March 3, 2004

Kerry and Campaign Money

Firstly, I voted for Kucinich last night. After a review of his politics, I seemed to agree with him on a lot. Chuck had sent along an interesting link to a graph of the political compass of each candidate based on statements and voting record. A look at that graph makes clear what can also be seen in the statements of these candidates. They are nearly all pretty authoritative, which irks the hell out of me. Also, they’re right-leaning on the fiscal issues as well. (Look - Edwards shows up as to the right and above Joe Lieberman!)

There doesn’t seem to be much balance there, so I represented my views with a vote for Kucinich in the primary. Be that as it may, Kerry is the clear winner now.

Time to support the nominee, folks. Send money if you can. If you really disagree with the direction Bush is taking the country (Do you need reasons? We got reasons) now is the time to start making yourself heard.

Expect lots of attacks on Kerry which paint him as contradicting himself. It’s clear the early Bush surrogate efforts think they have a winner in plastering Kerry with an image of hypocrisy.

Steve (no Bush supporter, he) posts a bit about Kerry taking campaign money from companies like the ones he complains about. (Steve is a conservative, so we’ll disagree a lot down the road. But we bother agree it’s time to boot Bush)

I’d like to address the issue of Kerry taking money for his campaign. A Democratic candidate is at a huge disadvantage monetarily when up against this incumbent Republican president. The president has the power to focus the news to himself any day he likes. He’s got an immense campaign war chest (I’ve seen figures from 100 to 175 million dollars).

Does this put Kerry above criticism? No, it doesn’t. However, the story I refer to above talks about $370,000 coming from companies that have shipped jobs overseas, a practice Kerry has hammered on the campaign trail.

Bush railed against steroids in his State of the Union address. Is it time to hunt down all of the money he’s getting from people who benefit from the use of steroids (individuals, athletes, teams, media conglomerates)? Should he give all that money back?

If someone can come up with a way to do that, let’s go for it. But I think it’s a waste of time. It reminds me of a previous criticism of Kerry that didn’t fly—his acceptance of special interest money. In one context, he’s the greatest recipient of special interest money among the Democratic candidates. In another context he’s the lest recipient among his peers—the Senate. In my mind, he gets credit for criticizing an entrenched system he doesn’t like and trying to minimize its impact on his candidacy.

You’ll probably hear a good deal of criticism of Kerry from me (especially once he gets into office). But these criticisms make me think that “Massachusetts Liberal” is actually going to be an elevation of the debate.

It’s a long, bumpy road to November, folks.

Posted by James at March 3, 2004 6:59 PM
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As far as voting records go you need to remember that Senators only get to vote on what gets to the floor and the senate has been republican controlled for a long time. If you want to get anything at all done your going to have to vote with them and make the best deals you can. I think that's one reason why the dems appear to be skewed right and up on the graph. If allowed to vote the way they'd prefer things would look different.

Posted by: Bob at March 4, 2004 9:32 AM

Thought this was appropriate for the lists you linked in your post:

Posted by: Pat at March 4, 2004 2:43 PM

As many of you know, I supported Dean from the beginning.

I don't like how Kerry voted to authorize use of force, and his bizarre stance on gay marriage is annoying/disquieting/choose your own adjective (dexcribed by Ellen Goodman in today's Globe as a "tortured argument to explain [his] stance for marriage-in-anything-but-name").

That having been said, it is my _duty_ to vote for whomever is put forth as the Democratic party candidate. Bush must be ousted, and I don't care who the Dems put up--it could be a duck for all I care--I'm voting for that person, and that person will almost certainly be Kerry. Who else?

Man, November can't come soon enough. I've had it!

Posted by: Patti M. at March 4, 2004 2:51 PM

Lots of people will hold their noses and vote for Kerry. I'll be one of them.

Normally I would say he doesn't have a chance, but I think he can beat Bush. The press seems to have turned on Bush and he may have shot himself in the foot when he decided to declare war on civil rights for approximately 10% of the population.

So, I think the majority will be disgusted enough with Bush to vote for Kerry. Of course, a majority of people voted for Gore, too, and that wasn't good enough. But this time I think the defeat will be less ambiguous.

BUT Kerry could easily screw this up himself. He seems to understand what he's in for with the Bush people and he seems to be ready for it. But he needs to work more on getting people to vote FOR him instead of AGAINST Bush. So far all I've heard from him is hot air and "I am definitely not George W. Bush" type of rhetoric.

If this gets too ugly, if Kerry can't convince people that he will be any better than the jerk currently in power, a lot of people will stay home for yet another election, hating both candidates and not wanting to participate at all. That's what worries me.

Posted by: julie at March 4, 2004 3:14 PM

>If this gets too ugly...
>a lot of people will stay home
>for yet another election...

I think this is precisely why Edwards was so specific in his "bowing out" speech.

"The truth of the matter is that John Kerry has what it takes right here to be president," Edwards told the cheering audience of 2,000. "I intend to do everything in my power to make him the next president of the United States!"

He's giving his supporters marching orders, and I'm waiting for Dean to do the same. We all have the same goal, here, and the other candidates need to motivate their supporters and continue to do so until November.

Posted by: Patti M. at March 4, 2004 3:53 PM

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