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Wag the Blog Redux: Money, Money, Money

In politics, money often buys publicity. This election cycle, Barack Obama and John McCain have spent millions of dollars on TV ads, hoping to woo voters nationwide with their broadcast spots. But Obama has the clear money lead -- an edge that's tied to his decision in mid June to opt out of public financing.

Last week, the Fix asked readers to weigh in on the fairness of our campaign finance system -- has money played too big of a role in the election, or should candidates be allowed to spend as much as they can raise?

We wanted readers who thought money was too influential to explain why and suggest what could be changed to limit its power in politics. To readers who might say, "Hey, the more money you raise, the more power to you!", we asked whether they think our public financing system should be a thing of the past.

Here's a look at the most insightful reader responses -- and yes, we received one via video!! Kudos to reader MySpace Hi5 who recorded his response on camera:

More Money, More Power to You!:

Some thoughts from like-minded readers:

"...Democrats have been outspent in all but one general election in the past God knows how long. (96) I'm glad the shoe finally is on the other foot. As for public financing. It does not mater what the law says. Some smart guy will find a way around it. That's how we got 527's." --Opa2

"When confronted with the huge sums of money that Obama has raised it is comforting to me to realize the huge stake that the common person has in that. The campaign has been fueled by millions of donors donating $25." --scotthawk

Money's too Influential; Fix the Campaign Finance System:
"The presidential public financing system should be fixed based on the models currently working in states like Maine and Arizona and in cities like Portland, Oregon. The difference between those systems and the current presidential system is that, in the Maine and Arizona model, if a candidate that accepts public money gets outspent by a candidate who opts out of the public system, the publicly financed candidate gets matching funds to enable that candidate to compete with the privately financed candidate. A candidate could also get matching funds based on expenditures by outside groups..." --Benner1

"Here's what I'd do for campaign finance reform:
1. Give all qualified (probably through petition signatures) candidates the same amount of money, once for primaries and once for general elections...
2. Allow additional fundraising, with a lower cap. Maybe $1000. This will allow popular candidates to get more money, and nobody can raise a huge amount of money without having broad support.
3. Give candidates free airtime and other resources. This will benefit smaller candidates, and again reduce the amount of fundraising needed to run a campaign.
4. Limit the length of the campaign. Don't allow candidates to raise or spend money until some starting point...
5. Don't let a rich candidate self-finance. It isn't fair to other candidates." -- Blarg

By Washington Post editors  |  October 20, 2008; 7:42 PM ET
Categories:  Wag The Blog  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Fix Pick: Being Joe Biden
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Comments

A REPUBLICAN HALLOWEEN TRADITION
THE OCTOBER SURPRISE

Race innuendos, terrorist stew
More Reverend Wright evil brew
No money left, do the sums
But something wicked this way comes

Palin opens her crooked mouth
To fan the hatred in the south
‘Kill him’ blurts from drunken gums
When something wicked this way comes

October surprise will tell the tale
Will Evil win or will it fail?
Karl Rove schemes with his vile chums
And something wicked this way comes

McCain has shown that there is nothing that he will not do,
nothing he will not say to get elected.
A man of Honor?

Corporations First, Country Last.


Posted by: seemstome | October 22, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

This is what is going around the internet - I suspect most of these quotes ARE actually from Obama himself - if you care about this country you MUST stop yourself from voting for this guy

From Dreams of My Father:

'I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of 12 or 13,

when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.'

From Dreams of My Father :

'I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother's race.'

From Dreams of My Father:

'There was something about him that made me wary,

a little too sure of himself, maybe. And white.'

From Dreams of My Father:

'It remained necessary to prove which side you were on,

to show your loyalty to the black masses,

to strike out and name names.'

From Dreams of My Father:

'I never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own.

It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa ,

that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself ,

the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela.'

And FINALLY the Most Damning one of ALL of them!!!

From Audacity of Hope:

'I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.'
Posted by: 37thandOSt | October 21, 2008 4:25 AM | Report abuse
----------------
Reply
Those quotes are all fake, made up. The person who sent that to you didn't even get the name of the book correct. Here is a quote from Mccain thought that isn't made up.
When referring to black soldiers in viet nam Mccain said "They were good for finding land mines."

Posted by: popasmoke | October 21, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Kind of funny that it's historically been Democrats pushing campaign finance reform but it'll be a Democrat who destroys campaign finance reform. Also, from now on any candidate from either party running for President will opt out of public financing. They'd be insane not to. I mean whey would you pull a McCain and unilaterally disarm.

Posted by: RobT1 | October 21, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

This is what is going around the internet - I suspect most of these quotes ARE actually from Obama himself - if you care about this country you MUST stop yourself from voting for this guy

From Dreams of My Father:

'I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of 12 or 13,

when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.'

From Dreams of My Father :

'I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother's race.'

From Dreams of My Father:

'There was something about him that made me wary,

a little too sure of himself, maybe. And white.'

From Dreams of My Father:

'It remained necessary to prove which side you were on,

to show your loyalty to the black masses,

to strike out and name names.'

From Dreams of My Father:

'I never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own.

It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa ,

that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself ,

the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela.'

And FINALLY the Most Damning one of ALL of them!!!

From Audacity of Hope:

'I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.'

Posted by: 37thandOSt | October 21, 2008 4:25 AM | Report abuse

NYT/CBS Poll: Obama Has Record High Favorability Rating
October 20, 2008 11:55 PM

Get Breaking News Alerts

Barack Obama's favorability "is the highest for a presidential candidate running for a first term in the last 28 years" of New York Times/CBS polls.

Meanwhile, the Times reports, Sarah Palin's "negative rating is the highest for a vice-presidential candidate as measured by The Times and CBS News. Even Dan Quayle, with whom Mrs. Palin is often compared because of her age and inexperience on the national scene, was not viewed as negatively in the 1988 campaign."

A bit more from the story:

As voters have gotten to know Senator Barack Obama, they have warmed up to him, with more than half, 53 percent, now saying they have a favorable impression of him and 33 percent saying they have an unfavorable view. But as voters have gotten to know Senator John McCain, they have not warmed, with only 36 percent of voters saying they view him favorably while 45 percent view him unfavorably.

Even voters who are planning to vote for Mr. McCain say their enthusiasm has waned. In New York Times and CBS News polls conducted with the same respondents before the first presidential debate and again after the last debate, Mr. McCain made no progress in appealing to voters on a personal level, and he and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, had alienated some voters.

Personal appeal is an intangible element in voters' decisions. Each voter has a personal reason for connecting with a candidate or not. But the percentage of those who hold a favorable opinion of Mr. Obama is up 10 points since last month. Opinion of Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., Mr. Obama's running mate, is also up, to 50 percent last weekend from 36 percent in September.

In contrast, favorable opinion of Mr. McCain remained stable, and unfavorable opinion rose to 45 percent now from 35 percent in September. Mrs. Palin's negatives are up, to 41 percent now from 29 percent in September.

Posted by: popasmoke | October 21, 2008 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Last month when a citizen asked Palin about Pakistan – she ended up contradicting McCain’s position on the same issue.
How did McCain reconcile this discrepancy? – He claimed that the citizen’s question was a “gotcha question”

Now he is evoking ‘Joe the plumber’ daily.
This guy Joe told Obama that he is planning to buy a 250K – 280K businesses (just over Obama’s tax cut-off… how co-incidental?). It now turns out that this guy is nowhere near buying any businesses and he only earns 40K – thus would be getting a TAX-CUT under Obama plan!!! If anything Joe’s question was a well set-up ‘gotcha question’ just to put Obama on the defensive and make him uncomfortable. Obama knew this guy will not vote for him but still spent 6 minutes explaining his situation (Compare this to McCain’s/Palin’s response when confronted by a non-supporter – He will call the person “un-American”, “not real American”, “communists” and what not)
We know McCain will never acknowledge that Joe’s question was the real ‘gotcha question’!! He will continue raking-up ‘Joe the plumber’ for next 2 weeks like what he done since last Wed.

Obama is much classier than McCain… at least he doesn’t whine and blame others when caught in a spot… he takes responsibility for his and his campaign’s action/words. McCain will blame his follies on someone else – “gotcha journalism”, “gotcha question”, “liberal media”, “partisan legislature” etc…


Posted by: chill45 | October 20, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse
------------------


The other day when someone yelled "Socialists" at Obama in a diner Obama went over the the person and ended up spending an hour sitting with her group talking. It was surprisingly a church group. When he left they said they were now probably going to vote for him they were so impressed. I have met Obama numerous times and he is really something. Nothing Mccain can do will ever crack through his tough exterior. He is tough, I am not kidding.

When Obama said a few months ago "Mccain has no idea what he is up against", he was not kidding or bluffing. A lot of people who are for Obama are nervous watching polls and all that. If you know Obama though, you just sit back do your job and watch, because you know Obama knows what he is doing all the time. He doesn't get out moved, especially by such a poorly run campaign like Mccains. They are like the Keystone Cops next to the Obama campaign.

Posted by: popasmoke | October 21, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Last month when a citizen asked Palin about Pakistan – she ended up contradicting McCain’s position on the same issue.
How did McCain reconcile this discrepancy? – He claimed that the citizen’s question was a “gotcha question”

Now he is evoking ‘Joe the plumber’ daily.
This guy Joe told Obama that he is planning to buy a 250K – 280K businesses (just over Obama’s tax cut-off… how co-incidental?). It now turns out that this guy is nowhere near buying any businesses and he only earns 40K – thus would be getting a TAX-CUT under Obama plan!!! If anything Joe’s question was a well set-up ‘gotcha question’ just to put Obama on the defensive and make him uncomfortable. Obama knew this guy will not vote for him but still spent 6 minutes explaining his situation (Compare this to McCain’s/Palin’s response when confronted by a non-supporter – He will call the person “un-American”, “not real American”, “communists” and what not)
We know McCain will never acknowledge that Joe’s question was the real ‘gotcha question’!! He will continue raking-up ‘Joe the plumber’ for next 2 weeks like what he done since last Wed.

Obama is much classier than McCain… at least he doesn’t whine and blame others when caught in a spot… he takes responsibility for his and his campaign’s action/words. McCain will blame his follies on someone else – “gotcha journalism”, “gotcha question”, “liberal media”, “partisan legislature” etc…


Posted by: chill45 | October 20, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

"Popasmoke - way, way over the line."

ditto.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 20, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Popasmoke - way, way over the line. I think McCain's service is needed---in the Senate.

Without senators such as McCain, Snow, and Collins, nothing would get done. Do you think a solution to social security can be done with only one party?

So, I'll happily welcome Senator McCain and President Obama back to Washington in January.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 20, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about the rest of the country but in South Florida Obama is all but erasing Mccains ad's. Every time a Mccain ad runs the next thing you see on the screen is an Obama ad making you all but forget you just saw a Mccain ad.

Mccains ad's look like they are made by some kid for his Myspace page and Obama's look like they were done by a hollywood professional. This is no contest in this respect. Plus Obama ad's run in prime time. Did you notice on SNL as they got a big audience from Palin appearance, Obama ad's were running during the show. Not cheap, you didn't see any Mccain ad's. I love it, that's why I gave Obama the max as did my wife, I want him to destroy Mccain. When this is over I don't want to hear about Mccain again, unless it is on page 7.

Posted by: popasmoke | October 20, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Here's my suggestion.

1. Eliminate all donation caps to candidates and advocacy groups. Money in politics is like air in a balloon. You squeeze it in one place and it pops out somewhere else. It's ridiculous that John Kerry could mortgage marital property, but his wife couldn't contribute assets in her name.

2. All donations must be reported.
Full transparency. If Warren Buffett wants to finance Tom Osborne's campaign instead of running himself, more power to him. However, the public must know and can make its judgment.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 20, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

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