When Barack Obama was preparing to go back on his pledge to accept public financing, he said that a major reason was the fear that McCain would refuse to rein in well-funded outside groups that supported his candidacy:
John McCain's campaign and the Republican National Committee are fueled by contributions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs. And we've already seen that he's not going to stop the smears and attacks from his allies running so-called 527 groups, who will spend millions and millions of dollars in unlimited donations.
Of course, Obama's accusation ignored McCain's efforts to stop independent groups from airing ads he viewed as unfair to Obama -- most notably the North Carolina GOP ad. On this flimsy pretext, Obama opted out of his commitment to accept public financing. And now -- less than two months later -- Obama sends word that it's just fine for 527s to work on his behalf:
Senator Barack Obama will start looking the other way when it comes to the role 527s and other independent groups play in the election, a source close to his campaign told the Huffington Post.
And liberal gadfly Tom Matzzie -- who's threatening lawsuits to silence conservative groups -- is eager to get the money flowing to liberals:
"Independent groups can talk to constituencies where the Obama campaign or the DNC aren't credible messengers. The best example would be Working America and its reach into white working class communities," said Tom Matzzie, who had headed the organization Progressive Media before starting a new group to target right wing financiers. "There are some groups that are ready to take more donations: Working America, VoteVets, the Choice groups and ACORN to name a few. Otherwise it is almost too late to get a new ground group going. A new advertising outfit could be put together by experienced independent campaigners in a few days. The key is not to fund the grab-ass efforts that are mostly a consultant hustle. Instead invest in really good work."
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