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Tag Archive: President 2008

Young Donors Max Out, Need Diapers Changed

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Competition among bundlers is getting so competitive that fundraisers are getting their children to chip in. These aren’t grown children by the way; these are toddlers, babies, and prepubescent children without incomes - unless of course they’re working as cockney bootblacks (“Straight shine’s a nickel; super buff’s a dime!”). The Washington Post reported yesterday on this effort by bundling donors using their children and nieces and nephews as ways of funneling ever more money into the coffers of their favored candidate.

Such campaign donations from young children would almost certainly run afoul of campaign finance regulations, several campaign lawyers said. But as bundlers seek to raise higher and higher sums for presidential contenders this year, the number who are turning to checks from underage givers appears to be on the rise.

"It's not difficult for a banker or a trial lawyer or a hedge fund manager to come up with $2,300, and they're often left wanting to do more," said Massie Ritsch, a spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics. "That's when they look across the dinner table at their children and see an opportunity."

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Ron Paul and Real Time Transparency

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My continuing joke about Ron Paul around the Sunlight office is that he would win in a landslide if all of his supporter’s MMORPG characters were allowed to vote. (That’s massively multiplayer online role playing game for those not hip to the slang.) All jokes aside, it appears that Paul’s supporters can sure raise a lot of money. In the 3rd Quarter of this year Ron Paul raised just over $5 million putting him slightly behind a former frontrunner John McCain, who raised $6 million. Paul has now set a goal of raising $12 million in the 4th Quarter and is using his Web site to show progress in achieving that goal.

Where Howard Dean had his bat Ron Paul has his Statue of Liberty. The Statue measures the amount raised so far, updating in real time, as Paul reaches his goal of $4 million in October. While Dean and others used these kinds of visuals tools to highlight fundraising during a key period this kind of fundraising transparency has never been done in real time over an entire quarter. Paul’s Web site also shows the names and hometowns of the donors. All of this data cries for one thing and one thing only: user generated content!

Paul’s Internet supporters instantly took all of this information and created their own site, RonPaulGraphs.com, which breaks down the fundraising into tons and tons of graphs. Here’s a couple of my favorites:

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Talk of Transparency on Campaign Trail

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The Reason Foundation has been getting the presidential candidates to talk more about transparency on the campaign trail by asking them to sign a pledge to run a transparent administration and fully enforce the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, also known as Coburn-Obama. The FFATA requires the Office of Management and Budget to disclose all federal funding contracts, grants, and earmarks in a searchable database. The Sunlight Foundation was a part of a coalition of groups that worked to pass the bill, in particular working to out the Senator with a secret hold on the bill. So far, three candidates - Barack Obama, Ron Paul, and Sam Brownback - have signed the pledge. It's great to see transparency taking a hold as an issue in the 2008 presidential election. Hopefully, we'll hear from more candidates on the issue soon. For now, check out below for the statements made by the three pledge signees.

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