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Choisya
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Political funding & Media time.

Funding 

 

To a Brit, it seems that American elections can only be run and won by rich people or parties.  There appears to be no limit on spending.  In the UK there are strict limits and all spending  has to be publicly accounted for. Accounts are sent to the Electoral Commission and they are also closely scrutinised by opposing party officials.   A candidate can lose his/her seat or go to prison if the rules are broken.  A candidate's money is  'pooled' with the amount his party can spend so there is no advantage in being rich.  No donation from foreigners can be accepted by a political party (there is a furore in our press about this at the moment).   There are also worries about the way these rules can be got around after this ruling. 

 

The government (via local government) pays for the machinery of elections, polling booths, officials at them, printing/distribution of ballot papers etc and money is allocated to each political party to send out one election manifesto by post to the electorate.  The printing of the manifestos is paid for by the parties. 

 

Is there any limit on how much money can be spent by an American candidate and is personal money separated from party money so that a rich person has an advantage?  Can donations be made by foreigners?  Are accounts closely scrutinised and what is the penalty for breaking any rules?

 

What does the government pay for and what advantages/disadvantages are there in candidates opting to use publc money for electoral purposes, as McCain has done.   What are the advantages/disadvantages of raising money via supporters/the electorate, as Obama has done?  Can candidates use a mixture of the two ways of funding?  Are private donations to electoral funds strictly accounted for?

 

Media time

 

In the UK TV and radio have, by law, to be even handed in the amount of time they give to candidates during an election period - for all appearances, including chat shows etc. Only a limited amount of time is allocated throughout the election to each party for official party political TV/radio broadcasts (which they purchase), with the larger parties getting proportionally more time. Some parties use this time for short 'slots' throughout the election period, others save the time up for longer slots at less fequent intervals. No slot is longer than five minutes.  No personal invective (ad hominem:smileyvery-happy:) is used and the broadcasts stick to publicising their policies.  They will often go through their manifestos by tailoring one broadcast to, say, education, another to housing, another to the economy and so on. 

 

Newspapers are not restricted in the same way and their coverage is a mix between the inclinations of the proprietor/editor and the views of their readership.  At the beginning of an election period, or before, the tabloids in particular will try to sway te electorate one way or another but as polls show the public making up its mind, they will generally switch to the winning side.  They know which side their bread is buttered!

 

The broadsheets are historically more commited to one party or the other.  The Guardian/Observer has traditionally supported the Whigs or Liberals but since WWII has also supported the Labour Party. However, it is an independent newspaper and somewhat maverick in its support, so will also oppose Labour and switch to the Tories from time to time. The Independent is also an independent newspaper and is not dissimilar to the Guardian in its coverage.  The Times has historically been a Tory newspaper and is now owned by Rupert Murdoch who, although he has supported Tony Blair, generally supports the Conservatives/Tories and his newspapers are currently supporting the Conservatives.  The Daily Telegraph has always supported the Tories but occasionally puts Lliberal views forward.   The broadsheets have a committed readership so are not as influenced by the polls as the tabloids are. 

 

However, all newspapers are dependent upon people buying them and 'when the chips are down' they have to support whoever is in the winning seat or lose readers.   After an election, when dissatisfaction with the winning party begins to set in, they will often change their allegiance back to something more in line with their editor's and proprietor's views.  This is also true of commercial TV/radio but over here the legal restrictions on their electoral coverage make for a more balanced approach, whatever the leanings of their owners etc.   

 

I look forward to heaing from folks how your elections are funded and how media time is allocated. Facts please, not media gossip:smileyhappy: 

 

 

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debbook
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Re: Political funding & Media time.

[ Edited ]

Choisya wrote:

Funding 

 

To a Brit, it seems that American elections can only be run and won by rich people or parties.  There appears to be no limit on spending.  In the UK there are strict limits and all spending  has to be publicly accounted for. Accounts are sent to the Electoral Commission and they are also closely scrutinised by opposing party officials.   A candidate can lose his/her seat or go to prison if the rules are broken.  A candidate's money is  'pooled' with the amount his party can spend so there is no advantage in being rich.  No donation from foreigners can be accepted by a political party (there is a furore in our press about this at the moment).   There are also worries about the way these rules can be got around after this ruling. 

 

The government (via local government) pays for the machinery of elections, polling booths, officials at them, printing/distribution of ballot papers etc and money is allocated to each political party to send out one election manifesto by post to the electorate.  The printing of the manifestos is paid for by the parties. 

 

Is there any limit on how much money can be spent by an American candidate and is personal money separated from party money so that a rich person has an advantage?  Can donations be made by foreigners?  Are accounts closely scrutinised and what is the penalty for breaking any rules?

 

What does the government pay for and what advantages/disadvantages are there in candidates opting to use publc money for electoral purposes, as McCain has done.   What are the advantages/disadvantages of raising money via supporters/the electorate, as Obama has done?  Can candidates use a mixture of the two ways of funding?  Are private donations to electoral funds strictly accounted for?

 

Obama has been criticized by Republicans for not using public funds which are limited. But as the amount of money that a pro-candidate group can raise is not limited, I don't see much diiference as each candidate has the opportunity to get large amounts of money regardless if it is directly or indirectly. Candidates have to report amounts raised personally and disclose who the money is from if over a certain amount. I do not think this is the same for groups, so therefore that seems to me to be more open for corruption.

 

Media time

 

In the UK TV and radio have, by law, to be even handed in the amount of time they give to candidates during an election period - for all appearances, including chat shows etc. Only a limited amount of time is allocated throughout the election to each party for official party political TV/radio broadcasts (which they purchase), with the larger parties getting proportionally more time. Some parties use this time for short 'slots' throughout the election period, others save the time up for longer slots at less fequent intervals. No slot is longer than five minutes.  No personal invective (ad hominem:smileyvery-happy:) is used and the broadcasts stick to publicising their policies.  They will often go through their manifestos by tailoring one broadcast to, say, education, another to housing, another to the economy and so on. 

 

The media here has to do the same thing or at least offer equal time to another candidate regardless if they use it. 

 

Newspapers are not restricted in the same way and their coverage is a mix between the inclinations of the proprietor/editor and the views of their readership.  At the beginning of an election period, or before, the tabloids in particular will try to sway te electorate one way or another but as polls show the public making up its mind, they will generally switch to the winning side.  They know which side their bread is buttered!

 

Similar here. I don't know they try to sway people, but newspapers are free to be biased towards one or another of a candidates. And some newspapers will endorse a specific candidate, though not all.

 

The broadsheets are historically more commited to one party or the other.  The Guardian/Observer has traditionally supported the Whigs or Liberals but since WWII has also supported the Labour Party. However, it is an independent newspaper and somewhat maverick in its support, so will also oppose Labour and switch to the Tories from time to time. The Independent is also an independent newspaper and is not dissimilar to the Guardian in its coverage.  The Times has historically been a Tory newspaper and is now owned by Rupert Murdoch who, although he has supported Tony Blair, generally supports the Conservatives/Tories and his newspapers are currently supporting the Conservatives.  The Daily Telegraph has always supported the Tories but occasionally puts Lliberal views forward.   The broadsheets have a committed readership so are not as influenced by the polls as the tabloids are. 

 

However, all newspapers are dependent upon people buying them and 'when the chips are down' they have to support whoever is in the winning seat or lose readers.   After an election, when dissatisfaction with the winning party begins to set in, they will often change their allegiance back to something more in line with their editor's and proprietor's views.  This is also true of commercial TV/radio but over here the legal restrictions on their electoral coverage make for a more balanced approach, whatever the leanings of their owners etc.   

 

I look forward to heaing from folks how your elections are funded and how media time is allocated. Facts please, not media gossip:smileyhappy: 

 

 


 

Message Edited by debbook on 10-23-2008 04:24 PM
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Re: Political funding & Media time.

[ Edited ]

 

Thanks Debbook for that thoughtful, non-partisan, non-character assassinating, response.  I appreciate it.  You say:

 

Obama has been criticized by Republicans for not using public funds which are limited.

 

Why has he been criticised if this is part of your system and what he is entitled to do?  The fault seems to lie with the system not the candidate, whoever he is.  As you say, each candidate can make the same choices.  I have read that McCain has chosen public funding which you say is limited. Can he not also raise money from other sources or can the party fund him further?  Why will he have chosen to limit himself in this way when his opponent could legitimately do otherwise?  I find his choice puzzling and would like to understand it. 

 

Your media may have to be even handed but there seems to be a lot more time given. What is the maximum time pp broadcasts can take?  If it is unlimited, doesn't that mean that the richest party can buy more time? 

 

Similar here. I don't know they try to sway people, but newspapers are free to be biased towards one or another of a candidates. And some newspapers will endorse a specific candidate, though not all.

 

I think every newspaper has some sort of political agenda, which is why we have to read them so carefully and seek alternative points of view.   IMO it is a mistake to rely on one newspaper during an election, we should always 'shop around'..   

 

 

 

Message Edited by Choisya on 10-23-2008 07:29 PM
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Re: Political funding & Media time.

Choisya wrote:

Obama has been criticized by Republicans for not using public funds which are limited.

Why has he been criticised if this is part of your system and what he is entitled to do?
 

He has been criticized for basically two reasons. 

 

First, he made a definitive promise during his campaign that he would accept public financing and the spending limits that come with it.  Once he had assured himself of the nomination, and realized how effective he could be at raising money, he reneged on his promise. It is not clear how many Democrats would have voted differently if they had known from the start that he was going to  reject public financing; presumably at some would have, since this is a sacred cow to a number of people, and might have made the outcome of the primary process different.  

 

Second, many of the  "good government" people believe that public financing and spending limits are a key to reducing the effect of money on political races, and they are trying to get public financing and spending limits extended and put into place for Congressional races, too.  By Obama rejecting public financing, the only Presidential candidate to do so since the system was established in, I believe, 1973, this is a big setback for their efforts.  It reintroduces the "financial arms race" back into Presidential politics after the "good government" people thought they had tamed that particular monster.  It's unlikely that this particular genie can be shoved back into its bottle, so we are probably now seeing the end of the public financing process and a resumption of the "raise and spend as much money as you possibly can" mentality.   And if anybody thinks all that money is being put into the election with the givers not expecting any quit-pro-quos down the road, IMO they are entitled to their opinions, but I'm entitiled to my opinion of their credulity.  

 

At this point, those folks have really no options.  Few if any of them are going to vote for McCain over Obama because Obama has effectively destroyed the public financing process.  But if they had known at the start that he was going to do so, it's likely that some, and perhaps many, of them would have voted for Clinton, who had also promised to comply with the public financing limits and would almost certainly have kept that promise because after all, Bill had lived in the system for his two winning elections so she knew how to win under that system.  So many of them feel very bitter against Obama for getting their votes under false premises.  They'll still vote for him as the lesser of two evils, but they are not happy campers.  

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Re: Political funding & Media time.


Choisya wrote:

 

Thanks Debbook for that thoughtful, non-partisan, non-character assassinating, response.  I appreciate it.  You say:

 

Obama has been criticized by Republicans for not using public funds which are limited.

 

Why has he been criticised if this is part of your system and what he is entitled to do?  The fault seems to lie with the system not the candidate, whoever he is.  As you say, each candidate can make the same choices.  I have read that McCain has chosen public funding which you say is limited. Can he not also raise money from other sources or can the party fund him further?  Why will he have chosen to limit himself in this way when his opponent could legitimately do otherwise?  I find his choice puzzling and would like to understand it. 

 

Some people are upset by the fact that he said he wouldn't and then he did. I'm really not sure how many people were aware of what exactly it means. I didn't completely understand, but then Everyman explained it to me. I then asked many people, both democrats and republicans, and they admitted that before it was in the press, they didn't know much either. No one mentioned being upset about it. But it is an option, and he had a right to take advantage of it as did McCain. Both candidates seems able to afford the campaign that they want. My brother, who is a self-admitted hard-care conservative Republican, compared it this way: Obama has an account with his name on it. McCain has an account with his name on it and an account with someone else's name on it but that money is only to be spent on him. I personally would rather send money directly to a candidate as opposed to group that is for that candidate. Not that I ever would for any candidate, waste of money. Now if there were a law that stated candidates HAD to use only public financing, that would be okay. But until there is a way to limit the spending by the groups or organizations that raise money, politics and money will always go hand in hand.

 

Your media may have to be even handed but there seems to be a lot more time given. What is the maximum time pp broadcasts can take?  If it is unlimited, doesn't that mean that the richest party can buy more time?

 

I think, but can't find an article to exactly confirm, that because McCain used public funds, he gets free time on the airways, and Obama has to pay for his. I don't think there is a set limit, that is most likely up to the networks. I do know that the available time for each be equal. Maybe someone else knows how this works for the smaller parties.


Here is a blurb from an attached article that addresses broadcasting cost and the Federal Election Campaign Act ( the public funding issue) full article

 

"Giving politicians radio and TV air time, it is argued, would free them from time-consuming fundraising efforts. That is true, but the correct way to address the problem is simply to remove contribution limits and insist on full disclosure. The Federal Election Campaign Act, like most "campaign reforms," was designed primarily to protect incumbents and limit competition by limiting spending and contributions. Removing contribution limits would increase competition and make honest, open-market purchases of radio and TV time more accessible to more candidates."

 

I think every newspaper has some sort of political agenda, which is why we have to read them so carefully and seek alternative points of view.   IMO it is a mistake to rely on one newspaper during an election, we should always 'shop around'..   

 

 I couldn't agree more!

 

Message Edited by Choisya on 10-23-2008 07:29 PM

 

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Re: Political funding & Media time.

Also, Choisya, the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee raise money and spend it on the candidates both locally and nationally. They can spend it as they wish and will pull funding from a candidate that doesn't have a good chance of winning. So some candidates get screwed by their own parties.
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Re: Political funding & Media time.

[ Edited ]

Thanks D.  I really do appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.

 

I think you need a law to say that any kind of financing is limited to such-and-such an amount for both candidates.  The amount to be adjusted at each election for inflation. There is too much money from diffferent sources sloshing around and too much money means corruption and difficulty with accountability.

 

The article from the Daily News was peculiar.  Has it been proposed that the candidates have free air time?  Don't the parties pay for air time?  In some countries governments pay for so much air time and parties for so much. This helps smaller parties without much funding.  I see it as part of the democratic process that some air time has to be allocated to political parties but I don't think that it should be free - it should be paid for like any other publicity commodity, paper for leaflets etc.    

 

TV/radio broadcasting is now such a powerful publicity tool that neither candidate should be able to get more air time, whatever the method of funding.  I can now see why McCain chose public funding if he gets more air time.  Presumably Obama chose to spend more on campaigning 'on the stump', getting to see more people etc?  His advisors might have thought it important that, as the first black candidate, he got more first hand public exposure. The same thing might have been done for Hilary Clinton, as the first woman.  This is just strategy. We had a PM a few years back whose popularity took a dive and he chose to electioneer on a 'soap box', going from town to town speaking out of doors etc. An old fashioned strategy which didn't work.  TV exposure is very important nowadays so McCain may well have been right in this. Time will tell.         

 

Message Edited by Choisya on 10-23-2008 11:16 PM
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Re: Political funding & Media time : Public funding.

[ Edited ]

Thanks a lot Everyman.  I understand the public financing argument and sympathise with it because I think one of the real problems with your system is the amount of money that can slosh around and the lack of limits upon it.  It is an argument that has raged over here for many years and quite a few European governments have only public financing for elections but the UK doesn't.

 

I agree that there is more likelihood of quid pro quo when donations of any kind are given and the bigger the amounts the more likely this is. This has become a problem over here since the Labour Party began to get big business donations under Blair.  He has been the first Labour PM to attract such money and there have been 'corruption' scandals in the Labour Party for the first time because of this.  Tories have always had large business donations and corruption was much more common with them, even to the point of several of their MPs being put in prison.  Now it has affected both our parties. Fortunately, all this is tempered by the strict limits which are put on election spending.  Parties can have millions in their coffers (not that they do!) but they can still only spend a limited amount on election campaigning, as I have explained to Debbook.      

 

I am not sure that people would have actually changed their vote because of this issue. Usually people 'vote with their wallets' and right now the economy is such an overwhelming issue I would have thought that funding isues were very much on a back burner. Health may be a secondary issue in the US I guess.  The middle class ( if you have one!) might vote over the public funding issue but I do not think that the majority of people would give it a thought and I say that from the experience of having campaigned on the doorstep for it myself.   

 

Try not to be partisan when you answer this - put your lawyer's hat on: Why do you think Obama's people made the choice to raise money in this way?  They cannot have known when they decided this that it would be successful.  Surely public money would have been safer for a 'new boy'?  Or is it because of the reason I have suggested to Debbook - that it was thought a better strategy for the first black candidate to go 'on the stump', meeting people etc.  Is it thought to show more confidence in him as a person?   

 

And:  Do you think that McCain's decision to go for public funding was determined by the fact that he gets more TV air time that way? 

 

 


Everyman wrote:

Choisya wrote:

Obama has been criticized by Republicans for not using public funds which are limited.

Why has he been criticised if this is part of your system and what he is entitled to do?

He has been criticized for basically two reasons. 

 

First, he made a definitive promise during his campaign that he would accept public financing and the spending limits that come with it.  Once he had assured himself of the nomination, and realized how effective he could be at raising money, he reneged on his promise. It is not clear how many Democrats would have voted differently if they had known from the start that he was going to  reject public financing; presumably at some would have, since this is a sacred cow to a number of people, and might have made the outcome of the primary process different.  

 

Second, many of the  "good government" people believe that public financing and spending limits are a key to reducing the effect of money on political races, and they are trying to get public financing and spending limits extended and put into place for Congressional races, too.  By Obama rejecting public financing, the only Presidential candidate to do so since the system was established in, I believe, 1973, this is a big setback for their efforts.  It reintroduces the "financial arms race" back into Presidential politics after the "good government" people thought they had tamed that particular monster.  It's unlikely that this particular genie can be shoved back into its bottle, so we are probably now seeing the end of the public financing process and a resumption of the "raise and spend as much money as you possibly can" mentality.   And if anybody thinks all that money is being put into the election with the givers not expecting any quit-pro-quos down the road, IMO they are entitled to their opinions, but I'm entitiled to my opinion of their credulity.  

 

At this point, those folks have really no options.  Few if any of them are going to vote for McCain over Obama because Obama has effectively destroyed the public financing process.  But if they had known at the start that he was going to do so, it's likely that some, and perhaps many, of them would have voted for Clinton, who had also promised to comply with the public financing limits and would almost certainly have kept that promise because after all, Bill had lived in the system for his two winning elections so she knew how to win under that system.  So many of them feel very bitter against Obama for getting their votes under false premises.  They'll still vote for him as the lesser of two evils, but they are not happy campers.  


 

Message Edited by Choisya on 10-23-2008 11:44 PM
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Re: Political funding & Media time : Public funding.

Try not to be partisan when you answer this - put your lawyer's hat on: Why do you think Obama's people made the choice to raise money in this way?  They cannot have known when they decided this that it would be successful.  Surely public money would have been safer for a 'new boy'?

 

Nothing partisan about it.  There was no risk at all. They had already raised huge amounts of money in the primaries.  If they had accepted the money limits, which would take effect at the end of their convention, they already had close to, and perhaps even more money, in their coffers than they would be allowed to raise so they would have to spend it in before the conventions or give it back or give to other candidates. 

 

There was no question that they could raise and spend a lot more money than the campaign limits would allow.  They had already raised huge sums, they had a money-raising machine in full operation,  and there was no question in anybody's  mind that they could substantially outspend the federal limits, as indeed they have by hundreds of millions of dollars. 

 

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Re: Political funding & Media time : Public funding.

Try not to be partisan when you answer this

 

I have no idea why you would think I would be partisan.  Pure objectivity is my guiding principle here.  Just the facts, ma'am.  

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Re: Political funding & Media time : Public funding.

But why haven't the McCain camp done the same thing and raised lots of money too?  The opportunities were the same for them.  Why are they complaining when they made the decisions they made and had the same choices re fundraising?  They have a money-making machine too. 

 

In the UK the Conservative party has always had far more money in its coffers than the Labour Party, despite contributions from the Trade Unions.  Traditionally, right wing parties everywhere benefit from more business donations.    Surely this is so with the Republican party?  Or is it that it has grown so unpopular under Bush that the donations just aren't coming in?  This happened to the Labour Party after Blair took us into Iraq.  People like me just withdrew any financial support from the Party and its funds are now at an all time low. Is this what enabled the Democrats to attract more money?   Or perhaps the current economic crisis is affecting the poorer sections of society which traditionally vote Democrat and they are now willing to put their hands in their pockets?   The Labour Party has always done better in bust than boom, perhaps it is so for the Democrats? 

 

Apart from the reasons you gave about the dissatisfaction of those who favour public funding, I cannot see what the objections are to the Democrats being more successful in their funding campaign.  It is surely just part of your system that they have been able to do this? Isn't it just sour grapes for another party to cry foul here?    I still think that if McCain manages to secure more air time he could still win the day or could at least close the gap substantially.  Was this his tactic?  It may still be a winning one.   

 

 


Everyman wrote:

Try not to be partisan when you answer this - put your lawyer's hat on: Why do you think Obama's people made the choice to raise money in this way?  They cannot have known when they decided this that it would be successful.  Surely public money would have been safer for a 'new boy'?

 

Nothing partisan about it.  There was no risk at all. They had already raised huge amounts of money in the primaries.  If they had accepted the money limits, which would take effect at the end of their convention, they already had close to, and perhaps even more money, in their coffers than they would be allowed to raise so they would have to spend it in before the conventions or give it back or give to other candidates. 

 

There was no question that they could raise and spend a lot more money than the campaign limits would allow.  They had already raised huge sums, they had a money-raising machine in full operation,  and there was no question in anybody's  mind that they could substantially outspend the federal limits, as indeed they have by hundreds of millions of dollars. 

 


 

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Re: Political funding & Media time : Public funding.

McCain may be raising alot of money, but its by pro-McCain groups and so therefore it is not easily available to find out how much was raised. He raised the limit he is allowed personally. Contributions made directly to a candidate have a limited amount per person or organization. I think maybe $2500 is the limit. however, a person can donate as much as they want indirectly to a candidate. Money is going to support McCain whether directly or indirectly. But he does not have to report any of the indirect money as he does the direct contributions. Same with Obama. Most of the money Obama has raised has been in small incrimates. Neither can get large corporate donations directly.

Choisya wrote:

But why haven't the McCain camp done the same thing and raised lots of money too?  The opportunities were the same for them.  Why are they complaining when they made the decisions they made and had the same choices re fundraising?  They have a money-making machine too. 

 

In the UK the Conservative party has always had far more money in its coffers than the Labour Party, despite contributions from the Trade Unions.  Traditionally, right wing parties everywhere benefit from more business donations.    Surely this is so with the Republican party?  Or is it that it has grown so unpopular under Bush that the donations just aren't coming in?  This happened to the Labour Party after Blair took us into Iraq.  People like me just withdrew any financial support from the Party and its funds are now at an all time low. Is this what enabled the Democrats to attract more money?   Or perhaps the current economic crisis is affecting the poorer sections of society which traditionally vote Democrat and they are now willing to put their hands in their pockets?   The Labour Party has always done better in bust than boom, perhaps it is so for the Democrats? 

 

Apart from the reasons you gave about the dissatisfaction of those who favour public funding, I cannot see what the objections are to the Democrats being more successful in their funding campaign.  It is surely just part of your system that they have been able to do this? Isn't it just sour grapes for another party to cry foul here?    I still think that if McCain manages to secure more air time he could still win the day or could at least close the gap substantially.  Was this his tactic?  It may still be a winning one.   

 

 


Everyman wrote:

Try not to be partisan when you answer this - put your lawyer's hat on: Why do you think Obama's people made the choice to raise money in this way?  They cannot have known when they decided this that it would be successful.  Surely public money would have been safer for a 'new boy'?

 

Nothing partisan about it.  There was no risk at all. They had already raised huge amounts of money in the primaries.  If they had accepted the money limits, which would take effect at the end of their convention, they already had close to, and perhaps even more money, in their coffers than they would be allowed to raise so they would have to spend it in before the conventions or give it back or give to other candidates. 

 

There was no question that they could raise and spend a lot more money than the campaign limits would allow.  They had already raised huge sums, they had a money-raising machine in full operation,  and there was no question in anybody's  mind that they could substantially outspend the federal limits, as indeed they have by hundreds of millions of dollars. 

 


 


 

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Re: Political funding & Media time : Public funding.

 


Everyman wrote:

 Pure objectivity is my guiding principle here.  Just the facts, ma'am.  


Everyman, out of curiosity, what constitutes “here”?  Do you mean on this thread?  On the topic of campaign funding?  On this forum?  In life generally?
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Re: Political funding & Media time : Public funding.


debbook wrote:
McCain may be raising alot of money, but its by pro-McCain groups and so therefore it is not easily available to find out how much was raised. He raised the limit he is allowed personally. Contributions made directly to a candidate have a limited amount per person or organization. I think maybe $2500 is the limit. however, a person can donate as much as they want indirectly to a candidate. Money is going to support McCain whether directly or indirectly. But he does not have to report any of the indirect money as he does the direct contributions. Same with Obama. Most of the money Obama has raised has been in small incrimates. Neither can get large corporate donations directly.

Choisya wrote:

But why haven't the McCain camp done the same thing and raised lots of money too?  The opportunities were the same for them.  Why are they complaining when they made the decisions they made and had the same choices re fundraising?  They have a money-making machine too. 

 

In the UK the Conservative party has always had far more money in its coffers than the Labour Party, despite contributions from the Trade Unions.  Traditionally, right wing parties everywhere benefit from more business donations.    Surely this is so with the Republican party?  Or is it that it has grown so unpopular under Bush that the donations just aren't coming in?  This happened to the Labour Party after Blair took us into Iraq.  People like me just withdrew any financial support from the Party and its funds are now at an all time low. Is this what enabled the Democrats to attract more money?   Or perhaps the current economic crisis is affecting the poorer sections of society which traditionally vote Democrat and they are now willing to put their hands in their pockets?   The Labour Party has always done better in bust than boom, perhaps it is so for the Democrats? 

 

Apart from the reasons you gave about the dissatisfaction of those who favour public funding, I cannot see what the objections are to the Democrats being more successful in their funding campaign.  It is surely just part of your system that they have been able to do this? Isn't it just sour grapes for another party to cry foul here?    I still think that if McCain manages to secure more air time he could still win the day or could at least close the gap substantially.  Was this his tactic?  It may still be a winning one.   

 

 


Everyman wrote:

Try not to be partisan when you answer this - put your lawyer's hat on: Why do you think Obama's people made the choice to raise money in this way?  They cannot have known when they decided this that it would be successful.  Surely public money would have been safer for a 'new boy'?

 

Nothing partisan about it.  There was no risk at all. They had already raised huge amounts of money in the primaries.  If they had accepted the money limits, which would take effect at the end of their convention, they already had close to, and perhaps even more money, in their coffers than they would be allowed to raise so they would have to spend it in before the conventions or give it back or give to other candidates. 

 

There was no question that they could raise and spend a lot more money than the campaign limits would allow.  They had already raised huge sums, they had a money-raising machine in full operation,  and there was no question in anybody's  mind that they could substantially outspend the federal limits, as indeed they have by hundreds of millions of dollars. 

 


 


 


Actaully it $2000 max per person. $15000 per organization. But that's a right hand out, it does not include those Per plate fundraisers.