Obama urged to return dirty campaign cash

More EFCA stories: here • More card-check stories: here

Organized labor's down-payment on forced unionism legislation is corrupt

Not going to say it. Wouldn't be prudent. After I took the campaigns to task for their liberal use of the L word – "lied" – I'm not going to use it now in connection with Barack Obama. So I'll have to settle for the F word. Fudged.

Back in November 2007, Barack Obama wrote the Midwest Democracy Network of a plan that "requires both major party candidates to agree on a fundraising truce, return excess money from donors, and stay within the public financing system for the general election . . . If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election."

Obama even mentioned – almost presciently – that John McCain had agreed to the same pledge.

You say now that Sen. Obama – the first major-party candidate to turn down federal funding – raised a politically earth-shaking $150 million in campaign funds in September? Nearly two-and-a-half times his then-record haul in August? My, oh my.

What about Sen. McCain? Mr. Campaign Reform went with principle – and federal limits. He gets $84 million to spend between the convention and November 4 – period.

It's bad enough to deliberately go into battle with one hand tied behind one's back. But McCain was deked into going way beyond that. He's pulled off the political equivalent of being bound, chained, handcuffed, strait-jacketed, gagged, blindfolded and strung upside down in a tank of water – in a deluge of Obama advertising.

News reports indicate that the Democratic nominee is outspending his opponent to the tune of four to one on ads in some swing states. Here in suddenly purple-tinted Virginia, it's wall-to-wall Barry O – all relentlessly negative and distortive of McCain's background, record and proposals.

How is the candidate of the party that supposedly represents the "good guys" on campaign finance pulling off the political trifecta of breaking his promise to take federal funds, using mountains of cash to dump on McCain and having the media climb all over the Republican ticket for negative campaigning?

Search me.

But I do know one thing: Democrats, for all their high-falutin' talk about principle, have demonstrated over the last couple decades that they will do whatever it takes to come out on top when the stakes are big enough.

(See, Clinton, Bill: Lincoln Bedroom, Chinese monks, Capitol Hill rally and Wag the Dog bombings on the eve of impeachment trial. See also Carville, James: "declaring war" on Special Prosecutor; and Gore, Al: Florida recount.)

And the stakes have never been bigger.

In the wake of last month's mega-bailout, the potential for government intrusion is unprecedented. The Secretary of the Treasury just called in America's eight biggest banks – some of whom didn't want or need his help – and made them an offer they couldn't refuse.

Leave the shares. Take the cannoli.

In whose hands do you want to put all that added influence and momentum toward control of the economy´s "commanding heights?" A committed deregulator – or "Senator Government" and that glamorous power couple, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid?

Meanwhile, Obama is bringing new meaning to an old Roosevelt-era hobbyhorse – "tax and spend, elect and elect." Offer 95 percent of households a cut break – even the one-third who don´t pay federal income taxes – while promising a trillion dollars in new spending.

Talk about an offer you can't refuse – all the benefits of government, and none of the cost. Not to mention a permanent, non-taxpaying Democratic near-majority.

Did I mention that the unions are eagerly waiting for their own payback for years of toil in the Democratic vineyard – "card check" legislation that would take away workers' rights to a secret ballot and hand the keys to every major American company to Big Labor? That will do wonders for American competitiveness vis-à-vis the Chinese.

Let's not forget the push toward centralized command and control on global warming. The Wall Street Journal just highlighted Obama's plans to have his Environmental Protection Agency regulate carbon emissions by fiat. Say goodbye to your lawnmower. (If the EPA lets you keep your lawn.)

Then there's the big one – the Supreme Court. If Obama is elected, it's also goodbye to any chance to overturn Roe v. Wade, and hello to gay marriage nationwide. I'd say you could bank on the latter – if "bank" hadn´t become such a four-letter word.

With the prospects of a 65-seat-or-more majority in the House and a filibuster-proof 60 votes in the Senate – and the prospects of such enormous power if they can nab the White House – can you imagine that the Democrats would let little things like principles or promises get in their way?

Not on your life. That's why, once he recognized the full potential of his fund-raising ATM, Obama re-dubbed his promise to adhere to federal ceilings as an "option."

Oh fudge.

But there's an "option" for the McCain campaign, too. I'd say that the $130-million difference in war chests qualifies as "excess money." So encourage Mr. Obama to keep his initial pledge.

"Give it back, O. All of it."

That should keep him busy between now and November 4.

- Bob Maistros


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