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October 19, 2008
How to buy the presidency
"Change and Hope" translated means "I am changing the fundraising game forever," and "I sure hope all these donations are legal."
Barack Obama's campaign announced Sunday the Democratic presidential candidate raised $150 million in donations in September, setting a new high-water mark in campaign fundraising.
Not one story on Obama's record haul mentioned the total amount Obama has raised and spent in the primary and general election campaigns in order to be elected President of the United States.
Not the AP.
Not Time Magazine.
Not the Washington Post.
Not the New York Times.
Not The Hill.
I managed to find this Newsmax piece from September 29th that gives a number for Obama's total fundraising. I cannot speak to the accuracy or provenance of this number. But it sounds about right.
That $427 million was before September's haul of $150 million. That means that, if the number is accurate, Barack Obama has raised $577 million - more than half a billion dollars - to buy himself a presidency.
About half of that - $269 million - is from donations of under $200. Why is that important? Those donations do not have to be individually reported to the FEC. They could be coming from anywhere - including overseas. We are trusting that the Obama campaign is voluntarily following the law and returning donations that are illegal - including those that exceed the $2300 limit for individuals.
No word from the Obama campaign, from the FEC, or from anyone else whether that is being done or not. How much has been returned? What safeguards do they have in place to assure that the donations are on the up and up?
Wouldn't those be some interesting questions to ask the campaign?