Is real campaign finance here, finally, and by accident?

nick
Mar 23, 2010

Barack Obama's announcement earlier this week that he would forgo public financing just underscores how game changing and far reaching this whole Interweb is.

Ever since the campaign finance reforms were enacted in the mid '70s, we've been waiting for someone to say, "I want to spend all my money and I don't need any public funds." Every election, as elections get more and more expensive, we keep waiting for someone to say it.

And finally it's happened, but not in the way anyone was expecting. Every cycle the pundits look to the guy (or this year, woman) with the richest friends. But it didn't turn out to be that candidate. It turns out it's the one who gets his donations online.

Obama has a massive cohort of small donors who've given an average of $200 to his campaign. Clinton, McCain, and their ilk, those who get their funds from high-priced fundraisers are getting their war chests filled by a smaller number of people maxing out their legally allowed contributions.

But it turns out that small donations from "We the People" are a lot more powerful than a few donations from fat cats. This is not a lesson that will be lost on future candidates and I predict that this is the last general election where any candidate will accept public funds.

I think it bodes well for our democracy. Whoever wins, then it'll be "We the People" who calls up and says, "Hey, remember me, I raised a lot of money for you in the Midwest, and I want a favor."

Comments

Anonymous

Hmm. If that's not incentive to go and donate fifty bucks to a campaign, I don't know what is. How much has Obama raised online? Can he really win that way?

Anonymous

Obama lied. He said that he would use public campaign financing if McCain did the same. Now we learned that McCain will use public financing and we also learned that Obama lies!

Anonymous

Geez, seems like just last week Ethel Kennedy had a tea party for Obama, cost to get in was over $28,000 per head.

Thems the kind of grass roots I gotta get me some of!

Anonymous

"The definition of death, in corporate America, is believing you don't have any competition. The definition of being in a coma may be underestimating that competition."

JD's picture
JD

All I got to say is Jimmy Carter!!!!

Anonymous

Giving money to politicians is like encouraging a dog to hump your leg.

Anonymous

Fair enough, but it's being widely reported that over 90 percent of Obama's more than $266M has been raised in chunks of $200 or less.

--Nick White

Anonymous

So, is this "widely reported" source saying anything about the size of the "chunks" being donated by the Republican supporters?

Last night Obama raised more than $5 million, which will be divided between the Democratic National Committee and his presidential campaign. (The money included about 200 seats at a VIP dinner that cost $28,500 per couple. An additional 700 people paid as much as $2,300 each to attend the reception.)

Looks like that $200 average is starting to rise.

Anonymous

Many years ago for a college Political Science class, I wrote a paper about the Federal Corrupt Practices Act of 1910. It was enacted to limit campaign spending.

There was also a toothless campaign-spending act, which passed Congress in 1907.

So, here we are over 100 years later and we’re still talking about the same thing.

As long as there are politicians, there will be money, and legislators will continue to pass campaign finance laws in an attempt to purify the effects of one upon the other.

Not to be totally sacrilegious against the pronouncements of the Great and Powerful Obama, but there ain’t no magic no matter how he’s been able to turn a phrase and amaze and wonder the gullible masses.

JD's picture
JD

Well I continue to be amazed at how short our memmory is. Not very long ago Obama said something to the effect that he would not go this way because if one takes money form someone he is then beholden to them and there intrest. He said that he would go the same way he is now looking down his nose at McCain for. But ( now this is the part I can not understand ) Obama is put on a pedistal for being the better man.

Anonymous

I SEE THE MURRAT IS POSTING HIS CAMPAIGN SIGNS AROUND TOWN. REMEMBER PEOPLE HOW HE IS RUNNING THE CITY, AS I'M SURE YOU WOULDN'T WANT THE MURRAT AS YOUR STATE REPRESENTIVE. BETTER VOTE ENDERLE.

Anonymous

Wow, you were in college a hundred years ago?

Just how old are you?

Anonymous

RE Tainted dog food: ' Wow, you were in college a hundred years ago?'

You flunked reading comprehension in school right? And history was a poor second?

Luckily for you, as a dupe under the mental control of 'The Obama,' that skill set is not necessary.

Only mindless obedience is required – you’ll perform fine for your master.