Thursday, July 19, 2007

Following the money

A story in Friday's Observer will show which presidential candidates (aside from John Edwards) fared the best in raising money from the Carolinas last quarter. Hint: One's an Illinois Democrat and the other's a New York Republican.

For a really cool, interactive look at where candidates raised their money from across the country, check out this page from the Federal Election Commission.


David McKnight said...

Now Jim, it's just been announced that Sen. Hillary Clinton will be holding a fundraiser in Blowing Rock at which the amount of $2,300 per person will be raised. I'd be lucky to make $23 playing the fiddle on the streets of Boone some nice Saturday afternoon.

But be that as it may, why can't we clarify state campaign finance laws governing fund-raising for state and local offices here in North Carolina?

It's a fine thing if a candidate for the Democratic or Republican nomination for President can raise $2,300 per person at a luncheon or dinner event. But candidates for state and local office, often holding events seeking to raise up to no more than a couple hundred dollars per person, seem one step away from a State Board of Elections hearing if they make the slightest faux-paus, such as not keeping track of which dressing is being used on the salads.

Or suppose two state legislators who have brought their lunches with them to their General Assembly session that day decide to swap sandwiches, say, a Democrat trading a ham-and-egg sandwich for a Republican's peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich. They'd better calculate the differential in the economic value of the ingredients in the sandwiches or they could be looking at some serious jail time!

If presidential candidates can routinely raise sums in excess of $2,000 per person, then why can't we clarify the laws governing state and local elections in North Carolina so people won't feel they are committing some kind of criminal offense merely by participating?

Anonymous said...

It is difficult for John Edwards to get a foothold in news leads. You have two candidates from two states that have very large newspaper circulation. They are sucking up all the oxygen.I wish the Observer would do more to help him out. The country should be tired of Clinton and Obama by now.

David McKnight said...

In response to the post above, at least it can be said that, to the extent that the Edwards campaign is receiving national news coverage, the content of that coverage seems to be much improved from before, with more attention being given to the former North Carolina senator's positions on the issues rather than the typical "first-round" press queries focusing on "candidate background and personality" and "why is he running?"

So while the John Edwards campaign may wish it were receiving more news coveraage vis-a-vis the Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigns, at least the seriousness of his candidacy is being more frequently registered in the news coverage that he is receiving--as for example in the New York Times' reporting on his recent trip through poverty-stricken areas of the Mid-South.

Now it is up to the Edwards campaign to bring out more detailed positions on a range of other primary and secondary issues relevant to the 2008 presidential campaign.

David McKnight said...


Here's some money your guys "in Raleigh" (the Charlotte reporters who get their stories published on the front page of the Raleigh News & Observer all the time) should follow:

How about a million bucks of it! An unprecedented fine levied against former Mecklenburg State Rep. and House Speaker Jim Black by a Wake County judge who gave no statutory information at all justifying such an extraordinary large sum for the fine.

By the way, this same judge has just characterized an N.C. State Highway Patrolman as "unworthy of belief" in his testimony about an auto traffic situation which went to court here in Raleigh.

Anyway, guess who's getting a $1 million leg up on every other local public school district in the State of North Carolina because of this Wake County court ruling? The Wake County public schools, that's who!

Even though the specific campaign reporting rules violation involving the transfer of funds from a chiropractors group to Dr. Black definitely occurred in Salisbury and not in Raleigh, the Wake County court has determined that Wake Coutny has the infractions jurisdiction in this matter and not Rowan County.

This means that schools in Salisbury and Rowan County will receive nary a nickel from the "fine" levied against Dr. Black. It's all going to Raleigh, my good Piedmont friends!

See, if you will "follow the money" as they said in the Woodstein reporting, in this case you will find that as fast as you run into political difficulties in Mooresville or Gastonia, they're all ready to collect the proceeds here in Raleigh in the pursuit of excellence in public education in Wake County, with a leg up on the competition of course.

Why if this keeps up, Jack Betts will have to get a rowboat because Interstate 85 will be inundated by a new. fast-flowing river to the State Capital--a fiscal river whose tributaries are all to be found in Piedmont and Western North Carolina and whose ultimate "outpouring" is into the coffers of local government in Raleigh and Wake County, North Carolina.

What we learned in North Carolina geography was that Raleigh is both the county seat of Wake County and the state capital of North Carolina. We were never taught that all of Wake County is the state capital of North Carolina, even Apex, Garner and Fuquay-Varina!