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November 08, 2008

A Question

Has anyone been talking about starting to put donations for Obama's 2012 run in escrow, to be released upon the accomplishment of certain goals—eg, on Iraq, health care, energy, etc.?

It would take a ton of effort and wrangling to set up. And I haven't thought it through at all, particularly the various legalities involved. Just off the top of my head, I think you'd have to set up a vote on whether he'd succeeded and the money could be released. I'd also guess you'd might have to require each person to specify a second choice organization for the money to go if Obama fails, so they wouldn't just get it back and be able send it to the campaign anyway.

(See also this post by Micah Sifry about what's going to happen to MyBarackObama and its tools.)

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at November 8, 2008 12:38 PM

U'D just git recessionized on the other end, SOMBODY would swallow that account along with a bunch of others over some phoney insurance scam over bad paper (4star rated).

Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 8, 2008 01:14 PM

Heh. That's not a bad idea. If I could make conditional campaign donations, I might even make them once in a while.

Posted by: buermann at November 8, 2008 01:56 PM

buermann: UorI may not have BUT apparently one hell of a lot of folks did contribute BECAUSE of the Net. NO DOUBT the Net IS a major player in American Politics, THE tie breaker.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 8, 2008 02:46 PM

My concern is that if people vote if the entire thing will go to President Obama's reelection or to the second choices a majority of people donating will vote to donate the funds anyways and that President Obama will count on this. If this option is going to be implemented, individuals should have the option about whether their own fund will be donated or be returned or given to a second choice. This way individuals could post their own criteria and President Obama's political advisers can compile the conditions and the money.

Posted by: Benjamin A. Schwab at November 8, 2008 05:16 PM

Great idea Jon - live by the grassroots, and if you let them wither, die by them too. A performance management process for the most important employee in the world, and potentially a lobby that could compete with the others for the man's heart, via his pocket.

Posted by: Glenn Condell at November 8, 2008 08:57 PM

devilish: could this backfire? give political opponents further reason to scuttle? better to give money to a PAC for those issues?

Posted by: hapa at November 8, 2008 09:17 PM

I love this idea, but I also loved the idea (lifted from Greider's "Who Will Tell the People?") to give every American $100 annually to donate to political or social causes. I recall that this idea was not very popular on this board....

I continue to believe that the amazing thing about the American system isn't how corrupt it is, it's how cheaply the public interest can be purchased. So, I say, let's get 100mm people together and buy what we want. This proposal seems like a good step in that direction.

If this seems hard to implement, consider that this country just elected an African-American man to the presidency. Then, get to work.

Posted by: Aaron Datesman at November 9, 2008 11:56 AM

2 milliom people with 100 dollars each=$200,000,000=the ability to buy most elections. I suggest a club in which 2 million or more people PLEDGE to donate 100 dollars each on a certain date in January before the next election. I would TRUST 2 million STRANGERS before I would trust my family bank with that kind of money.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 9, 2008 01:27 PM

But then Obamidiots would have to actually pay attention to issues instead of basing support on the Go Team Go, isn't he a polite Negro, policy. You might as well blow the money on hookers now because Obomba doesn't give a shit about your Hopes. He'll get plenty of money from Wall St and bombmakers.

Posted by: Marcus at November 9, 2008 02:22 PM