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Barack Obama Opts out of Public Financing

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Eisley - you're letting your imagination get the better of you... I don't think the facts support your belief.


Obama opted out of public financing because nearly 2 million small donors are expected to back him. He's the first to do so since the 1970s, but also the first to ever amass so many individual supporters. How much more democratic could that be? Check it out: http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/index.php

Barack Obama Total Raised: $339,216,317.Obama's percentage of funds raised from small donors: 47%Total Obama fundraising from small donors: $157.7M to $160.8M.John McCain total money raised: $145,466,201


Get that? Obama has raised more money from small donors than McCain has raised in TOTAL. And when you poke around through the 151,868 donors who gave MORE than $200 to Obama, you'll find a lot of people like me... small, recurring donations over time. Obama total raised from political action committees? $1,570. McCain total from PACs? $1.2m McCain and the RNC have also raised a similar amount from registered lobbyists, while Obama has refused any donations from lobbyists. When he became the presumptive nominee and took over the DNC, one of the first things he did there was restructure to prevent donations from PACs and lobbyists to the DNC (donating to the parties has been one of the traditional back doors for big money donors to buy influence and bypass the campaign finance laws).


Obama has also all but squashed out of existence the left-leaning 527 organizations... those "beyond the campaign finance law" private groups that raise unlimited funds and influence the campaign (often beyond the control of the candidate). You will hear MUCH less from the likes of Moveon.org, because the money just isn't flowing to them (Obama relocated most of the DNC operation out of DC and to Chicago within days of becoming the presumptive nominee and put a strangle hold on both of these back doors).


The current public financing program is flawed... by capping the amount that McCain will have to spend directly (BTW, Obama could double that with just a $100 from all his small donors), people looking to donate to McCain (particularly the big money folks) are left with no way to do so except through organizations beyond the official campaign... it's ironic that McCain's own campaign finance reform resulted in the creation of 527s like the Swift Boaters (much to his chagrin at the time), and now he finds himself likely in cahoots.


Obama refuses PAC and lobbyist money, McCain does not. Obama shut down back door donations to the DNC, McCain has not. Obama aggressively discourages donations to 527 orgs, McCain has not. Deciding to opt out of public financing was a tactical move, and I can't really see where he had much choice.


What's stunning is actually just how much less influence big money donations have had this year on both campaigns... in any other year, against any other candidate, McCain's fund raising efforts would seem admirable. Really, the amount he's accepted from PACs, etc is small by comparison to previous campaigns. But there's just no credible argument that Obama is "worse"... quite the contrary is true.


BTW, more "campaign democratization" stats that may mean something (or nothing):


Current Facebook Supporters

Obama: 1,195,443

McCain: 177,896


YouTube Views (kinda supports the media's contention that the public is simply more interested in Obama stories)

Obama: 56,484,127

McCain: 4,765,456







(This message has been edited by scouter-terry)

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Just my understanding of how presidential campaign financing works from my spot as Precinct Committee Officer and Legislative District organization Vice-Chair.


The great debate on signing on to Public Funding is who will be able to raise the most money The Candidates campaign or the National/State Parties. To effectively run a campaign you need money, you need organization in the local communities to identify, register and get out the voters (GOTV). Ads on TV are just a small part of it.


It is not much different than The Boy Scouts. You hire people to work full time to recruit volunteers. You rent office space for them to work out of, get phones, PCs, copiers and other office supplies so they can work effectively.


Where the money comes from to pay for this is what the choice of public financing or not. Four years ago the Kerry campaign went public so the National/State Parties picked up the tab because they could raise money. This year the money that Obama is raising from small and large donors would hard to turn off or redirect to the Party, so they are funding most of it.


To answer a questions about how can people give so much money to candidate is technically they will not be giving to the candidate. If had the money, I could give to the candidate, the national party, the state party. Then I could give to my Unions COPE (Committee on Political Education) PAC, and any number of other of PACs. If you have a lot of money there are ways to give lots of money.


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