Friday, June 20, 2008

Okay...so neither one keeps his word...

How "outraged" you are on the lastest decision made by the Obama campaign as to taking public finance money of course will depend on who you support. This will be long, so I apologize in advance but...

Let's take the recent example of what was sent out by the Republican Party:

Republican National Committee: Public Outcry - Obama Ignores Criticism, Continues With His Plan to Break His Promise on Public Financing

WASHINGTON, June 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by the Republican National Committee:

Media From Around The Country Has Criticized Obama's Decision To Opt Out Of The Public Financing System:

"Barack Obama's Shift Away From A Public Financing Program Has Drawn Fire From Republicans, But It's Also Irked His Sometime Allies In The Good Government Community." (Kenneth Vogel, "Obama Move Irks Reform Allies," The Politico, 6/19/08)

The New York Times: "The excitement underpinning Senator Barack Obama's campaign rests considerably on his evocative vows to depart from self-interested politics. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama has come up short of that standard with his decision to reject public spending limitations and opt instead for unlimited private financing in the general election." (Editorial, "Public Funding On The Ropes," The New York Times, 6/20/08)

The Washington Post: "Pardon the sarcasm. But given Mr. Obama's earlier pledge to 'aggressively pursue' an agreement with the Republican nominee to accept public financing, his effort to cloak his broken promise in the smug mantle of selfless dedication to the public good is a little hard to take." (Editorial, "The Politics Of Spare Change," The Washington Post, 6/20/08)

The Wall Street Journal: "Is this the tone of the new postpartisan Obama era? One may wonder. The fact remains that the decision is a large and telling Obama flip-flop." (Editorial, "A Reformer's Progress," The Wall Street Journal, 6/20/08)

The Philadelphia Inquirer: "Barack Obama's decision to turn down public financing for the general election is as disappointing as it is disingenuous." (Editorial, "Breaking His Promise," The Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/20/08)

The Boston Globe: "But as usual, Obama seeks to have it both ways, supporting taxpayer financing in theory, while in practice demonstrating that it is unnecessary." (Editorial, "Obama Opts Out Of Reform," The Boston Globe, 6/20/08)

The [Manchester] Union Leader: "Of course, Obama's decision is entirely opportunistic and cynical. He claims he still believes in public financing, but that the current system, which he has championed all these years, he now thinks is so flawed that he cannot participate in it." (Editorial, "Obama's Financing: Private Beats Public," The [Manchester] Union Leader, 6/20/08)

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "But the bottom line here: Obama billed himself as a new kind of politician. It turns out, on campaign finance reform, he meant new as in those pre-Watergate politicians." (Editorial, "New Kind Of Politician?" Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/19/08)

USA Today: "Sen. Barack Obama's announcement Thursday that he won't participate in the public financing system for this fall's general election was no big surprise. He has been telegraphing the move for months. But it is disappointing nevertheless, particularly for a candidate who claims to be running as a reformer and a different kind of politician." (Editorial, "Obama's Money Move Lifts Expediency Over Principle," USA Today, 6/20/08)

St. Petersburg Times: "Obama's decision to break his 2007 pledge to accept public campaign financing if his general election opponent did makes him just another presidential candidate exploiting his advantage as the front-runner." (Editorial, "Obama's Big Words Ring Hollow," St. Petersburg Times, 6/20/08)

The Washington Times: "His 'new politics' is similar to the behavior of other politicians. Mr. Obama is breaking his word and is altering his principles according to what is expedient. Is this 'change we can believe in'? This is not 'change.' Nor, in the future, can we 'believe' that Mr. Obama will stand by his pledges when it is not in his self-interest." (Editorial, "Obama Reneges," The Washington Times, 6/20/08

The response from the Democratic Party:

McCain Myth Buster: John McCain and Campaign Finance Laws

Today's McCain Myth: John McCain follows campaign finance laws.

WASHINGTON, June 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- John McCain claims he is following campaign finance laws. But the reality is when it's inconvenient to his campaign, Senator McCain thinks the rules don't apply to him -- even going as far as breaking the law. Senator McCain is violating campaign laws by using a corporate jet for campaign events but not reimbursing the corporation for the cost of the trips. And he is skirting FEC regulations for the primary by unilaterally withdrawing from the FEC's matching funds program that financially benefited his campaign -- a move FEC Chair David Mason raised questions about months ago. [johnmccain.com, accessed 6/19/08; Wall Street Journal, 6/18/08]

That's not the kind of transparency the American people are looking for after seven years of a president with utter disregard for the law.

Wall Street Journal: McCain Campaign Fails to Reimburse For Up To Four Campaign Flights. "She used the jet on several trips last year that included campaign-related activity but never got campaign reimbursement, according to flight-tracking records and campaign-finance reports verified by the McCain campaign. At the New York fund-raiser, she spoke on stage, warming up the audience for her husband. If the campaign had paid for Mrs. McCain's trip to New York and three others that appear to have included some campaign work, it would likely have cost a total of about $15,000, the equivalent of first-class fare for the trips combined." [Wall Street Journal, 6/18/08]

Republican Expert: McCain Should Have Paid for the Flights. "Jan Baran, a Republican campaign lawyer, said the campaign should have paid. 'I don't know why they want to fight it,' he said. 'The chutzpah is not that they're not paying for this trip, it's that they're using a corporate airplane at a highly discounted rate.'" [Wall Street Journal, 6/18/08]

New York Times: McCain Used Unresolved Loophole in His Own Reform Law to Get Discounted Flights. "Mr. McCain's campaign paid a total of $241,149 for the use of that plane from last August through February, records show. That amount is approximately the cost of chartering a similar jet for a month or two, according to industry estimates. The senator was able to fly so inexpensively because the law specifically exempts aircraft owned by a candidate or his family or by a privately held company they control. The Federal Election Commission adopted rules in December to close the loophole -- rules that would have required substantial payments by candidates using family-owned planes -- but the agency soon lost the requisite number of commissioners needed to complete the rule making. Because that exemption remains, Mr. McCain's campaign was able to use his wife's corporate plane like a charter jet while paying first-class rates, several campaign finance experts said. Several of those experts, however, added that his campaign's actions, while keeping with the letter of law, did not reflect its spirit." [New York Times, 4/27/08]

FEC Did Not Grant McCain Permission To Withdraw From Public Financing System in the Primary. According to the Washington Post, "The nation's top federal election official told Sen. John McCain yesterday that he cannot immediately withdraw from the presidential public financing system as he had requested, a decision that threatens to dramatically restrict his spending until the general election campaign begins in the fall... Mason notified McCain that the commission had not granted his Feb. 6 request to withdraw from the presidential public financing system." [Washington Post, 2/22/08]

FEC Raised Questions About A Loan the McCain Received. According to the Associated Press, "The government's top campaign finance regulator says John McCain can't drop out of the primary election's public financing system until he answers questions about a loan he obtained to kickstart his once faltering presidential campaign... Federal Election Commission Chairman David Mason, in a letter to McCain this week, said the all-but-certain Republican nominee needs to assure the commission that he did not use the promise of public money to help secure a $4 million line of credit he obtained in November." [AP/MSNBC, 2/21/08]

After casting himself as a "Maverick" in 2000, the new John McCain is walking in lockstep with President Bush, pandering to the right wing of the Republican Party, and embracing the ideology he once denounced. On the campaign trail McCain has callously abandoned many of his previously held positions, even contradicted himself, in a blatant attempt to remake himself into a candidate Republicans can accept in 2008. So just who is the real John McCain? The Democratic National Committee will present a daily fact aimed at exposing the man behind the myth.

So there you have it, dueling releases on who did what to who when and which one you should care about more. I leave it up to you to decide which if either will matter as to your decision on who you will vote for.

2 comments:

Alex said...

Unfortunately, this is a question of honesty. If Mr. Obama were to simply admit that he could never have imagined the amount of money he would be raising therefore he isn't going to accept 'public financing'. Fair enough.

However, he is purposefully deceitful. His claim that "the system is broken" is valid, but it was valid 7 months ago when he advocated accepting 'public financing'.

Lisa Renee said...

Alex, that's a valid point, and since it's clear the majority of the public really doesn't seem to care about public financing, honesty would have at least made a difference to those few who did believe it was an important factor.