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Ear to the Ground

Clinton’s Soft Money Boost

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Posted on Feb 20, 2008
Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has had difficulty keeping pace with Barack Obama’s fundraising, which could explain the launch of a new pro-Clinton 527 group called “American Leadership Project” that already has a commercial it plans to run in Ohio. The group is not subject to the same rules as the campaign and can theoretically raise unlimited amounts of money.


Politico:

The 527 hews to the legal rule against direct advocacy for the candidate: “Tell Hillary to keep working on these solutions,” the ad says. It’s aimed for Ohio, but there’s no buy yet.

It’ll air in Ohio to supplement Clinton’s push.

A spokesman for the American Leadership Project, Roger Salazar, e-mailed to stress that his group’s message is “positive” and focused on middle-class issues.

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By cyrena, February 23, 2008 at 1:37 am Link to this comment

Angry African,

I agree with you about the experience thing. I didn’t know this about Zambia however, and I’m glad to.

For the most part of course, Africa has been under centuries of the old colonial model, and is still recovering from that, and it hasn’t been all that long either.

I’m going to attend a photojournalist presentation next week on Congo, so I’m hoping to learn more about what’s going on there now. Meantime, I’ve never been to Zambia, and don’t know much at all about it, aside from where it is on the map. Africa is a big place.

Again, you’re right on target on the ‘experience’ issue. At least that’s my opinion.

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By Angry African, February 22, 2008 at 6:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

On experience - this from Geroeg Will at THOnline:

The president who came to office with the most glittering array of experiences had served 10 years in the House of Representatives, then became minister to Russia, then served 10 years in the Senate, then four years as secretary of state (during a war that enlarged the nation by 33 percent), then was minister to Britain. Then, in 1856, James Buchanan was elected president and in just one term secured a strong claim to the rank as America’s worst president. Abraham Lincoln, the inexperienced former one-term congressman, had an easy act to follow.

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By Angry African, February 22, 2008 at 5:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Zambia for one. Never been in a civil war or a war outside their borders. Most Swiss than the Swiss. And they had one great inexperienced leader - Kenneth Kaunda. There’s one. And don’t forget that almost every country in the world has gone through a rocky political road (except Zambia). The US? Of course. Remember the war way back south vs north? That was a rocky. Yes, long time ago. But remember that almost all African countries have only been independent for 40-50 years and had to manage artificial borders. The US went through its own early teething problems.

I still don’t agree with the experience bit. You think any of the other candidates have been to the top of the mountain? No. They haven’t run anything big. They have just been in government longer. Making policies yes, but not running something. What has Hillary run? And for how long?

Vision, leadership and the right team around you. Why would you think Obama won’t have the team around him?

we still know what we are going to get from the others. No change. Just more of the same. We know that we will get that from Obama if he doesn’t do what he says. He will be no worse than the others. But we know that we have hope that he might be better.

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 22, 2008 at 3:44 am Link to this comment

You and The Ring supporters are sadly mistaken, Angry African. I do uphold the concept of “a vision of a better future” too but, in politics, it must be achieved one step at a time.

Just jumping in with a dream will leave you waking up drowning. For this, you need a team, not just one minimally experienced individual who might be a budding orator but has never “been to the top of the mountain”.

In casting your vote, it is not good enough to say “Who knows. Time will tell…”. The 20/20 vision of hindsight is extremely rueful and expensive where mistakes are concerned which could alter one’s country negatively instead of positively.

Coming from Africa, you of all people should realize this, Angry African. Is there any country theer which has not had a rocky political road?

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By Paracelsus, February 21, 2008 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

I hadn’t heard anything about washing machines. As to Obama being an establisment outsider that just doesn’t jibe with his placement of Bryzenski as one of his advisors. It is the same as it ever was.

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By Aegrus, February 21, 2008 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

Likewise. Though, I’ll offer a soft warning it isn’t good to bet against me.

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By Paracelsus, February 21, 2008 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

No, he is just part of a series of “leaders” with serious skeletons in their closets. No, he is no Mandela. Mandela had a Catholic sense of self restraint. Yes, I know he is Anglican.

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By Paracelsus, February 21, 2008 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

She’ll win the nomination and you will be here plaintively wondering what went wrong. But I promise not to be cruel about it.

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By Aegrus, February 21, 2008 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

I’d wager you’re wrong about her victory.

Just wait.

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By Paracelsus, February 21, 2008 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

Why worry your head over it? Hillary will be President whether we like it or not. It has already been decided, not that I like her. I think her unprincipled and sociopathic, but that is what makes her a good leader for the American people.

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By Paracelsus, February 21, 2008 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

Why worry your head over it? Hillary will be President whether we like it or not. It has already been decided, not that I like her. I think her unprincipled and sociopathic, but that is makes her a good leader for the American people.

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By Paracelsus, February 21, 2008 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

Has anyone heard this phrase? Is it a silly concept or does it have merit? Anybody care to discuss this? Is it just a phrase coined by Rush Limbaugh? BTW, did you know that Paul McCartney had a documantary called Wings over the World?

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By Angry African, February 21, 2008 at 7:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Are you saying that Mandela told people that they would get washing machines? That is right-wing politics in South Africa. Peter Mokaba said that at a rally. And he was from the ANC. It was reported in the Apartheid regime press as something the ANC was promising. And from there onwards it became the words of Nelson Mandela. But Nelson Mandela was at that rally. So was I. And Mandela stood up while Peter Mokaba was talking and told him to sit down. And then berated him and the crowd for making empty promises and shouting slogans instead of leading. It would be like saying that all Democrats like cigars and interns. It is not true and is inflamatory. You can’t hold the leader or party accountable if that person is disciplned.

And the experience you talk about. Experience of what? Experience of compromise and business as usual? Sadam had experience. Enron’s leaders had experience. Experience is only relevant if you have a history of good experience and not compromise. I’ll take less experience over bad experience any day. You think the guys from Google (or any other entrepreneur) had experience in running a company? No. But they had the vision and employed the right people to execute their vision. Hilary will be a good Democrat as President. But that has become marginal and tinkering around the edges. The current Democrats were voted into power to bring change. And because of the culture of compromise they have an even lower approval rating than President Bush. You need to say what that experience is before saying that the “most experienced and qualified” is needed to run the country. Experienced in what and qualified to do what? Experience in running a country? Well, let’s go to the Vice Presidents and Presidents then. Or running a huge economy? You want corporate leaders to take over? Or experience in making laws and policies? Hillary hasn’t been in government for that long. She was an outsider and then the first lady and only then a Senator. Or experience in changing things? Then you don’t go to those who compromise or who have been part of the establishment since they started out. Qualify what you mean by experience and qualification and don’t make it fit Hillary. Make it fit what is needed and then we can start ticking the boxes.

Maybe we think people are stupid. That we always know better. That the ‘little people’ fall for Obama’s empty promises. But I think people are not that stupid. I think the reason why a lower percentage of people vote than before and why politicians have such low approval rating are because people are not stupid. They know when they are being sold snake oil. And they know when candidates tries to sell people policies that will not be implemented but it sounds academic and so ‘over my head’. People react on gut instinct. And we tell them don’t. But as a businessman I know that this is the difference between failure and success in business. Yes, you inform yourself of market needs, opportunities, cost etc. But in the end of the day the success lies in having the judgement that it is the right thing to do. Business fail because they employ managers and number crunchers to be the head instead of a visionary who knows the right way. He/she will employ the managers who make it happen.

People are craving a vision of a better future. And yes, some parts still needs to be colored in, but they know when someone is giving them at least a shot at a better future and when they are not. Obama gives them a shot. The others “are saying much but meaning little” - they have sold people the same old politics election after election and think that it will get them the Presidency again.

Will he achieve that? Who knows. Time will tell. But we know from “experience” that picking those who have been part of the system won’t achieve it. Experience hey? “Your illusions” that any experience seems to matter “indicates that you have no responsibility for your statements. That is all.”

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By Angry African, February 21, 2008 at 5:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You saying Mandela told people that they will get washing machines in their homes? You from South Africa? That sounds like typical right-wing propoganda to me. Swift boat tactics. What Mandela promised was a better South Africa and we got that.

But he was unclear on the policy side. So I guess that people would also say he that he says much but means little…

People go to Obama because they acn sense that he is not business as usual. Maybe the “people” are less stupid than what we thought. Maybe the reason why the interest and trust in Washington are at such a low is because voters are not stupid. They gave up hope after years of Presidents that promises them change but are to vested in the system already. And that is why they go to Obama. Because he offers something different. Instead of the same-old-same-old.

And the all talk no substance. Rich coming from her. A history of compromising. And maybe people are sick of compromising when they feel they have a real shot at change with Obama. It might not work out, but it is better than what you know you are going to get from the other candidates - the same old President of compromises.

And political leaders do not need all this experience you want. He is not 12 or 24. He has experience. Just not the experience of compromising and vested interests. Again - go look at the great leaders we all quote and use as examples and see how much experience they had. You always pick your best team and the best person for the job. Not the most experience. Enron had great experienced leaders… Sadam was experienced… But there is a difference between good experiences and bad ones. I’ll take less experience over bad ones any day.

Saying you need experience says alot of your statement. Please tell us what type of experience will make change happen. Experience in achieving little and compromise? That says a lot of your statement. That’s all.


The ubuntu references and that they look alike TODAY (not when Mandela was younger) are my opinion and I take it we don’t have to agree. But it seems as if you know ubuntu pretty well…

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 21, 2008 at 1:21 am Link to this comment

By Angry African, February 20: “But is Obama the American Mandela who could inspire Americans to a better future at home…”

Inspiration and fantasy and delusion are different things, Angry African.

As you say, Obama didn’t spend 27 years in jail in self-sacrifice for his country and his people. Yet he walks out on stage and people rush to him anyway.

Whose fault is that? It is an advertizing sell that has found a successful jingle and a successful image. Yet if Hillary says that ” Obama is all talk and little substance”, she is accused of attacking him.

As for a Mandela-style image, he hasn’t promised everyone “a washing machine in their homes” but he seems to have made far more sweeping and equally unsustainable promises already.

In the end, a lot of people will be lucky to have a washing machine never mind a home in the USA. That is why “the most experienced and most qualified person” is now essential to run the country.

But, no, Obama is not your “own father - Madiba”. Nor does he look anything like Mandela did when he was that age.

Nor is he in any way “ubuntu”. That again is your own fantasy. He is not giving you anything that has cost him anything.

The nearest thing Obama has to Ubuntu might be the operating system on his computer. And apartheid ended in the USA decades ago.

Hillary din’t criticize Obama for being “a great speaker” but for saying much but meaning little. Better check your facts in future, eh?

Your illusions about “Leaders don’t need experience” indicates that you have no responsibility for your statements. That is all.

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By cyrena, February 21, 2008 at 1:13 am Link to this comment

DC,

You’re right, I hadn’t thought of that, because as a general rule, 527’s fund themselves, as I mentioned.

Accepting donations via a website is allowing for far too much transparency and accountability, which defeats the entire (illicit) purpose of a 527 group.

They are for the purposes of laundering campaign funds, and skirting the rules. And, IF memory serves me, (and I could be wrong on the dates and time lines) I THOUGHT that they were only ‘allowed’ in the general elections.

Like I said. I could be wrong. There are all sorts of ‘new rules’ that came attached to that campaign finance reform bill, but with that of course, new ways to skirt them.

So, I’ll pay more attention after the nominee has been determined by (hopefully) the voters. Once that happens, I don’t think there will be an issue with 527’s from the democratic side. McCain could be another issue. But, we’ll see.

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 21, 2008 at 12:31 am Link to this comment

By cyrena, February 20: ”...I haven’t checked it, since I’m not interested, but I was just curious. Is this mentioned in the “commercial”? (I didn’t look at it either)...”

Well how about that, eh? Looks like it has just been added online.

But, as for the rest, the corollary of ‘testosterone deafness’ is actually ‘estrogen blindness’, ha ha.

But, seeing that you didn’t ‘peek’, you’ll never know, uhh.

The reason for a website is so that they can have an address to receive donations at.

Oh, you hadn’t thought of that? Well obviously neither had Salada or whatever his name was…..

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By cyrena, February 20, 2008 at 10:19 pm Link to this comment

Douglas,

What’s up with this?

•  Also would be helpful if the website touted http://www.leadership-project.org actually existed or even if one could find the American Leadership Project on a search.

I didn’t see this website actually ‘touted’ anywhere, and if it’s a 527 ‘club’ I wouldn’t expect it to be. So, where did you come up with this website, that you say doesn’t exit? I mean, I haven’t checked it, since I’m not interested, but I was just curious. Is this mentioned in the “commercial”? (I didn’t look at it either).

But, just because you said that website didn’t exist, wouldn’t mean (necessarily) that the 527 didn’t exist. Matter of fact, these are almost always just names slapped on nefarious organizations that spring up overnight.

Still, since I was at least that curious, and since this immediately brought to mind the Swiftboat 527 that sunk Kerry, I decided to google it.

I put in The American Leadership Project, and the first ‘hit’ on the list was

IRS FORM #8871 – POLITICAL ORGANIZATION NOTICE OF SECTION 527 STATUS

And then, it has all of the appropriate lines filled in. The ‘organization’ has a San Francisco mailing address, and it lists the ‘date established’ as Feb 15, 2008. So, 4 days ago.

http://forms.irs.gov/politicalOrgsSearch/search/Print.action?formId=28905&formType=E71

(in standard adobe format, since it’s a form)

So, how clear and direct is THAT? Here’s how it works. One or more people come up with a name. They file one or more of these forms, and voila, they can give their ‘candidate’ as many billions as they want. In short, they just whizz right around all of those ‘restrictions’ and campaign finance rules, by simply calling themselves a ‘527’.

So, Hillary’s out of money and Salazar whips up a 527 for her. No doubt it will be funded with her own money, and it’s supposed to be ‘less obvious’ than the $5 million she “loaned’ to her campaign. Except of course it’s pretty obvious to anyone who knows what 527’s do. And, if anybody knows how to cover money tracks, the Clinton’s do. Maybe not any better then their colleagues within the same oligarchy, but certainly well enough to buy an election.

So, who needs a website for a shell outfit/organization?

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By Angry African, February 20, 2008 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is Obama the American Mandela? Obama brings a message of hope and change to a country at the crossroads. It is choice between the past and the future. But is Obama the American Mandela who could inspire Americans to a better future at home? And a future where America takes it rightful place at the global table? Is he the one? The question of whether Obama is the American Mandela is discussed in my blog Angry African on the Loose at http://angryafrican.wordpress.com/2008/02/20/is-obama-the-american-mandela/

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 20, 2008 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

Truthdig caught quoting another blog again - and it would be excusable if it was even informative, uhh.

Might as well read it in the LA Times instead http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-spend21feb21,0,6685850.story

Also would be helpful if the website touted http://www.leadership-project.org actually existed or even if one could find the American Leadership Project on a search.

So much for slacko Salazar. He better get his ass into gear if he wants to find Hillary some cash before it is too late! http://www.camajorityreport.com/index.php?module=roles&func=display&uid=20

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