Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) speaks as retired Army General Wesley Clark (R) listens during Obama\’s meeting with generals and other military flag officers at a military and foreign affairs round table discussion in Washington June 18, 2008.(Jim Bourg/Reuters)
Barack Obama decides not to take federal public financing to fund his Presidential Campaign…
Unlike the last two elections, Barack Obama will by all means break Presidential fundraising records by tapping into a gusher of small donors who are putting there hard earned money to work. In 2000 and 2004 the republicans joyfully touted there robust campaign war chest and with the help of 527 groups were able to use effective attacks backed by money. Now the shoe is on the other foot. I personally welcome Barack Obama\’s decision because like I and thousands of others have donated $10, $25, $50, or $100 weekly, monthly, or whenever possible have been able to participate in an election of such importance. I can\’t think of anything more democratic than allowing indivisual voters to donate to a candidate in such large numbers and giving what they can in order to be heard. Yes a vote is a voice but money is the bullhorn that allows everyone to hear…So we have to continue to give when we can for the next 5 months to defend the Obama campaign against unscrupulous republican attacks and special 527 groups who work outside the lines.
I want to add a little context to the video message earlier announcing that we will not participate in the public financing system for the general election.
Even though we stood to receive more than $80 million in taxpayer funding for our campaign, the system has been so gamed and exploited by our opponents that it is effectively broken.
John McCain, the Republican National Committee, and their allies in so-called 527 groups that raise and spend unlimited contributions are dedicated to manipulating this broken system to raise as much money as possible — and they\’ve proven that they\’re very good at it.
A top McCain adviser told MSNBC earlier this month, \”now that we\’re in the general election, the RNC money counts, the DNC money counts. So the truth is today, John McCain has more cash on hand and more money than Barack Obama does.\”
In April alone, they raised nearly $45 million. That\’s more than our campaign and the Democratic National Committee combined. And that doesn\’t include the plans of 527 groups like the one called \”Freedom\’s Watch,\” which has said it will spend as much as $250 million under Karl Rove\’s direction to attack and defeat Barack Obama.
To compete, Barack has put his faith in ordinary people giving only what they can afford. That\’s been the strategy of this campaign from the beginning, and more than 1,500,000 supporters like you have gotten us this far.
We have a historic opportunity to prove that a movement of ordinary people has the power to change the way political campaigns are funded. And we have a clear goal as we begin this new challenge: 50,000 people declaring their independence by making a donation before July 4th.
Our supporters have gotten us this far with their prior giving. But right now you can grow our movement by giving again. If you promise to match the gift of a first time donor, you could be what convinces them to give for the first time. You\’ll double your impact, and you\’ll get to see the name and town of the person you match. You can even exchange a personal note about why you\’ve chosen to support Barack.
Declare your independence from our broken system. Make a matching donation now and bring someone new into this campaign.
Opting out of public matching funds was an extremely difficult decision, and frankly we are at a disadvantage when it comes to raising money. Unlike John McCain, this campaign has never accepted donations from Washington lobbyists or special interest PACs.
While McCain has built his fundraising strategy around high-dollar donors giving huge checks to the RNC, you are creating a new model for publicly financed campaigns.
Thank you for your support and for taking on the masters of a broken system,