Knowing Who's In Your Tent

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An Illinois pension scandal that touched Barack Obama via a political supporter of his may also touch Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign as this AP story reveals. The article quotes Public Campaign's David Donnelly on the liability candidates face by having to recruit big donors who may have backgrounds that can cast aspersion on the campaign.

 

Antoin Rezko, a supporter of Obama's, is a lawyer tied up in an investigation over his involvement in a scheme to direct an Illinois pension contract to a firm, then funnel the money through another person, Myron Cherry, who has planned to fundraise for Clinton. Candidates for president are required to set a blistering fundraising pace and run the risk of including on their list of supporters people whose activities could color the perception of the candidates. It's a rock and hard place.

 

David Donnelly, a spokesman for Public Campaign, which advocates public financing of political campaigns, said the pace of fundraising made it almost impossible to identify every donor with professional connections that could be potentially embarrassing to the candidate.

"I don't think there is any screen that could weed out questionable money and run a competitive race for president," Donnelly said. "The entire campaign finance system puts candidates in a compromising situation in city after city."