presidential race

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Go Where the Money Is

In response to an article on the Washington Post on Republican presidential candidates turning down invitations to speak to Hispanic and African-American audiences, Public Campaign President and CEO Nick Nyhart, and George Washington University law professor Spencer Overton sent this letter to the Post speculating on the reason those invitations were turned down. Read on for the full text.

 

Bit of a Pickle

Candidates, we have a very special offer for you today. Behind door number one: you can show your support for public financing of elections by opting into the presidential public financing system, and in turn cast doubt on the viability of your candidacy!

Edwards Goes With Public Financing

Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards announced he'll be participating in the presidential public financing system for the primary, and will also participate in the program in the general election if he is the nominee and if the Republican nominee agrees to do the same.

Here, courtesy of the New York Times, is what his campaign had to say about his decision:

 

Doubting Donors

There's a new bonus in store for high-dollar donors to presidential campaigns: suspicion. Loath to unearth another Norman Hsu on their donor rolls, campaigns are gearing up efforts to research their donors and evaluate their motives for giving.

Workable Solution

Everyone is chewing over the bundler problem -- both in terms of the influence they exert over, and the potential liability they can be to candidates. Some preach better background research on where the money is coming from and some, like the Hartford Courant, counsel more sweeping reform.

From the Courant:

 

The Oprah Argument

This one's a bit of a head-scratcher. The Los Angeles Times compares Norman Hsu to Oprah Winfrey to illustrate the point that not all campaign bundlers are crooks. And while I grant them that premise I don't buy that just because some bundlers are good people, bundling is a good thing.

Hsu Let the Dogs Out

Now that the Norman Hsu story has lifted the veil on the criminals past, present, and potential filling out the donor rolls of presidential contenders the Washington Post takes the opportunity to point to a few familiar, nefarious names giving big to Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, and John Edwards among others. As for the candidates, they're stuck choosing between a credible campaign and question-free cash.

What Is a Vote Worth?

Republican presidential candidates are turning down invitations to participate in debates sponsored by black and Hispanic organizations and and institutions leading critics to questions whether the party is interested in courting votes from those constituencies. The candidates say they're not ignoring minorities, they're just too busy fundraising. Which, as it happens, means largely ignoring minorities.

Neither the First Nor the Last

The Helena Independent Record calls for mandatory disclosure of bundlers to presidential campaigns, noting that two high-profile bundlers, Jack Abramoff and Norman Hsu, have helped Montana candidates. Hsu, the felon-on-the-lam, gathered $4,750 for Montana Senator Jon Tester. Tester's predecessor, Conrad Burns, took $150,000 from Abramoff and his associates.

Hsu Lessons

The news that Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) will return the $850,000 she collected from Democratic bundler, and wanted felon, Norman Hsu gets praise from Forbes, and a warning from the Washington Post that is further evidence that our campaign finance system is due for a change.