More evidence that Obama is backing up his pledge to go after these groups, although this one was much easier given the fact that they endorsed him. Also, it doesn’t mean that MoveOn won’t be spending money…just much, much less.
MoveOn, the advocacy group supporting Barack Obama, has decided to permanently shutter its 527 operation, partly in response to the Illinois Senator’s insistence that such groups should not spend on his behalf during the general election, I’ve learned from the group’s spokesperson.
MoveOn’s decision, which will dramatically impact the way it raises money on Obama’s behalf, is yet another sign of how rapidly Obama is taking control of the apparatus that’s gearing up on his behalf.
By shuttering its 527, MoveOn is effectively killing its ability to raise money in huge chunks from labor unions, foundations, and big donors who would give over $5,000. The decision doesn’t mean MoveOn will stop spending on Obama’s behalf. Instead it will raise money exclusively with its political action committee, whose average donation is below $50 and will even be raising money with things like bake sales starting this weekend.
So this sets up an interesting situation in the fall. Numerous conservative 527s will be attacking Obama, and McCain has already signaled that he’s essentially throwing up his arms and saying, “Hey, not much I can do.” Meanwhile, nearly everything that will attack McCain will be coming from the Obama camp and that means he’ll probably only have to answer for the stuff he puts out.
In my mind, McCain would do well to start reigning in 527s sooner rather than later. Because the distraction of having to address what these groups will be putting out during the general election campaign simply won’t be worth any potential gains.
Still, with Obama forgoing federal funding for the fall, I can understand why McCain might need outside groups to throw everything they’ve got at Obama.
More as it develops…