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From the cowards at the AP, which still hasn't sued me for pasting portions of their articles:

Obama reported spending $55 million in July, his highest in a single month, spending about $33 million on producing and airing commercials. McCain reported spending $32 million in July, with nearly $2 of every $3 devoted to advertising.

Documents filed with the Federal Election Commission Wednesday show Obama raised $50 million and had about $66 million in the bank at the start of August. McCain reported raising more than $26 million during the month. He began August with more than $21 million in the bank.

The two candidates spent aggressively on advertising. McCain targeted about 11 traditional battleground states and Obama ran ads in 18 states, expanding his sights to states that have voted Republican in the past.

$55 million in one month ... that was more than John Edwards would've been allowed to spend entirely between January 2007 through the convention. Regardless of how efficiently Obama may or may not be spending that money, fact is that without dramatic changes in the law, no presidential candidate can take public financing in the primary and hope to be competitive in this day and age.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:04 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If the current laws aren't being enforced (6+ / 0-)

    (see previous post),
    who the hell cares?

    Republicans are not a national party anymore.

    by jalapeno on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:05:54 PM PDT

    •  Here comes the "white powder" again... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CityLightsLover, jennyL

      turn on CNN...

      Try as you might, you cannot spell HOPE with the letters GOP.

      by David Kroning on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:13:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  John McCain is still violating the law (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      everyday, by spending beyond the cap he agreed to when he used the matching funds as loan collateral.

      "Speak out, judge fairly, and defend the rights of oppressed and needy people." Proverbs 31:9

      by zdefender on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:18:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What laws and what enforcement? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It goes back to the old riddle, "when is a law not a law" and the answer is when it is not treated as a law.  We already know from the Unitary Executive that being President means that you are able to trump any law simply by the power of your office.

      The problem is that too many people are willing to condone lawlessness if it comes from high places. Therefore we have Lou Dobbs stating that as far as he is concerned, the government can take away any right or liberty they please, just so long as they protect him from Mexican drug lords. (maybe solitary confinement in a cell in Azerbaijan would be a safe haven?  

    •  Cost analysis (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, CityLightsLover

      I wonder if a good chunk of modern campaign problem can be solved simply by better open source software.

      I mean do we really need to pay catering, Mark Penn, Parking Fee, entertainment, etc?

      If the problem is data collection, analyzing data, and go talk to people.... Isn't that a "software" problem?

      once the data is collected, it's only a matter of keeping the database update and expanding data point. Why on earth anybody need to spend $20m on pollster?

      Why not spend it on DNC to keep the database update? I bet we know 70-80% of all voters behavior accurately that way.

  •  Um . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    $55 million in one month ... that was more than John Edwards would've been allowed to spend entirely between January 2007 through the convention.

    By this, I assume you mean on legitimate campaign expenses, right?

    •  Low blow without any (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      phenry, benny05

      evidence. Absolutely uneccessary.

      Well, I'll remmeber not to donate to Peters for Congress, because you seem to think attacking Dems is more important than electing them.

      "The answer is to end our reliance on carbon-based fuels." Al Gore, 7/17/08

      by TomP on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:26:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or, it may have been a joke (0+ / 0-)

        Good grief.

        •  Poor joke. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          No reason to attack Dems.  Better for Obama and all Dems right now to let Edwards be a private citizen and fade away.

          "The answer is to end our reliance on carbon-based fuels." Al Gore, 7/17/08

          by TomP on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:41:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Attack? (0+ / 0-)

            Yeah, that's what it was.  A brutal, vicious (not to mention, unnecessary) attack.  He's wounded, bleeding and left for dead.  God, the hyperbole here is unreal.  It was a quick-shot, one-liner of a joke, Tom; nothing more than that.  And if we here have to be so damn careful not to joke because someone's tender sensibilities might get bruised or because the so-called "target" is a Democrat, well, then let's shut the damn blog down right now.

            Look, I was an Edwards supporter until he announced his plan--bullshit, his plan; his necessity--to accept public funds.  At that point he became untennable as a candidate, no matter how lofty his announced reasons for doing so.  And what did our hero do during that time?  Continue to run a campaign that sucked money and attention away from two more viable candidates, while he and Elizabeth committed political malpractice with the little secret the two of them deluded themselves into believing would never be discovered.

            I'm sorry, but politics is a damn rough game, and Edwards took a huge risk on your behalf, mine, and everyone who either voted for him or would have been prepared to do so if he were somehow to have become the nominee.  I call bullshit on that.  So if a little one-liner is enough to keep you from donating to a candidate whom you likely never would have donated to in order to make me feel bad about making the joke in the first place, fine.

            Face it, John Edwards should have remained a provate citizen 'long about 2006-7, before he announced his campaign to potentially destroy the chances for a Democratic president.  So, I think it ought to be him you're pissed at, not me.

  •  But how much free air time did McCain get from (6+ / 0-)

    cable news repeating his atrocious attack ads?

  •  so, should I stop checking the box (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm inclined to keep doing it, since it helps the minor candidates who can play a constructive role.

  •  If one (0+ / 0-)

    believes that public financing is not the way to go, then one needs to show their belief by coughing up before Monday.

  •  Public financing means public sends in money. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DocGonzo, Brooke In Seattle

    What you are talking about is taxpayer funded politician welfare. The public plays no role in that other than paying. A few beaureacrats in Washington make the decisions.

    With him from the beginning, with him until the end.

    by brooklynbadboy on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:10:37 PM PDT

  •  Hey Markos . . (0+ / 0-)

    has the AP ever quoted you without getting your written permission first?

    Might be quite like suing a hornet's nest . . .

    "When Siddhartha has a goal, he does nothing. He thinks, he waits, he fasts. He goes through life like a stone through water." - H. Hesse, Siddhartha

    by thenekkidtruth on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:11:39 PM PDT

  •  One Dollar, One Vote (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CWalter, liberate

    Quite the "democracy" we've created for ourselves.

  •  Financing is not the only problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But also the need to lower the "cost" of modern campaign. Television, expensive pollster, think-tank, advisors, wonks, etc.

    There need to be an innovation in modern campaign. Fattening up media corporation is NOT the answer.

    Half a billion dollar campaign? Bonanza to television industry but death blow to democracy. The wealth and power concentration resulted in such amount of money is obscene.

    If I have my way around. I would create special "channels" for election. (this consist of cable TV channel, part radio channel, part free internet server, free campaigning softwares, etc) for candidates.

    They can reach anybody at low cost, if they use it wisely. (not the shiniest platform, but "free".

    btw. time to create "open source" campaign software. (social networking, data analysis, traffic analysis, address database, etc)

    That will at least kill off tons of money scam in DC, specially for small campaign operation.

  •  John Edwards sucks! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vincenzo Giambatista

    Seriously, look at what kind of nominee this guy would've been. They'd be slamming him with all that concealed affair stuff, and then he wouldn;t even have the funds to defend himself.

  •  what's with the discrepancy between what was (0+ / 0-)

    reported by each campaign as having been raised last month and the FEC docs?  McCain said he raised 27, but the AP says the FEC docs show 26.  Obama said he raised more than 51, but the FEC docs say 50.

  •  McCain publicly financed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stillman, phenry

    His 5 year stay in a POW camp.  What more do you want from him?  He should get to campaign for FREE.

    Bush will be impeached.

    by jgkojak on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:15:35 PM PDT

  •  Time to relegate McCain Feingold (0+ / 0-)

    to the dustbin of oblivion. New public finance legislation is badly needed.  

    Elections should be publicly funded, but we need better checks and balances in the system, since the system we have has gone completely awry. Once Democrats control the White House and both houses of Congress, perhaps we'll get a new champion of the issue with some better ideas about how to make things work.

    Cancer research, prevention and treatment. Make it an issue. ACS Cancer Action Network

    by KeepingItBlueKrstna on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:15:48 PM PDT

    •  Not likely (0+ / 0-)

      Unfortunately, as much as we love the democrats, they are historically as much a part of this failed system as a lot of the Republicans.

      It is not beyond saying that a lot of democrats currently in our federal government got there in large part because of this mess.

      What we still need is not just more democrats but better democrats.

      While I doubt we will get there now, maybe in another 4 years after a successful Obama Administration, we might be looking at getting a significant majority of "better democrats" to cause change.

      Though, we still have to be careful not to restrict the rights of people who want to pool their money to push a cause legitimately (not just to attack one of the contenders)

    •  just so we're clear (0+ / 0-)

      McCain-Feingold has nothing to do with the presidential public funding system.

  •  Yeah, John Edwards sucks. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And if you see her... Tell her it's over now!

    by Vincenzo Giambatista on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:16:11 PM PDT

    •  And... (0+ / 0-)

      WTF is that about? Markos was talking about campaign financing in general, not about Edwards as a candidate or his life since he suspended his campaign.   It was a mere example of how much cash Obama has and can spend.

  •  I don't know Kos: (4+ / 0-)

    From the cowards at the AP, which still hasn't sued me for pasting portions of their articles

    Sounds like a double-dog dare to me!

    Never give up! Never surrender!

    by oscarsmom on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:16:57 PM PDT

  •  Public Financing is dead...suggestions... (0+ / 0-)

    1.) Raise individual limits to $5k
    2.) End all public matching funds
    3.) Remove the party fund-raising loop-hole
    4.) Allow PACs to spend on behalf of issues
    -----with tighter legistlation and notation of fund-raisers.
    5.) Better info on bundlers.

  •  That was my fear when Dean opted out in 2004 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Which is why I voted against it when supporters had the chance to vote. I thought it was a bad precedent that would make it hard for candidates to take public financing in the future and remain viable. And sure enough, that's what happened this year.

  •  a billion dollars for a presidential election... (7+ / 0-)

    ...are we proud of ourselves yet?

    Dudehisattva... <div style="color: #0000a0;">"Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"&l

    by Dood Abides on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:19:32 PM PDT

  •  If Chris Farley were alive (0+ / 0-)

    I'd pay him to play McCain in a campaign commercial... and I'd replace "in a van down by the river" with "5 years as a POW"

    Bush will be impeached.

    by jgkojak on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:20:09 PM PDT

  •  Maybe, maybe not. (0+ / 0-)

    no presidential candidate can take public financing in the primary and hope to be competitive in this day and age

    This is true with respect to traditional advertising -- print, radio, television especially. However, is that really "this day and age?" Candidates are just starting to catch on about the importance of using the Internet to network with people and disseminate information. How long until we see YouTube et al. as the primary conduit for candidate ads? And wouldn't that simultaneously drastically cut advertising costs and greatly broaden exposure (to a global level)?

    Help Colbert: donate to needy students in PA!

    by liberate on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:21:53 PM PDT

  •  concentrate, Barack... (0+ / 0-)

    Obama spent nearly double the McCain on Ads? My friends in Ohio tell me they're inundated with McCain ads and see very few from Obama. Don't neglect the really important states, please. And a reminder that the McCain Ads are "defining" Obama, and for Obama to wait till October to try and "define" himself may well be too late.

  •  Both these candidates have doomed campaign (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    financing reform by their behaviour.  In my opinion they are both equally to blame. McCain because in part his 'maverick' image was based on his stand against the corruption of campaign financing.  Obama because initially he led many of us to believe that campaign financing was part of the 'change' he was advocating.

    To me the obscene amounts of money raised to election all elected officials, but specifically presidental campaigns, is a major part of the problem in our politicial system.  Whatever laws are in place, the way the game is played makes it impossible for anyone other than wealthy candidates like Mitt Romney to consider running. People like Chris Dodd need to make pacts with the devil in order to throw their hats in the ring. This need for massive war chests filters down even to the local level in state precincts.

    Massive overall shrinking of the campaign seasons is one my personal priorities in wringing some of the corruption out of the process.  I shall not hold my breath.  

  •  I believe as long as you state where something (0+ / 0-)

    comes from they can not do a thing to you.  It is when you claim something as your own that you get in trouble.

    Also, let's get some websites and fight back against McCain and his cronies.  How about or

    It is up to us to fight back against them for Barack.

    my blog

  •  Edwards nomination... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adam B, SeaTurtle, echatwa

    ... truly would've been the nightmare scenario.  Not only would he have had to deal with the scandal possibly breaking, he'd get outspent something like 5:1 until September.

    "Whether the British ruling class are wicked or merely stupid is one of the most difficult questions of our time." - George Orwell on the Spanish Civil War

    by Ramo on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:34:26 PM PDT

  •  True Public Financing Isn't from the Government (0+ / 0-)

    Government financing isn't public financing, it's a conflict of interest probably worse than the bribes currently called "private financing".

    The fair way is to let any American citizen (humans, not corporations) donate any amount of money they want. But never directly to a candidate or official. That kind of direct contribution is bribery.

    Instead, people donate to the race for that office. A single fund that anyone registered as running for election to that office can draw upon equally. And allow campaign expenses from only that fund. This includes "donations" and "loans" from the candidate themself, too, no matter how rich they are.

    The only legitimate purpose of donating money for campaigning is to be sure that each candidate has enough money to get their message out. So all the candidates will have equal money to do so. If none of them have enough, their combined efforts to raise the money will benefit each of them equally. Yes, that means that some lazy fundraisers will get a "free ride". But the money their competitors raise can be spent to easily slam them with that fact, undeniably simple and pretty sleazy for someone running for a job paid with government money.

    This system is extremely simple, and so hard to corrupt. The accounts will be easy for the FEC to audit and administer. The total amount of money raised and spent will be closer to the minimum necessary, rather than the maximum possible. And with fundraising/expenses lowered, the campaigns will focus more on plot and characters, less on special effects. Candidates will spend less time fundraising instead of governing once they're elected. Perennial candidates whose career is really just fundraising and losing will get cleared out of the public's serious business like so much deadwood. And of course the debts owed by candidates and officials to their bribers will shrink towards zero, so they will be freer to work for the people, not from some moneybags who bought them their office.

    So I'm glad "public" finance is dead. Because the public deserves to finance elections without either the rich, the corporations, or the government buying a higher priority than the people.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:34:50 PM PDT

    •  the real problem (0+ / 0-)

      The real problem remains the Supreme Court, It won't allow, under the 1st Amendment, the kind of limitations on corporate donations that will be necessary if any "real" public financing is to succeed. As long as the Court maintains that money is speech in politics, well......At least Obama wasn't dumb enough to fall into the trap, because otherwise he'd be facing the massive funding of the RNC and 527/501s of McCain with much less to rely on his side
      (no matter what, if it really matters,the GOP will get more big pocket donors than we will).

      •  huh? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DocGonzo, benny05

        Corporations have been barred for 100 years from making contributions to candidates.  2 USC 441b.

      •  Wrong on Three Counts (0+ / 0-)

        For one, as Adam B detailed, corporations are already prohibited from making contributions under the current system.

        For another, corporations aren't people, so that total anti-democratic screwup is another reform that America desperately needs. Less bribed politicians will speed that reform.

        And for yet another, spending money isn't speech. The speech it buys is speech, but only the speech itself is speech. That's yet another corporate and plutocrat privilege that's been ruled wrong, which less bribed politicians will be less interested in perpetuating.

        And if you still think that a big pocket donor can give more to a single candidate, not all of them (which will naturally discourage such lavish giving), despite the simple and absolute system I describe, you need a lot more instruction than I can give in these posts.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:58:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Unless you're John McCain and laws won't apply (0+ / 0-)

    Of course, in an age in which regulators don't do their job and courts can't enforce their rulings, who knows what you 'can' or 'can't' do -- McCain can both take public financing and then do whatever else he pleases, and no one will really stop him, will they?

  •  I can't wait for the olympics (0+ / 0-)

    to be over.

    Without MSNBC, I'm having to get news from CNN.

    Their Obama coverage is frightening the heck out of me.

    Negative - Negative -  Negative.

    Even their positive Obama stories are really negative.

    With money, all things are possible. <---- me

    by that sucking sound on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:41:33 PM PDT

  •  VP news (0+ / 0-)

    sorry this is off topic, but this is quite interesting:

    I went to Yahoo, and on the main page, there was a story titled "Obama says he's decided on running mate."  It said he decided, but "I've made the selection, that's all you're gonna get"  Then it said that Obama said the VP would be independent (small "i"), would challenge him in the White House, and would help with the economy.  I swear I saw this because it was very telling.

    I went back to yahoo for the same AP article, and they've wiped those 3 qualifiers and it now just says "I've made the selection, that's all you're gonna get."  Very strange.

    If what I read initially was accurate, my first thought was Michael Bloomberg and my next thought was Chuck Hagel.  Politically, I think either of those are probably stronger than the Dems being discussed.

    If anyone knows a way to go back in time and catch that original AP posting, it would be great.  My only guess is that Obama thought he was saying too much and asked them to nix it.

    Sorry for the off-topic, but it's pretty damned interesting.

    "There comes a time when deceit and defiance must be seen for what they are. At that point, a gathering danger must be directly confronted." --Dick Cheney

    by ronnyg on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:41:51 PM PDT

  •  Off topic: I just participated in my 1st Rasmusse (0+ / 0-)

    n presidential poll. They called my landline.

    The automated poll asked about Obama/McCain and their favorables, if I view favorably the potential veep picks (Kaine, Biden, Hillary, Sebelius, Bayh), if I follow the election, offshore drilling, environmental concern, country off/on track, satisfied/unsatisfied with Bush, party affiliation, frequency of voting, most important issues in the elections, and a few other things.

    Was quite interesting.  

    Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty ::Thomas Jefferson::

    by Jeremy10036 on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:44:45 PM PDT

  •  Did you notice that ABC won't let you Control-C (0+ / 0-)

    to copy exerpts?

    You have to use the file menu.


  •  Quote of the Day! (0+ / 0-)

    From the cowards at the AP, which still hasn't sued me for pasting portions of their articles:

    If you feel you must become like your enemies to beat them, they've already defeated you (-7.00/-5.33)

    by DoubleBarrellBunnyAnger on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 05:14:55 PM PDT

  •  The Intertubes ARE public financing (0+ / 0-)
  •  especially if he is raising 7.9 million a night (0+ / 0-)

    Barack Obama raised 7.9 million dollars last Saturday in SFO.

  •  Thing is, Obama didn't opt out of public (0+ / 0-)

    financing, he's using the ultimate in public financing...the Internet! We should change the name. If you take money from the government then it should be government financing. What Obama has done is gone grassroots and gotten money from the people, the public, directly. It is the ultimate in public financing, something those who instituted the "public financing" rules/laws back in the 1970s could never even have dreamed of!  (Psssst - 'cause there were no internet "tubes" back in those days!)

    "In a time of universal deceit -- telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

    by MA Liberal on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 09:20:31 PM PDT

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