Thursday, June 19, 2008

Obama announces public financing opt-out on YouTube

Senator Obama hopped on to YouTube this morning to announce that he'll be forgoing public funding for the general election. By opting out of the $84 million that the pubic financing system would allot his campaign, Team Obama is relying on their extensive grassroots online fundraising efforts - which have pulled in donations from 1.5 million Americans - to fuel their efforts. "I wanted all of you, the people who've built this movement from the bottom up, to hear it first," Obama said to voters on YouTube this morning.

Obama's announcement is both historic and controversial - no other candidate has declined public funding since the current system was created in 1976 in the wake of the Watergate scandal. His campaign's argument is that the current system is broken - by allowing 527 money into the system, millions of dollars of unregulated funds influence the campaign, they claim. In his video, Obama points out that by relying on private funding from supporters, he's running a campaign "truly funded by the American people." According to the campaign, 90% of their donations have been from voters giving $100 or less.

Some of that money was raised on YouTube - the Obama campaign has activated the Google Checkout "Contribute" button that we make available to all federal campaign channels and watch pages.


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