Obama On Rejecting Public Finance System

Barack Obama released a video to his supporters, explaining his not too secret decision to forgo public campaign funding. That he did it himself, in a video, shows that he recognizes that he has significant exposure on this issue based upon previous public statements and promises.

Obama proffers that his rejection of over "$80 million in public funds" is a noble gesture. And he blames his decision on the 'facts' that 1) the public finance system is somehow broken, and 2) it's John McCain's fault. The esteemed Senator claims that McCain is a stooge of special interests with unlimited pockets, and that McCain's 527s are prepared to spend limitless amounts to libel and slander Obama. In fact, Obama claims that McCain is refusing to call off the 527s - and that his people must fight back!

This video is deeply disturbing to anyone who knows any facts about the present political environment. The special interest money isn't coming to the GOP - the overwhelming majority is flowing into the Democratic Party coffers. The reason is simple - the Democrats are the ones currently in power, and Obama is favored to win the Presidency. The overwhelming majority of 527s are Democrat and liberal funded - simply extensions of the Democratic Party. They were originally set up, and primarily funded by George Soros, to skirt the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law. In fact, Soros was seeding these groups at the same time he was donating and supporting McCain's reforms efforts in the Senate. Useful idiots, indeed.

Also, as has been reported earlier on American Thinker, Barack Obama has promised in writing that he would not only be a participant in the public finance system for the general election, but challenged others in the race to agree to it as well. John McCain was the only one to do so. Obama, at the time, knew that he was a good fundraiser on his own, but that didn't stop him from agreeing to refund any excess money in donations to the individual donors when he joined the public system for the general election. Here's Obama, in his own, written words:

I have been a long-time advocate for public financing of campaigns combined with free television and radio time as a way to reduce the influence of moneyed special interests. I introduced public financing legislation in the Illinois State Senate, and am the only 2008 candidate to have sponsored Senator Russ Feingold's (DWI) bill to reform the presidential public financing system. In February 2007, I proposed a novel way to preserve the strength of the public financing system in the 2008 election. My plan requires both major party candidates to agree on a fundraising truce, return excess money from donors, and stay within the public financing system for the general election. My proposal followed announcements by some presidential candidates that they would forgo public financing so they could raise unlimited funds in the general election. The Federal Election Commission ruled the proposal legal, and Senator John McCain (r-AZ) has already pledged to accept this fundraising pledge. If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election. [emphasis added]

Meanwhile, the Democrats are attacking John McCain's attempts to level the playing field and opt out of the public financing system that he and Obama had previously agreed to participate in. They've launched their attacks on two fronts. First, they have filed a suit against the FEC for not investigating their claim that McCain's use of donations as a pledge to obtain a loan to keep his campaign afloat was illegal - and allege that McCain can't opt out of the public financing system until the FEC rules on his case. Which brings us to the second front - the FEC isn't functioning because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is refusing to confirm new commissioners, thus insuring that there can be no quorum on the FEC. Without a quorum, there can't be any votes. Without any votes, the FEC can't conduct its oversight duties. So the Democratic Party is suing the FEC because of actions (or inactions) that the Democratic Party itself is actively causing. The Democrats are gaming the system. It's brilliant - and totally crooked.

Obama, in being as slick as Bill Clinton ever dreamed of being, did make one mistake, however. In his first comment to his supporters on the video, Obama stated as fact that the public finance system is broken. John McCain should immediately come out, point out that Obama has flip-flopped on this issue, but agree to take Obama at his word - that the system is broken. Then announce that in the spirit of fair play, and since Obama backed out of their public finance agreement first, then he will back out as well.

And let Obama and the Democrats chew on that for a while.