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Primaries

Colm

TRIBE Member
le bricoleur said:
As he said, "I've been here before. Every time I get excited for a candidate or polical leader, like John F. Kennedy or Bobby Kenndey or Martin Luther King Jr., some knuckle-dragging red-neck puts a bullet in him."
With respect to your pops, he's wrong on two of the three counts. JFK was 86ed by a weirdo with a hard on for things communist. RFK was assassinated by a Palestinian who didn't like the US's support for Israel.

----

Hillary has the nepotism vote, Obama the popular. I think by August all the supers will have had enough of Clinton and be prepared to negotiate with Obama. What I've read generally indicates that the superdelegates will only support Hillary if she can win at least 2 of these 3 major primaries. And if she resurrects her campaign. Of course August is far away, and a lot can change in a few weeks, as we've all seen.
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
...with a lobbyist!

and he's also being investigated for possibly using access to public campaign finance money as a guarantee for a 4 million dollar loan to his campaign.
 

2canplay

TRIBE Member
Bass-Invader said:
and he's also being investigated for possibly using access to public campaign finance money as a guarantee for a 4 million dollar loan to his campaign.
That doesn't make any sense???
 
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Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
2canplay said:
That doesn't make any sense???
A candiadate can take public financing for their campaign, where the government gives them a set amount of money and they cannot use any more than that, not by fundraising or whatever. Otherwise they get nothing and can fundraise as much as they want and spend as much of the fundraised money as they like.

Anyways.

McCain applied for public funding, was approved but never took any payments. Later he submitted to withdraw from the public funding program, since he had never taken any of that money, no big deal.

In this case, before he had left the public financing program, he had taken a 4 million dollar loan from a bank. When analysing his credit risk they may have gotten an assurance from him that he had public financing available and could draw on that to cover the loan. This implies a use of the public funds even if he never drew any cash, since he used it as a guarantee for his loan. If this is proven, he can get in all kinds of shit, and it looks really bad on him since he is head of the senate ethics commitee and co-authored several campaign finance reform bills which he uses to tout his position as a straight shooter.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
more detail here:

A few days ago I wrote about a loan John McCain had taken out, in which he tried to use his future eligibility for federal matching funds as collateral. Presumably, he did this in order to get the money he needed to keep his campaign afloat without using the matching finds themselves as collateral. And the reason it was important not to use those funds as collateral was that according to the FEC, doing so would constitute "accepting " those funds, and thus subjecting himself and his campaign to the limitations that go with it.

I am not a lawyer, and thus have no opinion about whether McCain's loan violates the, um, McCain Feingold Act, or any other provision of federal law. But I did think that this was a pretty transparent attempt to violate its spirit. Campaign finance laws ask candidates to make a choice: either you take federal money, in which case you are subject to a number of restrictions, or else you don't take it, in which case you are not. Getting a loan by using the matching funds you have not yet received as collateral is a way of trying to have it both ways: essentially, you get to spend your matching funds now, but because the money did not literally come from the government, you can delay a decision about whether or not to accept the restrictions that go with them until later. If you can leverage the money into enough wins to generate contributions, you can pay back the loan and duck the restrictions; if not, you've lost anyways, so you might as well abide by them. That's exactly what campaign finance laws do not want candidates to be able to do.

McCain tried to be tricky about this: he didn't use the matching funds he had qualified for as collateral, but he did use the fact that he could qualify for them at any time. That's why he had to give away his legal right to withdraw from the campaign if he lost: to satisfy his lenders, he had to promise to stay in long enough to actually get the matching funds he qualified for, and to give them first dibs on those funds. Whether or not this violates the law -- a law McCain authored -- I have no idea, but it is certainly an attempt to wriggle out of its requirements, and it ought to put paid, once and for all, to the idea of McCain as a straight-talking man of principle.

Apparently, the FEC has the same questions I had about McCain's loan. The AP reports (h/t TPM):

"The government's top campaign finance regulator says John McCain can't drop out of the primary election's public financing system until he answers questions about a loan he obtained to kickstart his once faltering presidential campaign.

Federal Election Commission Chairman David Mason, in a letter to McCain this week, said the all-but-certain Republican nominee needs to assure the commission that he did not use the promise of public money to help secure a $4 million line of credit he obtained in November.

McCain's lawyer, Trevor Potter, said Wednesday evening that McCain has withdrawn from the system and that the FEC can't stop him. Potter said the campaign did not encumber the public funds in any way. (...)

By accepting the public money, McCain would be limited to spending about $54 million for the primaries, a ceiling his campaign is near. That would significantly hinder his ability to finance his campaign between now and the Republican National Convention in September."​

The FEC's letter to McCain is here (pdf); the amount McCain has already spent during the primaries is $49,650,185.36; the exact FEC limits on primary spending are not yet available, but if this were 2007, they would have been $40.89 million, which is considerably less than McCain has already spent. I assume that the AP got its figure of "about $54 million" from the FEC; if so, then McCain has about four and a half million dollars to spend between now and the Convention in September.

One further problem:

"Complicating the dispute is the FEC's current lack of a quorum. The six-member commission has four vacancies and Senate Democrats and Republicans are at loggerheads over how to fill them.

In his letter, Mason told McCain he would need the votes of four commissioners to accept his withdrawal from the system.

"The commission will consider your request at such a time as it has a quorum," Mason wrote.

Without action by the Senate, McCain could be waiting indefinitely. (...)

Potter [McCain's lawyer] said McCain will continue with his campaign and not adhere to the public financing system's limits on spending. Without a full commission, Mason has little enforcement power. Likewise, without an FEC, McCain has no way to appeal Mason's conclusion."​

The FEC thinks it needs a quorum in order to approve McCain's withdrawal. But it also needs a quorum in order to enforce its decisions. And as Mark Schmitt said about McCain, "it's pretty clear that his attitude toward the Federal Election Commission on this question is, "Come and get me!""
 
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2canplay

TRIBE Member
Bass-Invader said:
A candiadate can take public financing for their campaign, where the government gives them a set amount of money and they cannot use any more than that, not by fundraising or whatever. Otherwise they get nothing and can fundraise as much as they want and spend as much of the fundraised money as they like.

Anyways.

McCain applied for public funding, was approved but never took any payments. Later he submitted to withdraw from the public funding program, since he had never taken any of that money, no big deal.

In this case, before he had left the public financing program, he had taken a 4 million dollar loan from a bank. When analysing his credit risk they may have gotten an assurance from him that he had public financing available and could draw on that to cover the loan. This implies a use of the public funds even if he never drew any cash, since he used it as a guarantee for his loan. If this is proven, he can get in all kinds of shit, and it looks really bad on him since he is head of the senate ethics commitee and co-authored several campaign finance reform bills which he uses to tout his position as a straight shooter.
OK, thanks for the explanation. Sounds pretty obscure - but, clearly, as you pointed out in your last sentence, He Should Know Better.
 

2canplay

TRIBE Member
Clinton Jabs at Obama
On Speeches, Health Care
By CHRISTOPHER COOPER and AMY CHOZICK
February 22, 2008; Page A1

AUSTIN, Texas -- With the fate of her presidential campaign on the line, Hillary Clinton used one of the most anticipated debates of the primary season to take some shots at Democratic front-runner Barack Obama for both his speeches and his health-care policies.

But the New York senator also ended the 90-minute session with one of her most elegant, memorable moments of the long campaign, reaching over to shake her Illinois rival's hand, as she said, "I am honored to be here with Barack Obama." She concluded to applause: "You know, whatever happens, we're going to be fine."

Still, the debate didn't seem to provide the much-needed turning point for the New York senator to slow the momentum of her Illinois rival, less than two weeks before the Texas and Ohio primaries that have become must-win contests for her.

The big question going into the night was what strategy the Clinton campaign would adopt: whether the increasingly long odds facing her would force Sen. Clinton to become more aggressive in attacking Sen. Obama, or whether she would see that approach as counterproductive.

Sen. Clinton spent the debate balancing between the two instincts. She spent much of the evening engaged in a substantive, policy-based exchange with Sen. Obama on issues ranging from Cuba to health care, and both candidates repeatedly noted how much they agreed. But there were also some tense moments, and her sharpest hit came when she harked back to earlier accusations by her campaign that Sen. Obama lifted lines from Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a friend of the Illinois senator and a co-chairman of his campaign.

"I think if your candidacy is going to be about words, then they should be your own words," the New York senator said acidly. "Lifting whole passages out of someone else's speech isn't change you can believe in; it's change you can Xerox," Sen. Clinton continued, drawing scattered boos from the audience. Sen. Obama said the comments were offered to him by Gov. Patrick.

Sen. Obama spent much of the debate playing it safe, reiterating his scripted positions on the issues. But he also took some jabs, at one point critiquing his rival's newest campaign catch phrase. "Sen. Clinton of late has said 'let's get real,' and the implication is that the people who have been voting for me or involved in my campaign are somehow delusional," he said.

The debate represented a crucial opportunity for Sen. Clinton who has lost 11-straight contests to Sen. Obama and lags in the overall delegate count. Over the past few days, he has widely come to be seen as the front-runner in the race, and her supporters have said she needs somehow to change the storyline in the campaign -- and to win both Texas and Ohio on March 4 to keep her candidacy viable.

Sen. Clinton's prospects of doing so have become increasingly uncertain, as a series of recent polls have shown her once-large lead in Texas eroding to the point where some show the race essentially tied.

Last night's session began on a friendly tone, with both candidates speaking repeatedly of their mutual respect for each other and highlighting how they are locked in common cause against the policies of President Bush.

The lack of fireworks during the first half of the debate paid what was perhaps an unexpected dividend: The two candidates gave more detailed summations of their platforms than they have in recent weeks. Thursday's debate, at the University of Texas, marked the 19th time the two candidates have sparred this political season, though only the second that has been head-to-head. The 20th and final debate is scheduled for next week in Ohio, which like hotly contested Texas, holds nominating elections on March 4.

Once a highflying front-runner, Sen. Clinton is running a close second to the surging Sen. Obama in the delegate count in one of the closest races in years. And though some on Sen. Clinton's staff had advised her to come out swinging in Austin, as she has occasionally in the past, she decided, at least initially, not to take the advice.

"I think you can tell from the first 45 minutes that Sen. Obama and I have a lot in common," said Sen. Clinton, about halfway through the debate last night. She added that on balance, she considered the race to have been "very positive and extremely civil."

On the policy front, some daylight showed between the two candidates, particularly on the issue of Cuba, which went through a leadership change this week when longtime dictator Fidel Castro stepped aside; he is expected to be replaced by his caretaker brother, Raúl, thought by many analysts to be slightly more progressive. Asked point-blank whether he would meet with Raúl Castro, Mr. Obama said he would -- in contrast to Sen. Clinton, who said she wouldn't arrange such a meeting until she detected that "change was happening." Mr. Obama did say he would first seek "preparations," including progress in Cuba on human rights and press freedoms.


"I would meet without preconditions," Mr. Obama said, adding that while he wouldn't normalize relations with Cuba, he would favor loosening restrictions on remittances and family-visit visas as "a show of good faith." The exchange highlighted one of the biggest foreign-policy differences between the two: Sen. Clinton has ruled out presidential-level talk with rogue nations such as Iran and North Korea, while Sen. Obama has said he would be willing to do so.

The candidates gave detailed recitations of their economic plans and here, the two were nearly identical. Sens. Obama and Clinton said they would both tinker with the tax code to give more favor to the middle class and would start "clean green" job programs, as Sen. Clinton called them, to spark up an industry which is currently in its infancy.

Trade Pacts

Both came out strongly against some of the current trade deals in effect, with both saying they would ensure future pacts included labor, environmental and health riders to ensure a fair playing field. And both said they would strive to pass a comprehensive immigration bill.

The most substantive jabs came over health care, an issue that the candidates have been bickering over during the long course of campaign. Sen. Clinton says hers is the only plan that would provide universal health care to all Americans. Sen. Obama calls her plan a mandate and says his plan would provide affordable coverage for any American who wishes to buy it.


When asked if she was ready to be commander-in-chief on day one, Sen. Clinton said she would be, and then switched topics to talk about health care again. She said Sen. Obama's plan would leave millions of Americans out and called it a "substantive difference" between the two of them.

"Both of us seek to get universal health care. I have a substantive difference with Sen. Clinton on how to get there," Sen. Obama responded.

'Tactical Victory'

Though the issue of Iraq has faded, subsumed in the minds of many voters by the national economy, Sen. Obama used a question about the current troop surge to burnish his qualifications to face presumptive Republican nominee John McCain in November. Calling the surge a "tactical victory imposed upon a huge strategic blunder,'' Sen. Obama said the war in Iraq had diverted U.S. attention from Afghanistan, as well as places such as Latin America, allowing economic rivals and despots to move into the vacuum.

"And I think that, when we're having a debate with John McCain, it is going to be much easier for the candidate who was opposed to the concept of invading Iraq in the first place to have a debate about the wisdom of that decision than having to argue about the tactics subsequent to the decision,'' Mr. Obama said. "Iran is the single biggest strategic beneficiary of us having invaded Iraq, and that is something that I think John McCain has to come to terms with.''
------------------------------------------------------

I'm glad something is finally going to be done about this aspect of globalization.

"Both came out strongly against some of the current trade deals in effect, with both saying they would ensure future pacts included labor, environmental and health riders to ensure a fair playing field."
 
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Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
After the media took to making fun of the Clinton campaign for using the photo as a negative one of her campaign manager comes out to say this:

Enough.

If Barack Obama's campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed. Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely.

This is nothing more than an obvious and transparent attempt to distract from the serious issues confronting our country today and to attempt to create the very divisions they claim to decry.

We will not be distracted.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Bass-Invader said:
After the media took to making fun of the Clinton campaign for using the photo as a negative one of her campaign manager comes out to say this:
Oh gawd. She's lost a lot of points with me recently. That's just a weak statement from her campaign manager.

And petty. Very petty.
 

Puma

TRIBE Member
yeah wtf is Ralph Nader thinking. I mean he must know that he has 0% chance of actually wining. So he wants to help the Republicans win again??? Is he on the Republican payroll?

I think its safe to say that McCain is going to be the next president.
 

Flashy_McFlash

Well-Known TRIBEr
Now hold on, I don't think that McCain is a lock at all. Nader's votes have been on a sharp decline since 2000, as people realize the effect he's had on the split. This time he probably won't be a major factor either, but his presence certainly couldn't help.
 
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Puma

TRIBE Member
Its not really Nader I know he has lost a lot of votes but still every little bit counts. I am just not sure if the special interest groups are ready to give up their privileges just yet.
 

Deus

TRIBE Member
Puma said:
I think its safe to say that McCain is going to be the next president.
Why I oughta smack you for saying shit like this.

Obama IS the next president of the United States of America.
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
Puma said:
Its not really Nader I know he has lost a lot of votes but still every little bit counts. I am just not sure if the special interest groups are ready to give up their privileges just yet.
What we have seen in this primary is a big struggle of the special interest candiadate versus one who denies them. Obama refuses to take money from special interest groups and PACs and while I find it hard to believe that he is fully divested in that regard he is definiley a big step in that direction, especially in contrast to his opponents. That being said, look where that has got him - or rather; Hillary has the full weight of the special interest establishment behind her, and she's burning up. I don't think the special interest groups can stop him, I think the public backlash this time around is too great. The number of public donors, real people, putting their money where their mouths are, the numbers of people devoting their human capital to his campaign (which, by the way I think is what really gives him the edge here since he is getting more money and having to spend less to acheive the things that Hillary's 40 million dollar consulting bills aspire to), volunteering by the tens of thousands, is almost a force of nature at this point.

Over a million people have donated to this man's campaign. That's completely unprecedented by an astronomical margin.
 
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