presidential race

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Breaking Up Bundles

The New York Times addresses Mssrs. McCain and Obama on the subject of bundling advising both should pledge to make it a priority to rein in the practice should be elected President. The Times goes a step further and says that while addressing bundling is important, full public financing of campaigns should be the ultimate goal.

How Much for Dessert?

Heralded as he is for drawing a huge number of small donors to his presidential campaign, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is still collecting plenty of $1,000+ plus checks, as this story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune explains. Obama was in the Minneapolis area for a big fundraising event, at which attendees ponied up $1,000 for dinner and $5,000 for a picture with the candidate.

Bagging the Bundlers

In these campaign contribution-limited times, the big-money bundlers to the presidential campaigns are worth their weight in gold (check or credit card also accepted). McCain, whose Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act helped establish current federal campaign contribution limits, is out-raising Obama on the bundler front but neither man is exactly eschewing the practice that many have called a loophole for big donor influence.

 

Conventional Tactics

We've noted on several occasions the major loophole provided by Democratic and Republican conventions for corporations to flex their contribution muscles. Conventions don't fit under the guidelines that restrict corporate giving to candidates and parties, so the multi-million dollar events are a good opportunity for corporate interests to give generously - and reap the benefits.

Making a List, Checking it Twice

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) values his reputation as a reformer and Sen. Barack Obama (D) has boasted about the transparency of his campaign but the New York Times is a little disappointed in both of their efforts on the donor/bundler disclosure front. After a nudge from the paper the Obama campaign updated its publicly available list of bundlers but should they need hounding from the press?

A Beautiful Friendship

The Washington Post examines Rick Davis' vital role in Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, and his history with the Senator which they describe as a "relationship [. .

Filling With Hot Water

Public Campaign Action Fund's David Donnelly has articles in the Huffington Post and the Minneapolis Star Tribune discussing John McCain's lobbyist woes, an the reignited controversy over McCain's involvement in the awarding of a lucrative Air Force contract to European-owned Airbus over Boeing.

 

Obama Opts Out

Senator Barack Obama (D) has decided to opt out of the partial public financing system for the general presidential election, the first candidate to do so since the system was adopted. He is expected to have a fundraising advantage over Republican rival John McCain. In response to Obama's decision, Public Campaign Action Fund has released this statement.

Big, Bad Oil

Experts will tell you that it would be years before American consumers would seen any benefit from the proposed offshore oil drilling President Bush is attempting to push through Congress. So why is Senator John McCain (R) pushing the idea on the campaign trail as a solution to rising gas prices? ThinkProgress speculates on McCain's change of heart -- and the money he's taking in from the oil and gas industry.

Identifying the Threat

Breaking news: not all lobbyists are evil people. In related news, "lobbying" signifies so many different types of activities undertaken in pursuit of so many goals that to vilify or exonerate the whole profession is a useless enterprise. Instead, let's get after the real danger here: big campaign contributions from lobbyists (and their clients) that come in around about the same time key legislation is being debated and voted on. Lobbying isn't wrong, legalized bribery is.