Yesterday, I wrote about John McCain and the site On the Issues, which offers information on the site for any presidential candidate still in the race or otherwise. And speaking otherwise, why did John Edwards drop out January 30? Could it have anything to do with the virtual shutdown of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) over the nomination of Hans von Spakovsky which I wrote about on January 9?
Today the FEC issued a news release on its proposed rules for operations without a quorum, published in yesterday's Federal Register. Essentially the FEC will be able to do little more than offer advisory opinions. And, as reported by the Washington Post's Matthew Mosk on
When it comes to federal matching funds, Democrat John Edwards has the most to lose. The FEC certified the payment of the first installment of funds this week, including $8.8 million for Edwards. But matching payments for money he has raised this month, or will receive in subsequent months, may have to wait until the FEC has four members.As I commented on Mother Jones blog in response to "Jonus" who thought Edward's departure was "good riddance to bad baggage, " there have been what I regard as too many Republican/Clinton/Obama talking points criticizing Edwards. For an example of the latter, see "Dropping Oppo."
Nobody questioned Bobby Kennedy's advocacy for the disenfranchised on the grounds that he had money. Or is it just okay if your wealth is inherited? Unlike Clarence Thomas who distances himself from his modest beginnings, Edwards has embraced a fight against corporate greed. While the Washington Post exposed Edwards worked on a hedge fund from October to December 2005 and the money he received money from this sector, it also noted the contributions of this sector to Clinton, Obama, Dodd and others.
The MSM shut out coverage, not only of Edwards, but Dodd, Biden, Richardson, Kucinich and Gravel. What I want to know, and haven't seen covered in the MSM, is why did organized labor split its support? And what happened to the "I'll be in all fifty states" promise of John Edwards after NH? Why not stay until Super Tuesday, much less for the whole race? The same goes for Richardson, who might have run stronger in the vote-rich West. Were both men tired of not coming in first? Of hearing how they're perennial losers?
Richardson dropped out the day after NH with money problems, but Edwards kept competing and said he had enough to make it through the race. As late as five days before he dropped out he sent out a news release saying,
As a sign of John Edwards' growing grassroots support across the country, today the Edwards campaign announced that it has raised more than $3 million online during the first 25 days of the quarter - more than it raised during the whole 4th quarter of last year. Just yesterday, the campaign had one of its best fundraising days, taking in more than $230,000 in contributions. The vast majority of online contributions will be doubled by federal matching funds.
And just the day before his withdrawal, he was critiquing the economic stimulus package.
"States like Missouri need immediate help – or we could see devastating cuts to education, health care and other basic services, along with increases in property taxes," Edwards said. "Providing this assistance to states will not only protect our schools and our most vulnerable citizens, but represents an important and critical step to avoid a recession."
On December 22 – long before Congress, the President, or any other candidate – John Edwards warned about the prospect of a looming recession and proposed an economic stimulus plan that includes extended unemployment benefits, investments in the renewable energy industry to create jobs within 90 days, a Home Rescue Fund to help families avoid foreclosure, and immediate federal financial assistance to states.
Today, Edwards emphasized the need to increase the federal contribution to Medicaid and provide additional aid to states, helping them avoid cuts to education, health care and other basic services and avoid increases in property and other taxes that disproportionately impact working families and seniors on fixed incomes. Under Edwards' plan, Missouri would receive up to $375 million in direct aid to help avert those cuts and stimulate the state's economy.
With Congress considering the Bush stimulus plan this week, Edwards called on members of Congress to act quickly to provide this important relief to states.
One has to wonder if his announcement means he heeded the pundits of that same media who failed to provide a level playing field, when they said over and over that it was time for him to drop out. We may never know for sure and the speculation will soon give way back to the horse race and the scrapping and name calling between the anointed front runners.What I fear is that the Democrats will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, enabling a McCain or Romney win in November. No, no candidate is without flaws, but for those who say there was no difference between the parties, between Gore and Bush during the 2000 race, I say: the Patriot Act, the elimination of habeas corpus, offers of telecom immunity, Iraq, tax cuts for the rich, weakening of environmental laws, the SCHIP veto, the threatened veto on the union card-check law, Roberts and Alito. And the list could go on.