One Million

I’m still in the camp that says Obama should honor the pledge to use public financing, but Marc Ambinder comes up with a pretty solid argument against it.  1,000,000 donors without lobbyist or PAC money is pretty damn democratic, and if he does decide to stick with the donors, Obama’s going to railroad McCain.

2 Responses to “One Million”

  1. Dynamic says:

    I’m with you on this one – I think he ought to stick with his pledge.

  2. DM Metzger says:

    You don’t get much more “public” than 1 million small donors. A J. Steven Alter made a comment worth repeating here on the story you linked too and I second every point he makes:

    There is a profound and meaningful difference between the ‘Letter of the Law’ and the ‘Spirit of the Law’.

    Public financing of campaigns developed out of a very real concern that campaign finance had been overcome by special interest and large corporate donors; to set right this departure, Public Financing would level the playing field for voters and restore the people to their rightful place of primacy within the American electoral process. That is the ‘spirit’ behind public financing of election campaigns – to eliminate the unfair influence exercised by lobbyists and large corporate donors, and to return the elections to the people.

    With One Million unique contributors, with an average donation of $109, and an ongoing commitment to refuse contributions from Lobbyists or Corporate Donors, Senator Barack Obama and his campaign has, in fact and spirit, created a campaign funded by the public – by people from a broad spectrum of society, from every ethnicity, gender, income group, gender, religion, etc. -in short, Senator Obama has been financed by America in snapshot.

    This may not be what McCain would hope for, and I doubt he can energize his base in similar fashion, but I for one believe it is both empowering and exhilarating for these individuals, these donors, to have a share in the candidacy of Barack Obama – a share they might not fully appreciate with a more impersonal Public Financing.

    If Obama continues to limit himself to individual donors, and eschews the lure of lobbyist and special interest group donors as he has done thus far – well, while he may not be living up to the Letter of the Law, he will best capture the Spirit is was meant to encourage.

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