Candidates' finances revealed

The financial disclosures of some presidential candidates (others filed extensions so their reports could be more thorough) reveal some interesting information. From the Baltimore Sun:

Obama spokesman Bill Burton said Obama and his wife this year transferred about $180,000 from the Vanguard Wellington Fund to Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund after discovering that a small amount of the Wellington Fund is invested in an oil field services company that is active in Sudan.

Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback, an outspoken critic of the violence in Sudan, also divested his stock portfolio of companies that do business with the African nation.


In other filings, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a presidential candidate who has called for a drastic reduction in the use of fossil fuels, reported holding $250,000 to $500,000 in stock options from North America's largest independent oil refiner.

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

Hillary allows you to really have a voice

Hillary Clinton's website is promoting civic engagement to the MAX: it is asking YOU to vote for the Senator's campaign song. Text "IDOL" to...wait...nevermind. The fun part is that it allows you to write in and suggest a different song. Oh the myriad of songs the Clinton camp will be receiving.

(In case you were wondering, I voted for "Get Ready" by the Temptations and am proud of it.)

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

McCain sets it straight on immigration stance

(via Chris Cilizza from The Fix) Last night during the Republican presidential debate, Senator John McCain addressed questions about where he stands on the immigration debate. McCain said:

"What the American people expect us to do is to sit down and work this issue out...We have to have a comprehensive solution and it has to be bipartisan."

"I intend to lead; I don't intend to follow. I don't intend to block things."

McCain also responded to criticism from Mitt Romney that he worked in a bipartisan manner (how terrible?!) on McCain-Kennedy, a bill that Romney feels conservatives oppose, even though Senator Sam Brownback was a cosponsor. McCain responded:

"I haven't changed my position in even-numbered years or ... because of the different offices that I may be running for."

As you know, McCain was intimately involved in past discussions and lead the debate on comprehensive immigration reform. Yet recently, many feel as if he's walked away from the table, instead delegating to Senators Kyl and Graham to get the job done.

Social Networking's role in 2008

CNN takes a glimpse at the role of social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace could play in 2008. As the article suggests:

...it's not just about broadcasting to a hard-to-reach demographic. In order to recruit voters online, candidates must appear to engage with potential supporters on a far more personal level, on their terms, in their environment.

These sites tear down the traditional barriers between those in power -- be they celebrities or politicians -- and their fanbase or supporters, providing the semblance -- if not the reality -- of personal involvement and a forum for discussion.


And that's where the real power in the Internet lies. Far from being a one-way broadcast, the medium allows people to engage with each other, get involved and focus on the issues they care about most. Most of all, it allows people to take a campaign and evolve it themselves.

While this will terrify traditional campaign managers and PRs, who can see quality assurance flying out of the window along with their approved, on-message briefing sheets, is it really a bad thing that the Internet gives regular Joes the chance to broadcast alongside the big guns -- and the potential to beat them at their own game?

Edwards' College Opportunity Agenda

John Edwards released his College Opportunity Agenda. His "College for Everyone" initiative "would pay for one year of public-college tuition, fees, and books for any student who is willing to work hard and stay out of trouble." According to the release, the initiative is based on the College for Everyone pilot program in Greene County, North Carolina, that helps pay for the first year of college for young people who agree to work at least 10 hours a week.

Edwards also discussed a few other initiatives as part of his Agenda. Those include:

  • Help simplify the application process for student aid and would help every low-income high school eligible for Title I hire a new college counselor, helping students choose college-track courses and navigate the admissions and financial aid process.
  • Require all students to borrow directly from the Department of Education, which would eliminate bank subsidies on student loans and free up almost $6 billion a year to make college more affordable.

UPDATE: Barack Obama released his plan to change student loans. In short, he "wants to eliminate federal subsidies for banks that provide student loans."

For those students (or anyone interested in higher education reform) who read our blog, I'd be interested in your comments. 

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

Dingell questions Obama's logic in Detroit

Rep. John Dingell questioned the logic of Senator Barack Obama's energy plan, specifically on his stance that federal fuel economy regulations have an effect on America's dependance on foreign oil. Dingell said:

“I will observe I admire Sen. Obama and his desire to focus on solutions,” Mr. Dingell said. “But — with all due respect, as the Sopranos would say — I would not travel to Chicago for the purposes of teaching people how to butcher hogs.”

Mr. Dingell said he supported Mr. Obama’s suggestion that the federal government help domestic car makers with soaring health-care costs. But in a news conference following his speech, the congressman said Mr. Obama’s suggestion that such aid be tied to improved fuel efficiency is “erroneous” and “wrong.”

"Nebraska boy" Hagel an independent candidate?

This past Sunday on Face the Nation, Senator Chuck Hagel had some eye-opening words for the Republican Party:

"I am not happy with the Republican Party today," Hagel said. "It's been hijacked by a group of single-minded almost isolationists, insulationists, power-projectors."

Hagel's diatribe on the Republican Party shifted tone later in the interview when he emphasized his support for an independent candidate, specifically NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Could we be witnessing the formation of Hagel-Bloomberg ticket? Check out the video of the interview below.

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

Text Hillary!

Want to stay in touch with Hillary Clinton's campaign? If you've got a cell phone, you can do so via text messaging. In a press statement, Clinton described the technology, which our New Politics Institute has discussed many times, as a way to "engage voters in the political process using the latest technology." She continued: "This is an exciting step forward that I hope will continue our conversation with voters in a new format."

She described the new initiative in a statement after receiving the endorsement of NY Governor Eliot Spitzer. Watch it courtesy of CNN here.

Unrelated, yet interesting Hillary news: J.B. Pritzker became the national chairman of Citizens for Hillary, "a new campaign initiative that will be charged with grass-roots outreach, fundraising and policy matters." His sister is Penny Pritzker, the national finance chairwoman for Barack Obama. More from the Chicago Tribune here.

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

UPDATE: As if "Ambassador to the World" wasn't cool enough

A quick update from a very recent post: Bill Clinton just sent out an e-mail further detailing his support for his wife in the form of a 5-minute video. Both the e-mail and video are below:

Dear Travis,

Want to know why I think Hillary is the best choice for president? Then watch this:


Bill Clinton

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

Rudy's lucrative private sector work

The Washington Post takes an in-depth look at the private sector work of Rudy Giuliani. In it, the Post shows how Giuliani used his name to quadruple his business, while sometimes bringing controversial figures on board.

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

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