Saturday, June 21, 2008

Republican spin (again)

Last week, you couldn’t miss how John McCain and the Republicans were tripping all over themselves to condemn Barack Obama for deciding to decline public financing of his general election campaign. As usual, McCain and the Republicans weren’t being honest with American voters.

The truth is, as of May 31, Federal Election Commission records show that McCain and Obama are virtually tied for primary election fundraising ($31.6 million for McCain, $33.3 million for Obama). However, the Republican Party had raised $53.5 million to the Democrats’ $4 million.

With such a huge lead in money, McCain can easily afford to limit himself to the $84.1 million in taxpayer money (plus McCain raised $2.2 million for “legal and accounting costs”, and is free to raise more). If Obama accepted public financing, he’d be starting out $50 million behind McCain and the Republicans.

So, it’s easy—and awfully dishonest—for McCain and the Republicans to attack Obama for deciding to try and match their warchests. Money matters in American elections, and it would’ve been stupid for Obama to accept a financing deficit of more than $50 million.

It’s also worth noting that Obama will not accept donations from registered lobbyists; McCain has had them working on his campaign. McCain will also benefit from “527” organisations that will run smear campaigns against Obama and the Democrats. Most of Obama’s contributions have been $100 or less.

Once again, McCain and the Republicans have tried to spin a story to try and hide the truth: They have a huge lead in fundraising, and their goal is to try and keep it that way. This time, we won’t let them get away with the same old games.

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