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Bill Clinton on Campaign Fundraising

I was watching a re-run of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night that featured an interview with former President Bill Clinton. Clinton speaks at various times about the problem of money in modern campaigns, how demanding fundraising schedules have become, and his support for public financing of elections. You can watch the clip here -- interesting perspective.

Ready, Set, Raise!

Florida lawmakers are dividing their time between work at the statehouse by day, and working the room at nearby fundraisers by night with more of latter than the former as the dash for cash gets frenzied. A prohibition against soliciting money during the regular session means compressing all the fundraising into a cartoonishly hectic chunk.

Everyone agrees that the hunger for money among legislators has grown more acute:

Pride or the PAC

Just as presidential candidates must choose between principle and viability when it comes to opting into the public financing program, opposition from within his own party and from Democrats in next year's election is forcing Rep. Wayne Gilchrest to abandon his opposition to taking PAC money just to stay competitive.

Gilchrest wants to keep his seat but well-funded rivals aren't making it easy to do so and stick with his fundraising principles:

A Bank-Breaking Work of Fundraising Genius

Ron Paul, oil spills, and the guy from Men's Wearhouse all get a cameo in this New York Times op-ed by author Dave Eggers. For Eggers, a photo op with a presidential candidate at a swanky fundraising event in the Oakland hills is a subtle reminder of just how bad the campaign money chase has become.

The Disclosure Window

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) may soon provide more detailed information on bundled donations by lobbyists. They're in the process of hammering out the details of new disclosure regulations the sticking points of which Shawn Zeller discusses in CQ Politics.

Candidates Take on the Money

Presidential candidates are being asked more questions about the ties between the money they take for their campaigns and the decision they'll make in office. As a result, several candidates have taken public stances against traditional big money fundraising, and against lobbyist money. Keep reading for the latest from candidates John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich on the subject.

Making a Long Term Investment

You'd need a pretty big stage to accommodate all the candidates for President, so it's no surprise that the fiercely competitive primary battle is attracting more money that ever before and the traditional big money players are giving big. One industry in particular is upping their ante for this cycle: securities and investment. Why, oh why, would that be?

Old Habits

Hey, I know Washington is a small town and all but certainly a Representative under fire for his ties to Jack Abramoff can steer clear of a fundraiser hosted by one of the convicted lobbyists former protegees. Todd Boulanger, formerly an associate of Abramoff, is hosting a $500/plate fundraiser for Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL), who was on the Scottish golfing trip with Abramoff.

Word Choice

Michael Dobbs, the "Fact Checker" at the Washington Post devotes today's column to further parsing the assertions of presidential candidates Barack Obama and John Edwards that they would not take money from federal lobbyists. A previous discussion of this topic set off quite a debate among his readers; and he digs into an exploration of where the line is between a donation rooted in conviction, and one rooted in access-buying.

Timing is Everything

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley has called a special session of the Maryland legislature and in so doing has set off a debate about the propriety of legislators holding fundraisers which involve stakeholders in the legislation they're debating. Holding fundraisers during a special session is legal -- but is it ethical?

Fundraising is banned during normal sessions: