Filling With Hot Water

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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.


The Star Tribune article focuses on the demands of the current campaign finance system that keep politicians like McCain chained to the fundraising treadmill and vulnerable to allegations of improper activity:

McCain's campaign was forced to postpone another event this week -- scheduled in Midland, Texas -- when women's organizations questioned why he would hold a fundraiser at the home of oilman Clayton Williams. During his 1990 campaign for governor against the late Ann Richards, Williams equated rape to bad weather. "If it's inevitable, just relax and enjoy it," he said. He also promised to treat Richards as if she were a cow, saying he'd "head her and hoof her and drag her through the dirt."

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How can the campaign be so oblivious? Perhaps the insatiable drive for cash is also to blame. McCain has been asked to rid the campaign of the $300,000 that Williams raised, but so far he's refused. Returning the money or donating it to a charity is the right thing to do in this case. But this political penance would only wallpaper over the real problem: Regardless of political party, candidates are required to raise ever-increasing large sums of money to run for higher office.

Perhaps the beating McCain is taking on the campaign trail will remind him of the virtues of a full public financing system, which he used to favor for federal races.