Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Public Financing

The Bush cunning plan:

Bush Inc. has said the campaign won’t abide by spending caps during the primary, but will during the general election.

(The Federal Election Commission distributes matching funds for the primary, and a straight-up grant for each eligible major-party candidate in the general election.)

The Bush plan sounds innocuous, since he doesn’t face anyone significant in the primary.

But the trick is the primary period doesn’t end until the candidate is officially nominated.

And the RNC pushed the nomination all the way to Sept. 2, past the traditional August date for the incumbent party.

Since Bush is aiming to raise upwards of $200M for the "primary," he can dump all of that during the winter, spring and summer.

Then, scoop up about $74M of taxpayer cash in the general election grant.

That’s a blatant bastardization of the system (though it produces no dismay, only jaw-dropping awe, from the political press corps.)