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Have Progressives Been Foooled?

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Is Obama Running a Big Business, 527, Dirty Money Campaign?

Not only is Obama going to swamp McCain in funding now that he has abandoned the campaign finance system (one estimate of the Obama Campaign is it will have $600 million to spend compared to McCain's FEC limited $85 million) but it looks like Sen. Obama will not have to deal with the Swift Boat version of an anti-Obama campaign. Further, the veil is being lifted on the myth that Obama is the candidate of small, non-corporate donors. His campaign is looking more and more like the traditional big business fueled campaign and the policies he is putting forward demonstrate why big business is supporting him. Where's the change?

The Politico reports (see below) that there are currently no anti-Obama 527s, none are planned and no funders are showing interest. While McCain is denouncing groups that try independent efforts at influencing the outcome of the election -- and that is one reason such groups are staying out of the race on the Republican side -- Obama is working closely with MoveOn.org. Paul Tewes -- a high level Obama campaign operative also manages MoveOn's Iraq war efforts and their Americans Against Escalation in Iraq. (See below the Politico article for more on this). MoveOn has been playing the role of a Democratic Party arm but the Tewes connection makes it more specific -- they seem to be an arm of the Obama campaign. This coordination with a political action committee is similar to the contrast between McCain and Obama on campaign finance -- who is the clean money candidate? [SEE UPDATE BELOW IN COMMENTS]

The Washington Post (see below) has looked behind the claims that Obama is creating a new politics with small donors and finds that there are less small donors in 2008 compared to 2004, that Obama is getting big business support and this is the politics of "the usual" not of "change." This is consistent with the tracking of Obama's support from OpenSecrets.org which finds Obama reaping in big support from big business interests. He is pulling in massively from representatives of the industries he is showing support to: health care -- where he moved from single payer to health insurance subsidies, coal and nuclear -- where he favors clean coal and nuclear as a solution to energy shortages, big finance -- where he oppsed putting a cap on usurious interest rates. No doubt his flip flop to support protection for the illegal spying on Americans by the telecom industry will garner support there as well and his speech to AIPAC should get the right wing pro-Israel money flowing into his coffers. Now that he is hiring the Clinton fundraising team and the corporate interests that support the Democrats have a candidate -- Obama should be rolling in the campaign donations of big business like no other candidate before him -- even George W. Bush will be jealous when this campaign is over.

By the way, when it comes to support from militarists -- Obama and McCain are virtually tied when it comes to donations from military contractors. (McCain, John $300,034, Oama, Barack $296,673, Nader, Ralph $700.) This is not surprising since Obama has sent clear signals to the military industrial complex that he is no threat to them. His promise to expand the military, already bloated and wasteful, with 92,000 more troops will result in tens of billions annually to defense contractors. And, his promise to leave the private security mercenaries should make the Blackwaters of the world feel secure that the so-called change he is bringing will provide them with billions in contracts. In the next reporting cycle Obama should capture the support of the military industrial complex in a dominating way since the election is looking more and more like Obama's at this early stage. See www.electoral-vote.com.

It is interesting that some anti-war progressives like Progressives for Obama and the weapons industry are supporting the same candidate. I wonder if it were McCain who opted out of the campaign finance system, planned record fundraising from big business representatives, had staff who were also consultants to PACs and 527s and had put out the false myth that he was raising his record hundreds of millions from small donors -- whether progressive Democrats would by shouting? Calling him corrput? Describing him as a sell out? But, when it is Obama they sit silently, applaud at his calls for "hope" and "change" and urge others to vote for him rather than candidates like McKinney or Nader who actually stand for clean campaigns.

Broke: GOP third-party effort nonexistent

By Jonathan Martin

In a web video emailed to supporters Thursday, Barack Obama explained that he was opting out of the public financing system because John McCain is “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.”

Republicans can only wish that were the case.

Obama’s alarmist prophecy — a bit of typical campaign rhetoric meant to scare his own donors into reaching for their credit cards — is wildly at odds with the flatlined state of conservative third-party efforts.

The truth is that, less than five months before Election Day, there are no serious anti-Obama 527s in existence nor are there any immediate plans to create such a group.

Conversations with more than a dozen Republican strategists find near unanimity in the belief that, at some point, there will be a real third-party effort aimed at Obama.

But not one knows who will run it, who will pay for it, what shape it will eventually take or when such a group may form.

More worrisome for Republicans who believe such an outside attack apparatus is essential to defeating Obama, some key individuals and groups who were being looked to for help say they won’t be involved.

T. Boone Pickens, the Texas oilman who gave $3 million to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and who numerous GOP sources said was being looked to as a funding source this year, is sitting the race out.

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Kevin Zeese is co-chair of Come Home America, www.ComeHomeAmerica.US which seeks to end U.S. militarism and empire. He is also co-director of Its Our Economy, www.ItsOurEconomy.US which seeks to democratize the economy and give people greater (more...)
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