presidential race

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Bundle of Ploy

Brody Mullins at the Wall Street Journal labels the prevalent practice of bundling "the chief source of abuse in the American campaign-finance system" and when he does the math and talks to the people in the fundraising trenches, it's clear his charge has merit.

Back from the Dead?

Conventional wisdom wranglers were quick to toss the presidential public financing system into an early grave a few months back, now here's an interesting take on what may bring the system back from the brink: a crazy-long campaign season driving candidates into debt.

Public Platform

Boy, John Edwards has taken the public financing ball and run with it. In the Concord Monitor piece about a campaign stop Edwards made in New Hampshire he uses his time on the stump to underline his opposition to campaign donations from lobbyists, and his support for public financing of federal campaigns.

Small Distinction

Our own Nancy Watzman bursts the bubble of small-donor hype that's grown around this presidential election cycle. Read her entry at The Huffington Post, part of an ongoing campaign analysis series called "Off the Bus," to learn why the rise of the small donor is dwarfed beside ongoing big donor dominance.

How Do You Feel About Democracy?

The Midwest Democracy Network has a question for the 2008 slate of presidential candidates: what will you do to strengthen our democracy? They've sent a questionnaire, which you can read here, to the candidates asking for their positions on issues like public financing of presidential and congressional races, to voter registration, to what should be done about the "revolving door" between Congress and the lobby sector.

Owned and Operated

The Nation is held a student writing contest and one of the five finalists, Ned Resnikoff, a high school student from Middletown, Connecticut wrote this piece on the presidential race, and what he terms the "political third rail" of curtailing the power of corporations, and the influence they exert on elections and policy.

Caller On the Line

Senator and presidential candidate Chris Dodd was on NPR's On Point last night for an extended question and answer session with callers primarily from Iowa and New Hampshire. Towards the end of the program, a caller from Ames, Iowa asked for Dodd's position on public financing of elections, in particular the Fair Elections Now Act sponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin and Arlen Specter. Listen to the clip here.

Take the Cue

The occasion of John Edwards' decision to use public financing for his presidential bid, and the subsequent chin-wagging about what a risk this is, prompts USA Today to express displeasure that the public financing program has fallen behind the times, and to urge the federal government to take a cue from the states and move towards a Clean Elections model for presidential races.

Maybe the F is Silent

Continuing on their quest to make elections about money instead of voters, the Center for Competitive Politics has a letter published in DC newspaper, The Hill, this morning about the need for higher limits on campaign contributions.

 

In the letter, Mike Schrimpf states, "increasing contribution limits, or eliminating them entirely, would greatly diminish the need for bundlers."

 

Going Public

Curious about what John Edwards' decision to opt in to the presidential public financing program means in terms of his fundraising requirements, spending limits he must abide with, and potential concerns should he win the party nomination? Lawyer Adam Bonin sums it up at the Daily Kos -- very helpful for giving some context to concerns all candidates face with the current public financing set-up.