Saturday, June 02, 2012

Do I Dare To Eat A Peach?

(Editorial cartoon by Lee Judge / The Kansas City Star (June 1, 2012) and featured at McClatchy DC. Click on image to enlarge and then return.)

One of the continuing hot topics at Eschaton (pick a thread, any thread) is what does a liberal with conscience do come November. Vote for the Democratic candidate who has broken every liberal promise he made in 2008, who has continued the worst programs of the Bush administration, and who defers to the banksters every chance he gets as the lesser of two horrendous evils, or not vote for president (or write in a non-candidate) as a protest, thereby allowing a victory to Romney in the hopes that the Democratic party will finally get it? It's a dilemma, a real one. Lee Judge's cartoon captures the dilemma a lot of us are facing.

Although the differences between the two candidates are, in most respects, trivial, there are differences. Unfortunately, many of those differences are the result of the Democratic regulars being a bit slow on the up-take when it comes to creative ways to thwart the will of the 99%, yet there are differences. OpenSecrets details once current move by the GOP sponsors which illustrates this.

By now, we should have a complete picture of what the presidential candidates and political party committees raised and spent through the end of April. Regular monthly campaign finance reports for these committees were due last Sunday [May 20, 2012].

But wait. One committee isn't following the monthly pattern, causing confusion in the way the April numbers have been reported. Romney Victory Inc. -- a committee raising funds for Mitt Romney's campaign, three national Republican party committees and several state GOPs -- registered with the FEC on April 5 but has announced that it will be filing quarterly reports.

That means we won't see its first report until July 15.

Joint fundraising committees are standard practice these days once a party's nominee is known. They allow donors to give the maximum amount possible to the candidate ($5,000 per election cycle) and the national party (a hefty $30,800 per year) and state parties (up to $10,000 per year per state) in one fell swoop.

President Barack Obama's reelection campaign has been using one of these (Obama Victory Fund 2012) for more than a year and regularly claims credit for the substantial sums raised for the Democratic National Committee and documented in monthly reports to the FEC.

But since Romney Victory didn't file a monthly report, there's nothing on the public record to indicate how much it has raised or spent. Presumably it has raised about $18 million, taking a global number announced by Romney's campaign and subtracting what could be documented in the most recent reports.

But there isn't anything official yet and nothing on who the money came from. This explains the difference between the "Romney catching up on fundraising" vs. the "Obama maintains fundraising lead" stories that have appeared this week.

OK, both candidates are taking full advantage of Citizens United, raising millions of dollars for the race. Conventional wisdom predicts that $1 billion will be spent on the race, this at a time when unemployment is at 8.2%, the numbers of those slipping into poverty is increasing astronomically, and elders are rightfully fearful of the assaults on Social Security and Medicare in which both parties are engaged. That said, at least the Democrats' owners haven't balked at disclosure (at least that we know).

So what am I going to do? It's a tough call. I tend to agree with mp.

I guess I want Obama to win in November, but, at least right now, I'm not looking to Obama to help me me guide my way through my life.

I do want President Obama to win, and I will vote for him, but, other than that, I have stuff to do.

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