Public Financing

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Change of Agenda

Charlie Cray of the Center for Corporate Policy writes on Alternet a bout how much is likely to change when a new President is elected this year. Bottom line: not much, unless several reforms -- including full public financing of elections -- are instituted to curb the influence of corporate money on candidates and policy.

No matter who sits in the big chair at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., much of the power real estate in DC will be occupied by the same folks:

Drawing a Distinction

Public Campaign Action Fund's David Donnelly has a letter in today's Washington Post explaining the distinction we've been talking about when it comes to how Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) measure up on the issue of public financing of elections: Obama has pledged support for public financing of federal elections, McCain has not.

Use It or Lose It

Much as the Philadelphia Inquirer did yesterday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch raps Sen. Barack Obama across the knuckles for his recent statements about the presidential public financing system and whether or not he would run with public funding in the general election.


The Philadelphia Inquirer, which has a history of supporting public financing of elections, gets on Sen. Barack Obama's case for his remarks about possibly opting out of the presidential public financing program because of his so-called "parallel public financing system" -- meaning his large number of small dollar donors.

Which Way

It looks as though Sen. John McCain, presumptive Republican nominee for President will opt in to the public financing program for the general elections, while Sen. Barack Obama, his potential rival, isn't likely to do the same. Both campaigns are firing off statements defending their respective ethical beachheads but -- lucky me! -- I can position my ruler above the knuckles of both men, and raise my eyebrow in a scolding manner.

Take a Stand and Deliver

Things were hopping at the Willard Hotel in downtown DC yesterday, site of Sen. John McCain's lobbyist-hosted fundraiser. We headed down there to give Sen. McCain the letter we've been gathering signatures for asking for Sen. McCain's commitment to support of public financing of elections for all federal offices. We were successful in making our way through the lobbyist throng and delivering the letter to McCain's staff -- pictures from the event after the jump.

Coverage of Letter Drop

Lots of coverage on our efforts yesterday to deliver our letter and all 9,000+ accompanying signatures to Sen. John McCain asking for his support for full public financing for all federal campaigns for office.

Good for Speech

This letter by Michael Armstrong, reprinted from the Santa Fe New Mexican in Black Enterprise handily takes on many arguments put forth in opposition to full public financing of elections in a brief but effective summary of the many reasons we spend our days working for Clean Elections.

I like his arguments about how public financing protects and enhances free speech in particular:

Oh Johnny

Dear John McCain,

This letter
was tough for me to write, but the basis of any healthy relationship is honesty, don't you think? Here's another letter you'll be getting soon, from a lot more people. Safe to say we're all feeling a little...betrayed.




Happy Scandalversary

On the anniversary of the Keating Five scandal that got Sen. John McCain into trouble and spurred his interest in campaign finance reform, we've put together a little video reminding the Senator of the hot water he was in, his past commitment to reform, and the letter we've written (which you can sign!) asking him to pledge to enact full public financing of federal campaigns if he is elected President.