Obama, Romney, & Reporting Wall St Money

Yesterday there was a Washington Post story on how much money Obama and Romney have gotten from Wall Street which directly conflicted with a New York Times article earlier in the week. The Washington Post story reported that Obama has raised more money from Wall Street than all of the GOP candidates combined. The Times, on the other hand, reported that “Romney has raised far more money than Mr. Obama this year from the firms that have been among Wall Street’s top sources of donations for the two candidates.”

Mike Allen isn’t happy with the Post’s coverage of this. Today he takes a hard shot at the Post:

the Times story got the big picture right, by basing the analysis on contributions to the CAMPAIGNS rather than lumping in PARTY money, which has higher limits ($30,800 per year v. $2,500 per election). And Romney can’t raise party money. The Post could have won by explaining both ends of the telescope.
–PLAYBOOK BEST PRACTICES: Acknowledging complexity makes your story MORE interesting, not less. And the most sophisticated readers have seen what’s been written before, so you can’t pretend it doesn’t exist, or leave them scratching their heads.

But here’s the chaser, from yesterday’s Washington Post article:

“Put aside the DNC money, for example, and Obama’s numbers look much worse: just $3.9 million from the financial sector, compared with Romney’s $7.5 million.”

Before Allen starts talking about “best practices,” he should double check to make sure that the people he’s criticizing didn’t present exactly the facts that he’s demanding they present.

But more importantly, this is all very silly. The DNC exists to fundraise for the the President’s reelection. It is a temporary advantage for the President, as the Republicans don’t have a presidential candidate yet and the RNC can’t fundraise directly for that person until the nominee is set. Both the Times and the Post miss with their stories. The Times accepts the technically correct but functionally incorrect reality that DNC money is not the same as campaign money. The Post fails to recognize that the advantage is a temporary one and not particularly indicative of anything except a snapshot of where things are when the GOP doesn’t have a nominee.

The real crux of the matter is that Wall Street is giving tens of millions of dollars to both parties. When all is said and done, that number will probably be over $100,000,000. The people who broke our economy have completely captured both political parties and helped ensure that they are not held accountable for their crimes, while pushing for more bailouts for themselves, paid for on the backs of poor, working, and middle class Americans.

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