presidential race

Making a Long Term Investment

You'd need a pretty big stage to accommodate all the candidates for President, so it's no surprise that the fiercely competitive primary battle is attracting more money that ever before and the traditional big money players are giving big. One industry in particular is upping their ante for this cycle: securities and investment. Why, oh why, would that be?

Lesson from Bush?

This cycle's presidential candidates might learn a thing or two from George W. Bush on the subject of disclosure: namely, to do more of it. Alexander Bolton at The Hill points to a discrepancy between candidates this time around talking more about disclosure of contributions, but doing less of it than Bush did with his list of Rangers and Pioneers bundlers.

The Price of Independence

Despite his outspoken stance on full public financing of campaigns, Connecticut Senator and presidential candidate Chris Dodd's campaign finance records show a lot of money from corporate PACs and under interests whose investments in his campaign threaten to derail Dodd's efforts to appear indepedent.

Our Question

A new project called 10Questions is collecting videotaped questions for presidential candidates from people around the country. Visitors to the site give a "thumbs up" to the top ten questions and they will get passed on to the candidates.

Don't Wait for Watergate

Jonathan Salant at Bloomberg thinks he knows what's on the horizon if the presidential public financing program is not revamped: Watergate all over again.

Richardson's Lobbyist Donations Criticized

New Mexico Governor and presidential hopeful Bill Richardson is getting criticism for taking money for his presidential bid from people and groups currently lobbying the New Mexico government. Some are calling it a pay-to-play situation, but Richardson denies any ulterior motive.

While Richardson lags far behind the front-runners on the Democratic tickets, some critics say he's using banking on the power of his current office to buy a ticket to a new one:

 

Word Choice

Michael Dobbs, the "Fact Checker" at the Washington Post devotes today's column to further parsing the assertions of presidential candidates Barack Obama and John Edwards that they would not take money from federal lobbyists. A previous discussion of this topic set off quite a debate among his readers; and he digs into an exploration of where the line is between a donation rooted in conviction, and one rooted in access-buying.

First and Last

Well, it would appear we're not the only ones watching the presidential money chase and shaking our heads. Newsday has the practice of bundling in its sights, calling for mandatory disclosure of bundlers first, with a refurbished public financing program to follow.

Off the Bus, On the Money

Public Campaign's Nancy Watzman contributes to two more features in the "Off the Bus" campaign analysis series at Huffington Post. In one, Tim Frasca revisits the campaign donation angle behind the decision by leading Republican presidential contenders to skip a debate at an historically black university. In the second, Alycia Dolan investigates the newest high-dollar political donors: high school students. Kids today...

New Players, Old Game

Hillary Clinton seems to be collecting a lot of donors from an unusual demographic: a transient group of immigrants in New York's Chinatown. This article in the Los Angeles Times is interesting in its exploration of why this population gives such large sums relative to its income, what forces are compelling this surge in donations by a population that seldom votes, and how social pressure and hope for personal gain fuel political giving.