Roger L. Simon doesn't "despise Bush personally" yet he's voting for him. Curious behavior ... 12:42 A.M.
Caterpillar's Tricks: Fellow Kerry-basher John Ellis says the "talk of the political community" is that there has been "almost no" Edwards Bounce--and the NYT's Adam Nagourney (with his carefully crafted 'comes-at-a-time' hype sentence *) is spinning the Dem's cocoon again. ...
*--The hype sentence:
The Democrats' emerging plan for Mr. Edwards comes at a time when Democratic and even some Republican officials suggest that Mr. Kerry's vice-presidential selection has the potential of being the most politically significant choice since another Massachusetts Democrat, John F. Kennedy, turned to another Southerner, Lyndon B. Johnson, in 1960. [Emphasis added.]
[What's wrong w/ 'comes at a time'?-ed. It's a hack formula that allows the reporter to make any speculative connection he wants to propel the story in the direction he deeply wishes it to go. As in "The controversy over Nagourney's credibility comes at a time when even some Democrats suggest he has the potential to be the most embarrassingly wrong Times correspondent since Judith Miller." That wasn't so long ago.-ed. And which way does that cut?] ... Update: RCP's poll survey does show a small but discernable Edwards Bounce. Even Rasmussen's bouncin' a bit. This does not make Edwards the most politically significant choice since LBJ. ... That was fast: MSNBC reports "the bounce for the Kerry campaign was small." And it appears to be dissipating rapidly: Princeton Survey Research's poll for NBC on July 6 showed an 8 point Kerry-Edwards lead. The same outfit conducted Newsweek's poll on July 8 and 9 and found only a 3 point K-E advantage. .... 11:47 P.M.
Kerry 'Opt-out' Scenario-fest: He's broken campaign spending promises before ... It turns out Prof. Rick Hasen askedkf's question--why can't Kerry pre-buy fall campaign ads with his pre-convention money?--over a month ago. Hasen's post drew a response from everybody's favorite D.C. campaign finance source, attorney Trevor Potter, who wrote:
The Agreement the party nominee signs with the FEC in order to receive general election public funding commits the nominee to using only the public funds for activity during the general election period (defined as the date of nomination to the election). Therefore, the nominee may NOT "pre-fund" general election activity with primary funds. The FEC audits all publicly funded Presidential campaigns, and this issue has come up in those audits with some frequency, with a repayment of public funds required where such prepayment has occurred. [Emphasis added]
OK, I get it now. The campaign finance laws treat the pre-convention period as a single, (primary) election, which ends at the convention. If you pay for anything that happens after that date, it can't possibly be spending for the primary. It's a general election expenditure and has to be made with public funds (assuming Kerry doesn't 'opt out'). ... Two problems with this answer, though. Problem #1: One of Hasen's readers notes that if, as Potter suggests, the penalty for post-convention spending is simply that the money has to be repaid, isn't that still a good deal for a campaign?
[F]or all practical purposes you can LOAN your campaign the money from the funds raised before the convention? After all, that's what a loan is, money given to you when you need it, that you have to pay back later.
Is there some additional penalty that gets tacked on to make the loan not free? ... Also, if the FEC orders repayment only after the expenditure has won election, isn't that a bit too late? Problem #2: I still think Potter's rule must be very hard to police. Suppose for purposes of argument that Kerry consultant Tad Devine's normal fee is about $20,000 a month (I insult him). Now suppose Kerry instead pays Devine $30,000 for the three primary election months leading up to the convention, but Devine then agrees to a "pay cut" to $10,000 a month for the three months after the convention (perhaps justified as necessary in order to conserve limited 'public' funds). Devine makes the same amount of money in the end--but arguably the Kerry campaign will have subsidized 50% of his post-convention activity with pre-convention cash. Yet how would the Republicans (or, if the situation were reversed, the Democrats) ever prove it?... Plus, if the only penalty for getting caught is that the money has to be paid back after the election--well, see Problem #1. ...