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June 19, 2008

Obama: Public Financing Is For Suckers And Candidates Who Can’t Raise $100 Million A Month And His Grandmother Didn't Raise Any Suckers...UPDATE: Is Obama Camp Lying About Meetings On Issue?

Back before he realized he was an internet money raising machine, Obama promised to “aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election”.

Now? Change!

We’ve made the decision not to participate in the public-financing system for the general election. This means we’ll be forgoing more than $80 million in public funds during the final months of this election.

It’s not an easy decision, and especially because I support a robust system of public financing of elections. But the public financing of presidential elections as it exists today is broken, and 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.

The system is broken? It’s the same damn system you promised to take part in before the gravy train started rolling in. And to say he has to forgo public financing because McCain is taking all this dirty money is hysterical. McCain is taking in a fraction of the money Obama is. Yes, the RNC is taking in a lot more than the DNC but it’s harder to coordinate that money with the McCain campaign (somebody wrote a law about that not too long ago).

On the merits of this, I am with Obama. I, unlike McCain am a First Amendment absolutist and don’t think there should be limits on how much people can donate to campaigns, so you won’t find me supporting the idea of public financing. Still the outright opportunism Obama is displaying is something you’d expect from you know, a mere mortal of a candidate, not someone who is supposedly going to change everything about politics.

I wonder if McCain will make this an ongoing issue. Doing so might play well with moderates but a lot of talk from Maverick about campaign financing will only remind conservatives of an issue a lot of them disagree with him on.

Me? I’m putting 5,000 Quatloos on McCain to harp on this a lot in the coming weeks. Never bet against McCain doing something that will annoy conservatives.

UPDATE: Obama's spokesman claims the two campaigns met to talk about reaching a deal but couldn't come up with an agreement. McCain's people call bullshit.

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posted by DrewM. at 10:41 AM

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