In the debate over what Senator Obama meant when he pledged "to aggressively pursue an agreement to preserve a publicly financed election," much of the attention has focused on his most expansive statement, in response to a questionnaire put out last fall by the Midwest Democracy Network, a fabulous coalition of five state-level reform groups that agreed to work together on a more comprehensive vision of reform. Although the groups agreed not to comment on the substance of the answers the candidates provided, today they put out a press release:
While the focus of the questionnaire has centered on answers submitted by Senator Barack Obama's campaign, it should be noted that the campaigns of Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator John McCain, Governor Mike Huckabee and Congressman Ron Paul have yet to answer a single question from the questionnaire.
Yes, only Obama and John Edwards bothered to respond to the extensive and well-designed set of questions about lobbying reform, congressional redistricting, media policy and election procedures. The two candidates who are now on the attack didn't even respond. The reform groups have asked the other campaigns to respond by February 26.
And, speaking of reform groups, have you seen the press release from Democracy 21, the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Public Citizen, the League of Women Voters and U.S. PIRG urging Senator McCain to keep his commitment to public financing and stop manipulating the matching funds system for the primaries? No? Me neither. I'm sure it's coming any. day. now.
-- Mark Schmitt.
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