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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Candidates Hope It's Still a Time For Giving

As the New Year approaches, the candidates for President are also facing the end of the fourth quarter financial reporting period which falls on December 31, 2007. Over the next six days voters will be repeatedly asked to donate money to support their candidate.

This request for funds comes in many ways such as direct mail and telephone solicitation but most notably is the internet. During the last week leading up to the end of the third quarter finance report deadline of September 30, 2007 I counted the number of emails I received from several of the Democrats running for office.

The standard practice was repetition with former Senator (NC) and 2004 Vice President candidate John Edwards leading with 10 emails. Following closely was Senators Barack Obama (Ill.) and Hillary Clinton (NY) with 7 emails each.

I even saved some of the email headlines for they tell how each candidate tries to be unique in asking for money. Senator Edward's campaign had one entitled "A dime a day keeps the Lobbyists away" and another said "Choose Change". The Obama campaign had one entitled "This is Real" and another called "Start Spreading the News". While the Richardson campaign had one entitled "Wait until 2013? Are they Kidding?" and another that said "This is Your Moment".

At the end of the third quarter finance report period the top four fund raising Democrats running for President were Clinton with 90 million (10 million was transferred from her US Senate account) - 50 million cash on hand, Obama with 80 million - 36 million cash on hand, Edwards with 30 million - 18 million cash on hand, and Richardson with 18 million - 13 million cash on hand.

To read more campaign finance report detail on all the candidates click on the following link: This web site estimates the eventual nominee will spend 500 million to compete.

This is a staggering and mind boggling amount. The Howard Dean for President campaign in 2004 spent a then whopping 50 million leading up to the Iowa caucuses. This time both the Clinton and Obama campaign will eclipse this figure and the Edwards campaign will probably be close to the figure.

The McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Law of 2002 although noble in purpose did little to bring about the needed reform in campaign financing.

It is time for serious bi-partisan discussion leading to public financing of the candidates for President.

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