Archive for the ‘fund raising’ Category

Why McCain Has So Little Campaign Money: His Own Law, Ethics

October 16, 2008

John McCain’s come-from-behind bid for the presidency is being damaged by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, better known as the McCain-Feingold bill.

The workings of McCain-Feingold and the Democratic Party’s huge fund-raising advantage have left Mr. McCain debilitatingly dependent on the $85 million in taxpayer financing he received last month. The Politico newspaper reported yesterday that Mr. Obama is outspending the combined McCain campaign/Republican National Committee campaign effort by as much as 8-1, and that probably understates Mr. McCain’s disadvantage.
Stacks of one hundred dollar notes are piled up after counting ... 

In the first three weeks of September, Mr. Obama ran 1,342 television commercials in the Washington media market, which includes Northern Virginia, a hotly contested area of a battleground state. By comparison, Mr. McCain ran just eight – an advantage of more than 160-1 in Mr. Obama’s favor. Unsurprisingly, Mr. McCain now finds himself in the embarrassing position of searching for loopholes that would enable him to circumvent the very legislative Frankenstein he created.

McCain-Feingold limits donations to no more than $2,300 for individuals contributing to a candidate’s primary election campaign and another $2,300 for the general election. But arguably the most disturbing aspect of the bill was its prohibition on the ability of labor unions and corporations from running television advertisements within 30 days of a primary and 60 days of a general election – in other words, when it mattered most.

Back in 2001 and 2002, when McCain-Feingold was being debated, this editorial page opposed the bill as an unconstitutional abridgement of Americans’ First Amendment freedoms. Mr. McCain joined many Democrats in dismissing these concerns, arguing that his legislation was necessary to help “clean up” politics and prevent special-interest groups (i.e., the American public) from exerting undue influence on elected officials.

In 2004, Wisconsin Right to Life produced a number of television ads urging state residents to contact Wisconsin’s Democratic senators, Russ Feingold, (Mr. McCain’s partner and cosponsor of the 2002 bill) and Herb Kohl, and tell them not to filibuster President Bush’s judicial nominations. But that posed a legal problem for the right-to life group: Mr. Feingold was running for re-election, and its proposed ad was declared an illegal “electioneering communication” because it referred to a candidate for federal office, Mr. Feingold. As columnist George Will pointed out, this would have been the perfect time for Mr. McCain to try to back away from the precipice and say that he never had any intention to ban such political speech. Alternatively, Mr. McCain could have remained silent. Instead, Mr. McCain filed a Supreme Court brief saying that this was exactly what he had in mind. The Supreme Court ruled against Wisconsin Right to Life, upholding the most onerous, intrusive interpretation of the law.

Four years later, as his campaign’s financial situation has become increasingly dire, Mr. McCain has apparently developed a very different perspective on the bill he touts as one of his greatest legislative achievements. Reporter Jim McElhatton of The Washington Times wrote in May about the fact that Mr. McCain was appearing at fundraisers across the United States where donors could legally donate up to $70,000 each to help him win the presidency through a group set up jointly by his campaign and the Republican Party. But, financially at least, he remains at a huge financial disadvantage to Mr. Obama and the Democrats. For all of his talk about the virtues of public financing, Mr. Obama – understanding full well that he could out-fundraise Mr. McCain – decided to forego public financing of his own campaign. And Mr. McCain, by opting for public financing, lost a golden opportunity to benefit from the popularity of his running mate, Sarah Palin.

Mr. McCain’s political situation right now should be a cautionary tale to all politicians who use the heavy hand of government to curtail American liberties.

The Washington Times
October 16, 2008


Blogger outreach boosts McCain

March 31, 2008

By Stephen Dinan
The Washington Times
March 31, 2008

Even as talk radio was brutalizing Sen. John McCain in the Republican presidential primaries, conservative bloggers reached a respectful truce with the Arizona senator over touchy issues and gave him what the campaign called a “tremendous positive psychological” boost.
The main reason: Mr. McCain’s blogger outreach, the most extensive of any presidential campaign in either party, helped keep him afloat in the dark days last summer when the major press was sizing up his campaign grave. During those times, Mr. McCain got attention and digital ink from the bloggers he invited to biweekly conference calls, and got a chance to talk policy.
“During the unpleasantness, whenever Senator McCain put himself in front of reporters, the question was always, ‘How much did you raise today, when are you dropping out,’ ” said Patrick Hynes, a conservative blogger who Mr. McCain hired in 2006. “And then we’d put him on the phone with bloggers, and they’d want to talk about Iraq, and pork and chasing down al Qaeda.”
For the campaign, it came down to deploying the campaign’s best asset — Mr. McCain himself — in a forum where he can excel.
Mr. Hynes said the back-and-forth with bloggers took “a great deal of sting out of the criticisms” over immigration, Mr. McCain’s push for campaign-finance changes and other areas where conservatives have registered their discontent with the senator, who has secured enough delegates to win the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.

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Chistopher Columbus: World’s Finest Navigator (and Fundraiser)

October 8, 2007

By John E. Carey
October 8, 2008

First we salute Christopher Columbus, a wise mariner and colonizer. Mostly we think of him as a great navigator but let’s not forget that he also had to raise his own money for his adventures by “pitching” his plans around Europe. On May 1, 1486, Columbus laid out his plans before Queen Isabella, of Spain, who funded the project. Columbus then built, manned and supplied a three ship unit.

Christopher Columbus

Portrait by Alejo Fernández, painted between 1505 and 1536. Photo by historian Manuel Rosa.

Christopher Columbus faced immense challenges.  His critics said the earth was flat and he would fall off.  Few people had any idea how large the earth was or the distances between unexplored places.  And finally, Chistopher Columbus had no accurate timepiece. Estimating longitude depends on accurate time measurement. No reliable chronometer existed in the 14th and 15th centuries. Time was kept on board ship by the use of sand filled hour glasses which had to be watched and turned hourly.  

As a former Naval Officer who had to raise money, give some “pitches” and navigate in my own life, at sea and ashore, I have the deepest admiration for Christopher Columbus and his tenacity.

Pretty cool guy.

Notes from the shop

My wife and I run a small business — but she does all the work. I admit it!

I try to sit quietly at the computer doing research and cranking out newspaper articles.

And I also tell stories to people purely for the entertainment and fellowship (and I don’t mean just men: no offense intended to the women out there!).

Today I told stories about Columbus.

One customer today was born in Bolivia and I told him he might not be here if not for Chris Columbus. I told him he has two ties to Columbus: his life in the Americas and his Spanish language.  The Bolivian man was impressed that Columbus found this land but he also convinced a  Spanish Queen to fund the quest!

Another customer, who is a 49 year old mailman who walks five miles every day, was born in Brazil. He thought Columbus did an incredible job at navigation and said, “Whenever I get a new route I need a map. Columbus followed the stars and his dream.”

A woman born in Thailand added that the key to life is hope, your dream and determination. She thought Columbus would say that if he lived today.

Like a lot of Asian-Americans she spent time at sea as a refugee.

One customer, named Shaka, told me he is named for the greatest warrior of all time: Shaka who united the  Zulu nation in Africa. He said Shaka is viewed and respected for his military adeptness like Attila the Hun or Alexander the Great.  He said that Columbus was just as important as Shaka and maybe more so because Columbus had no idea what he would find or quite how he would find it.  In fact, Columbus was searching for India (that is why Native Americans have been referred to as “Indians”).

I told two day laborers born in Guatamala that Columbus probably landed closer to what is today Guatamala than say New York! Their response: “We don’t know much because all we do is work.”

All we do is work: a common thread among many of first generation American immigrants.

Finally, my own wife escaped Vietnam with the “Boat People” after the fall of Saigon in 1975.   She has no love of the sea’s vastness and perils.

About Columbus she said, “Don’t even think about it. He has to make that trip without me in the crew.”

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