No longer for sale

Clinton-supporting fat cat DNC donors are threatening to ask for their money back if the Florida delegation chosen contrary to party rules isn’t seated anyway. They’re welcome to take a walk. Obama’s on-line fundraising has made them obsolete.

Paul Cejas, having bought the Ambassadorship to Belgium from one Clinton, now thinks he can buy the Democratic Presidential nomination for the other. He’s part of a group of top donors to the DNC who, having met with former DNC Chair and current Clinton fundraiser Terry McAuliffe, is telling the DNC that if the Florida delegates selected contrary to the rules aren’t seated, he’s going to ask for his $28,500 back. (McAuliffe says he encouraged phone calls to the DNC but doesn’t approve of the blackmail. R-i-i-i-i-i-i-ght.)

What Cejas, McAuliffe, and company don’t seem to have noticed &#8212 but you can bet Howard Dean has &#8212 is that they’re as obsolete as Walkmans and floppy disks. Barack Obama has raised almost $200 million for his campaign, most of it on line. Think he won’t be able to get his million-plus donors to kick in an average of $50 each to the DNC, once he’s the nominee?

One important aspect of the Obama revolution is that he won’t need to sell embassies or regulatory decisions or tax breaks or pardons or nights in the Lincoln Bedroom for campaign cash. It’s a whole new concept; you might call it “public financing.” And it means that the money-men no longer get to call the shots.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: