Kucinich Adjusts Campaign to Comply With Matching Funds Regulations
WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Because of the extreme front-loaded nature of the 2008 Presidential primaries, as well as the complicated public financing laws and regulations, the campaign of Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich has notified the Federal Elections Commission that Kucinich will not be actively campaigning in Florida or Louisiana.
"This was a very difficult decision," the campaign said in a statement, "because we have strong grassroots organizations and significant support in both of those states. We simply don't have the tens of millions of dollars that some of the other campaigns do, and we cannot afford to campaign everywhere at the same time. The primary focus right now is New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary where our support is significant and growing. And, we are moving ahead with additional plans leading up to 'Super Tuesday' on February 5."
Similarly, Kucinich, who has been purposefully excluded from two Presidential debates and a number of Democratic Party events in Iowa, will not return there before the January 3rd caucuses. This unfair treatment began with a debate sponsored by AARP, an opponent of the single-payer, not-for-profit health plan that Kucinich proposes. Most recently, he was excluded from a nationally broadcast debate there, while, inexplicably, non-candidate Alan Keyes was included in the Republican debate.
The campaign also noted that Congressman Kucinich, unlike his counterparts in the Senate who are campaigning for the Democratic nomination, spends his weekdays in Washington when the House is in session, leaving only weekends available for campaigning. Senators Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Chris Dodd all missed this week's vote on an additional $70 billion war-funding measure because they were in either Iowa or New Hampshire campaigning.
Kucinich is a long-time supporter of public financing, but federal statutes and regulations regarding matching funds actually discourage grassroots campaigns from competing effectively against larger campaigns that derive all of their funds from private sources. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have opted out of the public financing system, which means they can spend unlimited amounts without having to meet the criteria and adhere to the regulations imposed on other campaigns.
According to official reports filed with the FEC,
about 88% of the money raised by the Kucinich campaign this year is eligible
for matching funds because the contributions came from everyday citizens
in amounts of $250 or less. It is the highest percentage of grassroots
contributions of any campaign. "This campaign is financed by average Americans,
not Wall Street investment bankers, off-shore hedge funds, arms manufacturers,
insurance and pharmaceutical interests, or oil and gas executives," the
campaign said in its statement. "These are people of modest means who see
public financing as a way to eliminate corporate control of campaigns and
of government, and we intend to do everything possible to continue carrying
that message throughout the campaign. That is the Congressman's pledge,
and it means deploying our resources efficiently and effectively."