A Man of His Word

John McCainJohn McCain is a man of his word.

McCain pledged to accept federal campaign funds in the general election, as did the Democratic nominee, Barack Obama.

As he rose to rock star celebrity, however, Barack Obama decided to renege on his pledge to Americans to accept federal funding for the general election.

What does this mean, and why should you care?


if Obama is willing to renege
on this pledge to the American people,
how many other promises
will he ignore if elected?

What it also means is that John McCain will receive a grant of roughly $84 million in federal funds for the general election cycle (which begins immediately after the end of the primary election cycle), and will be limited to spending only that $84 million to campaign for President in the general election. He will not be permitted to raise any additional private funds for the campaign once the primary cycle ends. Additionally, he cannot spend more than $50,000 in personal funds.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, by refusing federal campaign funds, after first promising to accept them, is now free to continue his fundraising efforts. Once his campaign proved how successful they were in raising money, he reneged on his pledge to accept federal funds.

That means his spending on the general election will be limited only by the amount of money he can raise.

Despite the fact that serious questions have been raised about the legality of some of those contributions, any investigation will not be completed before the election. Is anyone surprised by that?

An individual donor may contribute a maximum of $2,300 to any candidate during the primary elections, and another $2,300 during the general election, for an individual limit of $4,600. There is evidence that the Obama campaign has accepted contributions in excess of that limit by various donors contributing $25 at a time.

One such donor, "Good Will" apparently donated more than $17,000 this way. While some of this money has been refunded after it became public knowledge, not enough of it has been refunded to bring "Good Will" under the $4600 limit.

And that is not the only clearly fraudulent "donor" on the list. Another large amount, in excess of the limit, was donated by "Doodad Pro," again, mostly $25 at a time.

When the Obama campaign received donations from someone listing his/her name as "Good Will", and listing his/her employer as "Loving" and occupation as "You," does anyone believe they did not know that was a fraudulent donation and should be returned?

In a perplexing coincidence, "Doodad" is also employed by "Loving" with an occupation of "You." Hmmmm. . . It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to solve this one!

Federal law requires that donors names, employers and occupations be disclosed and made public. But donations under $200 don't have to be reported.

Perhaps that accounts for Obama's unprecedented "grass-roots" support from small donors? Perhaps the word was put out by Obama supporters that they preferred hundreds of thousands of small donations to brag about as opposed to a smaller number of large donations? That gives them another opportunity to distort reality and make it appear as though Obama enjoys more widespread support than he actually does.


The New York Times
has just reported finding
nearly 3,000 "fake" donors
on the Obama contributors list.

According to OpenSecrets.org, the website operated by the Center for Responsive Politics, Obama is the most successful Presidential fundraiser in history. And he's the first major-party candidate since the program was created to refuse taxpayer funds for the general election campaign.

OpenSecrets also reports that as of July 31, 2008, Obama had raised roughly $390 million in contributions, and had nearly $66 million in cash on hand.

In contrast, John McCain had raised less than $180 million in contributions, with nearly $33 million cash on hand.

In practical terms, what this means is that the Obama campaign can outspend McCain many times over in the purchase of airtime for television advertising to reach the voters. McCain must very carefully strategize how to stretch his relative measly sum of $84 million to counter the inevitable barrage of ads from the Obama campaign.

Where do those federal campaign funds come from for those who choose to be publicly funded? From the voluntary $3 contribution you make when you check the appropriate box on your federal income tax return. Your donation of this amount does not raise the amount of tax you owe.

It is ironic that John McCain appears to be the Presidential candidate who will be most hurt by the campaign finance reform he championed in order to level the playing field for nominees. Let's hope it doesn't cost him the election.

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