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calendar   Monday - October 20, 2008

Obama very well funded

Obama Campaign Raises Over $604,000,000.00 So Far

Six Hundred and Four Million Dollars. Far more than half a billion. That’s a huge amount of cash. That’s more campaign money than ... anyone, ever? everyone, ever?

Barack Obama’s staggering fundraising prowess—the Democratic presidential candidate raked in a record-breaking $150 million in September and more than $604 million since the start of his campaign—has raised the game of political cash as well as questions over whether the public financing system is now obsolete.

Public financing, which restricts how much cash a candidate can raise, is meant to curb the influence of money in presidential campaigns. In an interview on “FOX News Sunday,” John McCain took issue with Obama’s war chest, saying the exorbitant amount of cash Obama has raised has created the potential for scandal and lays a “predicate for the future that can be very dangerous.”

“I’m saying that history shows us where unlimited amounts of money are in political campaigns, it leads to scandal ... this is the first since the Watergate scandal that any candidate for president of the United States, a major party candidate, has broken the pledge to take public financing. We enacted those reforms because of that scandal,” McCain said.

Indeed, contributions to Obama far outdistance those of McCain, who kept a pledge to use the public financing system employed by all previous presidential candidates since the Watergate-era reform was enacted.

Obama is the first major party candidate to opt out of public campaign financing in the general election since the law was enacted in 1971 and revised in 1974. George W. Bush dispensed with public financing during his 2000 Republican primary battle, in which he defeated McCain. By accepting public financing, McCain was given $84 million in funds to use between the Republican National Convention in early September and Election Day. His campaign spent $37 million in September and has had an additional $47 million available since Oct. 1. In comparison, even before September’s fundraising haul, Obama had $77 million on hand. When October fundraising is counted, Obama is expected to surpass the $695.7 million that John Kerry and President Bush—combined—raised in 2004.

Obama raised $454 million dollars during the primary campaign—covering the period from the start of his presidential bid to Aug. 31, 2008, days after he accepted the Democratic Party nomination. McCain raised $240 million during that same time.

Obama has bought a good deal of television ads, particularly in traditional swing states like Ohio and Florida, as well as some new battleground states like Colorado and North Carolina. And the campaign has said it intends to increase its ad spending in the final two weeks before Election Day, Nov. 4.  In an unusual move, the campaign has bought a half hour of political ad time to air concurrently on CBS, NBC, and FOX on Oct. 29. Obama’s campaign paid $3 million in total to air the 8 p.m. program on the three networks.

With $604 million, the campaign could buy about 201 prime-time, half-hour blocks to be run simultaneously on all three networks.
For $604 million, the Obama campaign could buy all the shares of La Salle Hotel (with $58 million left over) and almost all the shares of Papa John’s Pizza (with a market cap of $606 million).
The campaign could also buy almost all the shares of the Cheesecake Factory (market cap of $640 million) and more than 50 percent of Fannie Mae’s outstanding shares (market cap of $1.016 billion)

For the average American, the figure could buy 25,036 Ford Tauruses and more than 140 million gallons of milk.
An individual making $50,000 a year would have to work 12,080 years to earn $604 million.

I think there may be something fishy going on here. $604 million is more than 1500 times what the job pays. It’s an amount so large, from so many sources, that tracking down any illicit ones will be just about impossible.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/20/2008 at 03:46 PM   
Filed Under: • Finance and InvestingPolitics •  
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