obama Lie: his Campaign Finances

The statement is definitely ambiguous but not necessarily either false or misleading.  In the future, he should just say "donors" instead of "donations".

Of course, right now, I'm in the list of $25 "donations" because I threw him a token when he was pushing for 500,000.  I'll move way up the ladder later in the GE.

by NJIndependent 2008-02-28 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Obama Lie: his Campaign Finances

What about his blatant lie about PAC money.  That clearly indicates he took $25 from someone.  That's a much bigger issue, IMO.  It was probably from HamasPAC or FriendsOfOBL.

by NJIndependent 2008-02-28 09:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Obama Lie: his Campaign Finances

Actually the Osama Bin Laden PAC supports McCain. Anybody who could tie down the US Armed Forces in an irrelevant quagmire while keeping them off their backs in Pakistan is their "guy". And they appreciate him crippling our Armed Forces too.

by Skipster 2008-02-28 10:42AM | 0 recs
Obama = The People's Candidate!


Obama

Summary
Contributions    
Individual     $137,431,938
PAC     $25
Party     $0
Candidate     $0
Transfers-In     $0
Disbursements     $113,291,436
Cash On Hand     $24,940,159
Size of Donations
$200 and Under     $47,323,742
$200.01 - $499     $10,452,546
$500 - $999     $11,440,957
$1000 - $1999     $21,130,641
$2000 and Over     $49,472,185

Clinton
 Contributions     
Individual     $117,411,721
PAC     $1,050,419
Party     $1,000
Candidate     $5,000,000
Transfers-In     $10,000,000
Disbursements     $105,350,147
Cash On Hand     $29,186,341
Size of Donations
$200 and Under     $18,660,346
$200.01 - $499     $4,876,808
$500 - $999     $6,790,257
$1000 - $1999     $20,013,590
$2000 and Over     $69,717,042

McCain
Contributions
Individual     $48,121,817
PAC     $575,924
Party     $2,500
Candidate     $0
Transfers-In     $1,056,002
Disbursements     $48,518,709
Cash On Hand     $5,198,421
Size of Donations
$200 and Under     $12,255,455
$200.01 - $499     $2,595,721
$500 - $999     $4,292,476
$1000 - $1999     $8,648,735
$2000 and Over     $21,657,862


Fraction of money from under $500 donations:
Obama: 42.04%
Clinton: 20.05%
McCain: 30.86%


Money from PACS:
Obama: $25
Clinton: $1,050,419
McCain: $575,924

Clinton = The PAC Candidate!

by NeuvoLiberal 2008-02-28 09:41AM | 0 recs
People-Powered Obama vs PAC-Powered Clinton


Fraction of money from donations under $200:                           
Obama:34.43%

Clinton: 15.89%

McCain:    25.47%

Fraction of money from donations under $500:                           
Obama: 42.04%

Clinton: 20.05%
McCain:    30.86%

Money from PACS:

Obama: $25
Clinton: $1,050,419
McCain: $575,924
data

by NeuvoLiberal 2008-02-28 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: People-Powered Obama vs PAC-Powered Clinton

According to your data,

Hillary has raised over $160 million dollars.

She's raised $1 million from PACs? Who cares? It's less than 1% of her total, hardly the sort of figure that would influence a President.

by mrstas 2008-02-28 09:54AM | 0 recs
She did raise more PAC money than McCain

(should be about the fraction of the total raised as McCain).

Here is more break down:


Fraction of money from donations under $200:
Obama:    34.43%        Clinton:    15.89%        McCain:    25.47%

Fraction of money from donations under $500:
Obama:    42.04%        Clinton:    20.05%        McCain:    30.86%

Fraction of money from donations over $1000:
Obama:    51.4%        Clinton:    76.4%        McCain:    63.0%

Fraction of money from donations over $2000:
Obama:    36.0%        Clinton:    59.4%        McCain:    45.0%

It's clear that Clinton is the big money candidate and Obama did best with small/medium money donations. Even McCain's profile is better than Clinton's.

by NeuvoLiberal 2008-02-28 10:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Obama Lie: his Campaign Finances

This is a serious allegation.  Do you have any sourcing or evidence for this at all?

by Rorgg 2008-02-28 10:06AM | 0 recs
Probably not true

What you are describing is called Money Laundering.  It is a Federal offense that promises serious prison time if a person is convicted.  Although the FEC has not been on the ball in enforcing many of its regulations, this is one area where they are dead serious.  I cannot imagine very many big donors and lobbyists being able to get away with this activity.  It may have happened here or there but there aren't enough people out there who would be willing to act as strawmen for these donors knowing that by doing so it could mean going to jail for a long time.  Certainly there are not enough to explain all of the monumental success that Obama has had to date in attracting small donors to his campaign.

by DreamsOfABlueNation 2008-02-28 12:26PM | 0 recs

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