Ah, the New York Times finally noticed. Barack Obama has opted out of public financing of his election, which allows him to spend as much as he can “legally” raise.

Of course, this hit page A22 in the NewYork Times print edition, but at least they finally noticed it.

Oh, but some Democrats worry:

Democrats, in particular, who have traditionally supported limits on campaign spending, are grappling with whether they can embrace Mr. Obama’s example without being seen as hypocritical.

No problem. It only took three months and a huge differnce in campaign spending for the press to notice.

The big thing, of course, is that the Democrats have managed to allow a lot of “small donors” to donate on line. This is a big thing, with all sorts of enthusiastic types using email to organize their obedient followers, but one suspects that in the next elections, most people will decide they have a life and ignore the emails urging them to donate funds and then to “go to your friends and neighbors and tell them to vote”, such as the one I just got from the DNC…uh, fellahs, I live overseas…

Oh, but overseas donations, like domestic credit card donations, are not checked either, even though this type of software is common and easily available.

Most websites that take money use a security donation system, that verifies your name and address and that the information matches what is on their site. In addition, some sites will not accept orders if the order comes from an unusual server site. For example, I have had trouble buying expensive gifts for relatives since I use a Philippine server. And when I tried to download films and music using my US address and credit card from Amazon, I found that they would not allow the download because their site recognized that I was using an overseas server.

Without security, it is possible that many of the donations are not from small donors but from large donors who know how to manipulate the sites using fake addresses.

But the real problem with the story is found in the ninth (!) paragraph, which tells you why this story is on page A22 the day before election:

A recent USA Today-Gallup poll found most Americans did not even know who was taking public financing and who was not; only Mr. McCain opted for the $84 million in public financing. But the survey also found most of those polled supported limits on campaign spending.

Ah yes, another major campaign issue not covered by the mainstream media because it might harm their candidate.

And even in this story, the author has the nerve to write:

“Whether we get to move this meaningful campaign reform forward is going to depend largely on the leadership of either Obama or McCain,” said Craig Holman, a lobbyist for Public Citizen, a watchdog group.

Ah, you mean something like the McCain Feingold bipartisan bill that limited spending in presidential elections? That quote was supposed to be ironic, I presume….


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. She blogs at Makaipablog. 

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