Presidential public financing

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Waiting on FEC

NPR's Marketplace reported on the pending decision by the Federal Election Commission on whether John McCain broke the rules when he opted in, then opted out of the presidential public financing program for the primary election. David Donnelly, of Public Campaign Action Fund's Campaign Money Watch project comments on the controversy here.

Obama Opts Out

Senator Barack Obama (D) has decided to opt out of the partial public financing system for the general presidential election, the first candidate to do so since the system was adopted. He is expected to have a fundraising advantage over Republican rival John McCain. In response to Obama's decision, Public Campaign Action Fund has released this statement.

Before It's Too Late

Sen. John McCain has been on the receiving end of most of the finger-wagging on the campaign finance front in recent days but the New York Times takes a moment to admonish Sen. Barack Obama as well for what they feel is a diminished commitment to the presidential public financing program, which the Times supports and wants to see strengthened for the coming years.

Obama Clarifies

In an interview with Fox News Sunday, discussed here in The Hill, Sen. Barack Obama addressed the thorny issue of taking public financing for the general election if he is the Democratic presidential nominee. He attempted to clarify his position, saying he'd like to take public financing and keep the system alive, but was worried about independent expenditures.

Two out of three

The USA Today spends some time in an editorial today highlighting the ever-increasing role of money in the political process and the need for full public financing of elections for Congress and a fix for the presidential public financing system:

First Time Match-Up

Emily Cadei at CQ Politics notes that this could be the first presidential elections to match up two vocal supporters of public financing of elections, in the form of Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama. She rightly identifies the glee with which we anticipate the topic of public financing receiving the attention it deserves, despite the barbs the candidates have been trading over the presidential public financing system.

Worth Saving

Robert Lenhard, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission writes in support of the presidential public financing program in this piece for the Washington Post, but he notes the faults that have emerged in the program and the pressing need to address the level of funding the system provides.

Call for Clarity

One of Sen. John McCain's (R) home state newspapers, The Arizona Republic, is taking him to task for his muddied position on the presidential public financing system noting in particular the contrast between McCain's reputation as a reformer and his seeming ambivalence towards the presidential public financing program.

Cash or Credibility

Tired of the Barack Obama vs. John McCain battle over presidential public financing? Too bad! The Los Angeles Times wades in to the debate suggesting that if Obama and McCain end up opting out of the public financing program for the general election they'll only be hurting themselves.

Why the Shift?

John Schneider, the man behind Mr. Schneider Goes to Washington, a documentary about the influence of special interest money in Washington, writes in The Huffington Post about what he sees as Sen.