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Campaign financing debate reopened

Nov. 3, 2008 at 11:24 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama's ability to raise huge sums of money has reopened the debate on campaign financing, strategists said.

The outcome promises to have an impact on future presidential campaigns, either by raising the fundraising levels or forcing sweeping changes to remove such large amounts of cash from campaigns again, The New York Times reported Monday.

Democrats, who traditionally support campaign spending limits, are struggling with whether they can embrace Obama's Internet-driven, small-donation example.

"I think there is going to be tremendous reluctance on our side to yield any of that advantage," said Tad Devine, a senior strategist for U.S. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign in 2004.

Obama and Republican candidate John McCain have said that repairing the public presidential campaign financing system would be a priority, the Times reported.

Obama rejected public financing while McCain accepted the $84 million in public money with its restrictions on his campaign's fundraising. McCain has said Obama broke a promise to accept financing.

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