In January of this year, Unity08 pulled out all the stops to promote its Clean Money Pledge. The corporation with a goal of electing its own candidate to the White House asked all voters to commit to the following:
I will only vote for a presidential candidate who has raised more than half of his/her funds through small contributions of $250 or less.
Of course, Unity08 has failed to meet its own Clean Money Pledge, gathering 82% of its money through donations of more than $250.
Indeed, Unity08 is in federal court right now with a high-priced stable of lobbyist-lawyers, suing for the right to take donations that are completely unrestricted in size. Why? Consider the following information about Election 2004:
The two biggest beneficiaries of the 2004 elections were media consultants for the presidential campaigns of President Bush and Democratic Sen. John Kerry. Maverick Media, led by Mark McKinnon, ran the media campaign for Bush and the Republican National Committee for a total cost of $177 million. Riverfront Media, led by consultant Bob Shrum, was paid $150 million to run the media campaign for Kerry and the Democratic National Committee.
Hmm. Did you know that the Unity08 co-Founder Douglas L. Bailey, Unity08 co-Founder Gerry Rafshoon, Unity08 Chief Operating Officer Anya T. Harris and Unity08 Communications Director Shane Kinkennon — the only four people to speak consistently as leaders of Unity08 — are media consultants?
Call me cynical, call me crazy, call me a loon, but I suspect there may be a connection between these two pieces of information. Nutty, I know. Of course, if that’s not true then the leadership of Unity08 can clear it all up by signing this Safe Money Pledge:
We pledge that no Unity08 corporate leader, member of the Unity08 Foundersâ€™ Council, or member of the Unity08 Rules Committee will pursue or accept payment or other compensation for any work in the campaign of a Unity08 nominee, or for work in the administration of a Unity08 White House.
This simple pledge would clarify that this quartet really isn’t in it for the hundreds of millions of dollars in media consulting fees.
I contacted Unity08 corporate leaders Harris and Kinkennon on February 16 — after they asked me to contact them and maintain dialogue — and asked them whether they would agree to the Safe Money Pledge.
Since then, I haven’t heard a word. Twenty-six days and counting.