Obama Test-Drives Public Funds Opt-Out

Says Internet giving is the new populist space
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2008 6:42 PM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., shakes hands after speaking at a town hall meeting.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama has been taken to task for refusing to renew a 2007 pledge to use public financing in the general election, and a speech last night may have been a preview of the logic he’ll use to opt for private money instead. The candidate argued that Internet giving is plenty populist, ABC reports; the remarks came at a $2,300-a-plate event.

Said the candidate: “We have created a parallel public financing system where the American people decide if they want to support a campaign they can get on the Internet and finance it, and they will have as much access and influence over the course and direction of our campaign that has traditionally been reserved for the wealthy and the powerful.”