Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Obama's Suspicious Fundraising

Barack Obama is the greatest campaign fundraiser in American history. He's got a darkly secretive side to his success, however, as today's Wall Street Journal notes:

Mr. Obama may ... have to answer after the election for some of his fund-raising practices. The campaign won't release the list of donors who gave $200 or less, and under current law it doesn't have to. This raises suspicions that some individuals are bundling their contributions in small numbers to give more than the law allows. Mr. Obama calls his many donors a new system of "public finance," but if so where is the disclosure? His donor list is the least transparent in a generation.

The Democrat first promised to abide by federal campaign spending limits when he was a long-shot in the primaries. But once he showed he could raise $265 million against Hillary Clinton, he took the rational (if cynical) route by opting out of the government-run program in the autumn. A Republican would have been tarred and feathered by the media, with reports night after night about the "fat cats" funding his campaign; Mr. Obama is getting a pass.

This monumental flip-flop should finally bust the illusion that campaign finance reform is somehow about better government. It is really about power. Liberals campaign for limits when they serve their election purposes but abandon them when they don't. Bill Clinton proved that in 1996 and we are learning that lesson again this year.
Readers may recall that Bill Clinton ran short of hard-money campaign funds in 1995-96, when he ran early advertising against the GOP following the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994.

Going broke, he called up the DNC and directed it to funnel million of dollars in soft-money into Democratic Party issue-advertisments. The controversy over this soft-money loophole led directly to the McCain-Feingold Act of 2002, which has had the perverse effect of putting John McCain's presidential campaign at a distinct disadvantage this fall, as he's bound to $85 million in public money for the general election campaign (and Obama will raise more than twice that much this month alone, while he continues to build a massive campaign organiztion and media exposure).

Barack Obama's run the most secretive presidential election operation since the Nixon years. He's got a lot to hide, so voters should not be surprised when the Pandora's Box of corruption and impropriety is cracked open next year upon the accession of the Democrats to power.

See also, "Who Is John Galt? A Contributor to Collectivist Obama's Campaign, Of Course!"