Was Obama ‘s campaign pledge to accept Federal Funding binding?

Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain has charged that Democratic Senator Barack Obama has reneged on a February 2007 pledge to accept Federal matching funds for the 2008 General Election. Apparently they had each signed an independent organizations pledge form with that stipulation. Another question is whether or not they officially applied to the FEC.

Based on McCain’s almost running out of gas a few months ago and Senator Obama’s ongoing surge, that recently includes large campaign contributions, Senator McCain is concerned over the vast difference in warchests available to effectively get his message out. At this point in time Obama does not want to live under a cap.

“In 2004, each major party received $14.924 million in public funds for their conventions, and the parties’ general election nominees were eligible to receive $74.62 million in public funds.”

The 2008 General Election will have $84.1 million dollars for each major party’s presidential candidates and their convention expenses.

The first 2008 date for submission for matching funds was January 2, 2008. The question for me is did any candidates request to participate in this program and have they applied for these public funds?

As I researched data for this post I found an interesting fact. “Information provided by the Treasury Department shows the balance in the funds as of October 31, 2007 was $165,383,063 and the commission estimates that no funds will be available for matching payments in January 2008.”

The following web sites explain the Federal Election Commission and the FEC Act which relates to the public financing of campaigns alternative.



After getting hammered by McCain I read that Obama may concede this point. He does not wish to be presumptuous knowing that the Democratic primary is not over.

The irony of this debate is the Bi-partisan Campaign Reform Act with the key players being John McCain and Russell Feingold that dealt with “soft money” and “527” organizations participation in campaign financing.

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