As expected: Kerry Opts Out of Public Financing for Primaries

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) today announced that he would reject public financing of his presidential campaign during the primaries, freeing him from a $45 million spending limit. Kerry joins fellow Democrat Howard Dean and President Bush in rejecting the taxpayer subsidies, which can provide as much as $18.6 million.

Bush has already raised in excess of $100 million for his campaign, with a goal of $170 million to $200 million. Dean leads the Democratic field with $25 million, and the flow of cash to his campaign has been accelerating every quarter. Dean has declared a goal of matching Bush at $200 million.

Kerry, who described himself as a fighter “for campaign finance reform to limit the influence of big corporations and moneyed interests in our government,” blamed Dean for his decision to abandon a program viewed by its supporters as a key post-Watergate reform designed to limit spending and encourage small donors.

“I wish Howard Dean had kept his promise to stay within the campaign finance system. But he did not. He changed the rules of this race — and anyone with a real shot at the nomination must now play by those rules. And today, let me be clear: I’m in this campaign to win the nomination and to defeat George Bush next November,” Kerry said at a press conference in Des Moines that his campaign made minimal efforts to publicize.

We all saw this one coming, didn’t we?

FILED UNDER: 2004 Election, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. lefty skeptic says:

    It’s actually a little strange, since his imploding campaign has no chance of raising more than $45 million.

  2. lefty skeptic says:

    Ah, I now recall that Kerry is pretty wealthy, but still …

  3. Paul says:

    What bothers me -and I assume/hope there is a law against it- is that he is BORROWING the money for the campaign.

    Now– Assuming he lost, what is to stop him from using mommies money to pay the DEBT. (especially if he signed a personal guarantee.)

    Campaign law say she can not unzip her purse… but can she pay off a loan after the fact???

  4. lefty skeptic says:

    Paul – So you’ll join me in condemning Schwarzenegger for doing the same thing, right?

  5. Paul says:

    dunno- i have no idea what happened. (and you would think since the story ran 24/7 for a month I woulda heard)

    what (exactly) happened?