presidential race

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.

Shape Up

I get the sense that somebody had fun writing this New York Times editorial chiding presidential candidates John McCain, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton -- along with the extravagantly expensive campaign process -- for not doing more to preserve the presidential public financing system and get a tighter reign on out of control raising and spending.

It's pretty clear where they stand on the first presidential race expected to cost in excess of $1 billion:

Lobbyists Leave a Mark

Yesterday's Times story on John McCain's relationship with lobbyist Vicki Iseman has touched off criticism on the number of lobbyists McCain counts on his campaign staff, and potential favors he may have done for Iseman's clients. As if that wasn't enough bad news for the campaign, it looks like the FEC isn't quite ready to let McCain out of the presidential public financing system for the primary.

Where They Stand

Trying to get a handle on where the leading presidential candidates stand on campaign finance, full public financing of elections, and the presidential public financing system? We just put together this memo for journalists and editorial board writers that helps to sort out the candidates' positions, and what we're asking them to commit to doing once in office.

Building the Web

While we work to give Congress a chance to run for office without taking big money, other tools have made it easier for ordinary voters to jump into the political fray and take on the entrenched powers that enjoy such influence on our elections. Adam Bonin, an attorney who specializes in the intersection of politics and the internet, writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the importance of keeping the internet open as a channel of open, civic participation.

Take The Opportunity

Oh, how the tables turn. Yesterday Sen. John McCain was laying into Sen. Barack Obama for wobbling on the presidential public financing system and today he's fending off accusations of giving improper access and influence to a lobbyist whose clients had business before a Senate committee that McCain chaired.

What Are We After?

USA Today weighs in on the Obama/McCain spat over public financing in the general election and rightly identifies the need to not only rehab the presidential public funding system but create one for congressional campaigns as well.

The Accusations Fly

Fingers pointing everywhere and not a dollar spent! The debate over whether John McCain and Barack Obama would opt in to the presidential public financing system for the general election rages on. Did Obama just break his pledge? Did McCain break the rules? Keep reading for a roundup of interesting perspectives.

Marks for Earmarking

Earmarks have been a hot topic on the Hill of late, and a go-to target for debates on wasteful government spending. How do the major candidates for president stack up when it comes to these controversial spending allocations, the ethics around them, and what about the earmarking process should be changed? The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina, takes a look.

Opt In, Opt Out

Will 2008 be the first presidential election since 1976 when neither major party presidential candidate opts into the partial public financing system? Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama have both said they would opt in if their opponent does the same, but with at least the Democratic nomination still up in the air the two are playing chicken over who will announce their intention to opt in (or out) first.