Thursday, June 19, 2008

Obama to Opt Out of Public Financing

Its a sticky situation...

From ABC's Political Punch:

In a web video to supporters "the people who built this movement from the bottom up" -- Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, announced this morning that he will not enter into the public financing system, despite a previous pledge to do so.

"We've made the decision not to participate in the public financing system for the general election," Obama says in the video, blaming it on the need to combat Republicans, saying "we face opponents who’ve become masters at gaming this broken system. John McCain’s campaign and the Republican National Committee are fueled by contributions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs. And we’ve already seen that he’s not going to stop the smears and attacks from his allies running so-called 527 groups, who will spend millions and millions of dollars in unlimited donations."
On the one hand Obama has managed to comply with the intent of public campaign financing by collecting tons of small donations. On the other hand he did say that he would use the public campaign finance system in the general election. It is however important to note that there is a certain amount of "he said she said " when it comes to what each campaign is claiming the other said. What we have here is the monetary equivalent of a disarmament agreement. If one side or the other refuses to disarm themselves of party or 527 money the whole deal is off. What I want to know is who refused to forgo one or the other. However given the fact that the meeting mentioned in article took place without any neutral observers we may never know the facts. However given the fact that McCain has been a champion of camapaign finance reform while Obama has complied with the spirit of publicly financed campaigns I'm going to write this off as a non-issue until something can be proven one way or the other.

Thanks to Memeorandum and Divided We Stand for linking to this post.