John McCain continues to make a big point about his accepting public funding for the general election and, in the last debate, he attacked Barack Obama for opting out.
All this would be very praiseworthy, if it were true.
But I was reminded of how egregiously the McCain campaign has undermined the public financing laws when I got an email (see below) from Sarah Palin urging me to contribute to something called McCain-Palin Victory 2008.
Governor Palin's letter yesterday said that my help was urgently needed because of Senator Obama's broken pledge to accept public financing.
Palin therefore urged me to circumvent the public funding agreement -- which gave McCain an $85 million public funding grant, with the promise that his presidential campaign would raise no other funds.
She wants me to contribute to contribute to a phony committee, which -- for all intents and purposes -- is an arm of the McCain presidential campaign (that, of course, I would not legally be allowed to contribute to).
What's galling is that I can legally contribute up to $67,500 to committees like this, while if I contributed to the Obama's presidential campaign, I can only contribute $2,300 -- all of which is a fancy way of making a mockery of the federal campaign laws.
10 of McCain's off the books committees have already raised a total of $150 million, $87 million since the beginning of July according to Public Citizen's Watchdog Blog.
After asking me to break the spirit and purpose of the campaign finance law, Palin said she would "honor all of the promises we make" because we are men and women of our word.Governor Palin also claimed to be a reformer who would take the country in a new direction and that McCain would redistribute the wealth by providing economic relief to those who need it most?
Sarah Palin's logic has an Alice in Wonderland quality which would confuse even the Mad Hatter.
If you caught my guest appearance on Saturday Night Live this weekend, you may have seen an ad or two (or twenty) from Senator Obama's campaign.
This barrage of advertising is adding up to the most expensive negative ad buy in political history. And these ads are funded with the nearly $200 million the Obama campaign and the DNC raised in September.
With this new money, they'll only step up their media buying efforts to flood every network with ads attacking our shared values.
These ads are full of inaccurate information designed to mislead voters in key media markets. We need your support to stop the Obama-Biden Democrats' media buying binge.
Your immediate contribution of $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or more will help fund our team's ads in key media markets across the country.
The current media buying gap is a direct result of Senator Obama's broken pledge to accept public financing. This summer, Senator Obama chose to break his promise to the American people by opting out of the public financing system.
But, you can be sure that our entire team will honor all of the promises we make in this campaign because we are men and women of our word.
Our team of reformers has a plan to take America in a new direction.
Our economic policies focus on providing economic relief to those who need it most.
While the Obama-Biden Democrats say they want to "spread the wealth around," our team won't support economic policies that punish Americans for working hard and pursuing the American Dream.
I'm asking you today to help our team get this message out. The funds you give today will help pay for upcoming ad buys and get-out-the-vote efforts.
Every dollar we raise goes directly to help fund media buys and get-out-the-vote efforts in important races across the country.
So, please make the most generous contribution you can give - whether its $25 or $250. We're certainly grateful for any help you can give.
Governor Sarah Palin
P.S. Are you tired of watching the barrage of liberal television ads the Obama-Biden Democrats are running?
If so, then I ask that you help us close the media buying gap by making a generous contribution of any amount to McCain-Palin Victory 2008.
Because the McCain-Palin Campaign is participating in the presidential public funding system, it may not receive contributions for any candidate's election. However, federal law allows the McCain-Palin Campaign's Compliance Fund to defray legal and accounting compliance costs and preserve the Campaign's public grant for media, mail, phones, and get-out-the-vote programs. Contributions to McCain-Palin Victory 2008 will go to the Compliance Fund, and to participating party committees for Victory 2008 programs.
Paid for by McCain-Palin Victory 2008: A joint fundraising committee by and composed of the Republican National Committee, the Michigan Republican Party, the Missouri Republican State Committee, the Ohio Republican Party State Central & Executive Committee, the Republican Federal Committee of Pennsylvania, and McCain-Palin Compliance Fund.
P.P.S. Today's Times has an interesting article on the deep pocketed donors to these so called joint fundraising committees, which are clearly exploiting the fine print of the federal election laws.Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org