The Dean campaign has an important choice to make. He has to either choose to accept US federal matching funds and have his spending capped at $45 million or waive the funds and be allowed to raise and spend more. Bush is raising $200 million from large companies. With the incredible grassroots fund raising so far, Dean should probably waive the matching funds and go for it, he is asking on his blog and via email to all 484,000 members of his campaign what THEY think he should do.

This decision is no longer mine to make. This is a campaign of the people, by the people and for the people. Your successful effort of raising a historic amount of money through small contributions has made this choice possible. This is why I am putting this decision in your hands.

I am asking you to vote on what kind of a campaign we will conduct from this point forward. No matter how well intentioned both our options are – the choice is difficult: do we choose option (a) to fund our campaign ourselves and decline matching funds, or do we choose option (b) and accept federal matching funds and the spending limits?

You will receive a ballot via email on Thursday and have until midnight Friday to vote. The results will be announced on Saturday.

This is really amazing. This is so grassroots and activating. Way to go folks!

Via Jim Moore who was in Burlington with Dean volunteers. Jim has a great entry about this.

7 Comments

Have you decided how to vote yet? I am really torn.

Sounds like a wonderful opportunity to evolve capitalistic democracy.

If he doesn't accept matching funds and is elected how may this effect the future of political fundraising?

I don't see why Dean should have to refuse big donors for "moral" reasons--Bush won't refuse them. What I'd like to see Dean do on moral grounds is refuse special favors to donors--which Bush has not. I worry more about the techinical problem: If Dean limits donations, he gets matching funds. If Dean foregoes matching funds, will big donors give enough to make up for the lost matching funds? OK, I'm an engineer, that's how I see it.

I'm not a citizen so I can't vote. I'm very interested in and work with the Dean campaign in the capacity of someone very interested in democracy and very excited by the way Dean is conducting this campaign and how this might impact the rest of the world including Japan.

Perhaps the Internet polling is a positive "grassroots and activating" phenomenom, but isn't the big picture that the presidency is now out of reach for people who can't raise (at least) $100M? The underlying message is: pick Dean because he's the only candidate who can possibly match Bush's war chest. Sorry, Kerry and others - your measly $45M just doesn't cut it in this race. The idea of harnessing the power of the Internet to change the sources of funding is appealing, but it also highlights a limitation: why do you need a $100M if the Internet is such an effective tool?

FYI, there was a really great expose on Dean on 60 Minutes II about two weeks back. I must admit I was pretty much a blank slate on the guy, deeply unenthused about the other options in Democratic party, and of course Bush is the very definition of cynical, "if you didn't vote for me, I don't have to represent you" politics.

Very impressive, earnest, and understands the horrors of war, having had a brother executed during the Vietnam war.

Wish I could click the share button on Tivo. Catch it when it runs again.

I think the SEIU and AFSCME union endorsements of Dean are an incredible step forward in expanding his campaign to make up for and exceed what was lost by opting out. In a related topic: I'm really, really hoping that the union members who are online join the Dean online presence and that the Deaniacs support local union action: as a very wired AfricanAmerican I've been hoping for this kind of cross-fertilization. I just decided to go to Iowa in January to help with the primary: really looking forward to blogging about the bridges across the digital divide!

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WWDD? from Brewed Fresh
November 6, 2003 9:57 AM

Dean's got class. From my point of view, it's a no-brainer. Go for the biggest warchest. But Dean supporters support Dean because they have a voice in the campaign. What do you think? Would a Dean Presidency post questions about national security on a ... Read More

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